Minutes of the FSAI Artisan Forum - 17 April 2012

FSAI Board Room at 11:00


Wayne Anderson, FSAI (WA), Chair
Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School, (DA)
Raymond O’Rourke, Taste Council, (RO’R)
Michael Gleeson, Irish Beekeepers Association (MG)
John Brennan, Leitrim Organic Centre (JB)
Sean Kent, Poultry breeder, (SK)
Donal Lehane, (DL)
Sally Barnes, (SB), Woodcock Smokery
Michael Healy (MH) Wild Irish Game


Myrtle Allen, Ballymaloe House, (MA)
Frank Hederman, Belvelly Smoking (FH)
Jeffa Gill, Durrus Cheese (JG)
Mary Burns, Ardrahan Cheese (and CAIS), (MB)
Dave Lang, ACBI (DL)
Caroline Robinson, Farmers’ Market Stallholder (CR)
Declan Ryan, Arbutus Breads, (DR)
Robbie Fitzsimons, (RF) Eastferry Poultry

In Attendance

Eileen Lippert, FSAI (EL)
Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Donal O’Mahony, FSAI (DO’M)
Anne Marie Boland, FSAI (AMB)
Carmel Farrell, Teagasc (CF)

1. Agree Minutes of Meeting of 11 November 2011

Agreed: The minutes were agreed without amendment.

2. Agree Draft Agenda

Noted: The draft agenda was agreed and Food Tourism was added to the agenda. Michael Healy, who was attending his first meeting, was welcomed to the Forum.

3. Matters Arising

Salmonella in ducks/duck eggs

Noted: There have been a few incidences of Salmonella in ducks & duck eggs since the last meeting at small producers. The situation is improving, especially at the large producers.

Action: WA referred to a paper on the subject of Salmonella in duck/duck eggs and this will be circulated to the members.

Guidance Note 16 on Food Stalls

Noted: Discussions on this have taken place between CR and DGD and when it reaches completion, a consultation will take place.

Mobile Abattoirs

Noted: JB has found a working model of a mobile abattoir in the UK and he plans to go to the UK to investigate it further.

Action: JB and John Matthews will liaise on this issue.

Hanging Times for Turkeys

Noted: DA summarised the background to this matter and DA and JK have both spoken to Paul Kelly about the issue. JK also elaborated on the New York Dressing process. DO’M confirmed that he had contacted Kelly’s also, but they were not very forthcoming with information. A discussion took place about hanging times and temperatures. The Artisan Forum raised the issue of derogation for small producers and they will look into this suggestion in more detail.

Action: JK referred to an article in the current edition of Poultry World and DO’M will check this out. CF also agreed to check out poultry issues for JK. JK agreed to prepare a proposal for what he would like the FSAI to do about the matter and DO’M and JK would liaise on this issue after this meeting.

Tour of ACBI Facility at Teagasc

Action: EL will try to arrange for the next meeting of the Artisan Forum to take place at Teagasc/ACBI so that members can tour the ACBI facilities.


Action: WA will try to get the document with LEADER progressed. He will also contact LEADER to enquire if the funding issues have been resolved.

4. Results of SME Food Businesses

Noted: WA presented a summary of some of the findings of the survey of small to medium food businesses recently carried out by Research Perspective on behalf of the FSAI. Included in his presentation was:
• Background;
• Profile of the responding businesses and business types;
• Profile of the responding businesses and number of employees;
• Affiliation of inspectors;
• Perceptions of the FSAI and fairness;
• Experience of most recent food inspection;
• Difficulty associated with compliance;
• Reasons for difficulty with compliance;
• Impressions of the inspector;
• Analysis of how supporter the inspector was;
• Awareness and experience of the appeal process;
• Perceptions of consistency;
• Knowledge of appeal and who to appeal to;
• Food safety compliance and its impact on SME;
• Impact of Government regulation on food businesses;
• Perceived benefits of food safety regulation;
• Negative impacts of food safety standards;
• Negative impacts vs. positive benefits;
• Awareness and use of FSAI services by food businesses;
• Awareness and use of FSAI website;
• Awareness of website and advice line.

Action: A link to the entire survey findings is on the FSAI website and EL will circulate it to the members for information. A copy of the presentation was circulated at the meeting to the members.

Noted: Discussions about the consistency of inspections took place and DGD elaborated on the approach generally taken by Environmental Health Officers. Additional discussions took place on the subject of derogations for small businesses and WA clarified some issues here and explained the process involved.

Action: DGD referred to a website that would be useful in this regard and EL will circulate it to the members. http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biosafety/hygienelegislation/docs/faq_all_business_en.pdf  

5. Marketing Terms on Labels

Noted: The Consumers Association of Ireland (CAI) carried out a recent survey on marketing terms on labels. WA contacted the CAI and requested that they include a question about the use of the phrase artisan and this was included. The results of the survey will be available on the CAI website in the near future.

Action: There is currently no legislation for these marketing terms and WA and RO’R will start to prepare some guidelines on this subject matter.

Noted: The subject provided much debate and there were several queries. AMB agreed to revert to SB regarding her query about the use of Latin names/terms on labels.

6. New Labelling Legislation

Noted: AMB provided the members with the most up-to-date developments on this new legislation. The main points covered were:

  • The full title of the legislation;
  • The definition of food information;
  • Outlined the key changes;
  • Application of general provisions;
  • Nutrition declaration application;
  • Country of origin update.

Noted: A copy of the presentation was distributed at the meeting for information. The presentation was followed by several discussions and queries about the issue of country of origin labelling; nutritional labelling and the use of accredited labs vs. the use of unaccredited labs.

Action: RO’R will raise this new legislation at the next Taste Council meeting. It was noted that this issue should also be flagged by Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture. FSAI confirmed that it is preparing a leaflet on this and a seminar on the topic will take place in November. The issue of substantial transformation was also discussed and this issue will be looked into by the survey which recently went to tender.

7. Consistency Meeting in FSAI

Noted: DGD invited DA to attend a meeting of the Consistency WG which took place earlier in the year. DA provided an update of the agenda items discussed at the meeting which included:

  • Use of pre-prepared vegetables;
  • Use of plastic chopping boards vs. wooden chopping boards;
  • FSAI’s name and shame policy;
  • Archiving of Rapid Alerts;
  • Different interpretation of legislation throughout the country;
  • Using mediators during disputes between enforcement officers and food business operators;
  • Personality clashes between food business operators and enforcement officers;
  • Enforcement officers being mindful to recommend the least expensive corrective action to food business operators;
  • The use of stainless steel counters vs. Formica counters;
  • The use of antibacterial wipes etc;
  • The need for a consistency WG in DAFM.

Action: The Executive Management Group will discuss the length of time rapid alerts should be archived. RO’R suggested three years seems to be the standard.

Action: DA contacted M Byrne in DAFM with a view to trying to arrange a consistency WG within the Department. There currently is not one, but MB will try to arrange a meeting of relevant people with DA. DA will keep the members updated of progress. It was also noted that DGD and DA are liaising on several issues in the FSAI.

8. Teagasc Update

Noted: CF outlined some of the events that Teagasc have organised and that would be suitable for the Artisan Forum members. CF will forward EL with a list of the events and confirmed dates and times and these will be forwarded to the members. DA stressed the need for a poultry instructor as the current one has retired.

Action: CF will supply DA with the name of the relevant person with whom the issue of a poultry advisor/instructress could be discussed.

9. Artisan Forum Membership

Noted: Letters have been sent to all the members that have not attended a meeting of the Artisan Forum for some time enquiring if they wish to remain a member. When the members revert to the FSAI, new members can be considered.

10. Correspondence

Noted: There was no correspondence.

11. AOB

Food Tourism

Noted: DL raised this issue and explained the background – e.g. pubs serving food and issues they have encountered with enforcement officers. It was suggested that the Vintners’ Association nominate a member to join the Food Service Forum in order that this can be discussed in more detail. DGD will liaise with DL and DA in order to progress this matter

Action: EL to contact Vintners’ Association to nominate a member to join the Food Service Forum.

12. Date of Next Meeting

Noted: EL will circulate a doodle poll to arrange a date for the meeting which will most likely be in November 2012.

Last reviewed: 27/6/2018

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