Consultative Council Meeting Minutes - 14 December 2016

Members Present: 

  • Veronica Campbell (Chair), [VC]
  • Susanne Boyd [SB],
  • Cormac Healy [CH] 
  • Sinead Finnegan [SF]
  • Martin Roper [MR]
  • Tim O’Brien [TOB]
  • Margaret Leahy [ML]
  • Breda Raggett [BR]
  • Pat Daly [PD]
  • Paula Mee [PM] 
  • Maree Gallagher [MG]
  • Brendan Kehoe [BK]

FSAI Staff in Attendance: 

  • Mike Gibney [MG] 
  • Pamela Byrne [PB] 
  • Raymond Ellard [RE] 
  • Eileen Lippert [EL]
  • Lisa O’Connor [LOC] 
Apologies: 

  •  Ray Bowe[RB]
  • Dermott Jewell [DJ] 
  • Donal Maguire[DM] 
  • Una Fitzgibbon[UF] 
  • Dorothy Guina Dornan [DGD]

1. Welcome

The Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting.

2. Minutes of previous meeting 

The minutes of the meeting of23rd November were approved subject to minor typographical amendments. 

3. Matters Arising

SB invited the members to contact her should they have any comments or require any clarifications on the distance learning course on global food security that she is developing in Queens’s University in Belfast. 

4. FSAI updates

RE provided a brief update on recent events; these included:

  • A food borne outbreak of suspected norovirus at a hotel in Cavan. The outbreak is in the process of being investigated.
  • A suspected case of botulism in a tourist to Ireland is being investigated. Irish food is not thought to be involved. 
  • The Authority has received a number of complaints regarding the labelling of fish. RE confirmed that all complaints are followed-up. He encouraged the members to contact the FSAI if they come across misleading labelling and providing a photograph as back-up would be very useful. Some discussion took place on misleading labelling the members have observed. 

5. Antimicrobial Resistance – Dr Lisa O’Connor, FSAI

LOC gave a short presentation to the members to make them aware of the current situation in relation to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The main points of the presentation included: 

  • Antimicrobial resistance is not about superbugs, but about people’s behaviours.
  • The need to reduce use –in both humans and animals
  • To encourage more prudent use through
    • agreeing goals, with incentives/penalties
    • education and training 
    • safe disposal of unused antibiotics
    • national prescribing guidelines for vets
    • improved diagnostics
  • Improved surveillance of antibiotic use, based on use rather than sales 
  • Improved surveillance of AMR:
    • at pre and post-harvest stages of food chain;
    • in food of animal and non-animal origin and
    • in imported and domestic food.
  • Some recent national measures/responses 
  • EU and WHO/FAO response
  • Why action is needed
  • Potential deaths from AMR in 2050 

Action: EL will circulate a copy of the presentation to the members for information.

There were several questions following the presentation, all of which were addressed by LOC. Some of
these related to:

  • Training and development available
  • Issues surrounding self-medicating
  • Farmers’ use of antibiotics
  • Cost of antibiotic use
  • Increase in queries in the market place
  • Need for increased resources in pig and poultry housing
  • Some issues encountered in N. Ireland
  • Issues relating to data on antibiotic use
  • Lack of legislation regarding antibiotic use in companion animals

6. A review of the FSCC

RE gave a short summary of the highlights of the FSCC’s term. He thanked the Council for bringing
awareness to the FSAI of a variety of issues. He advised the members that the FSAI regards the advice of the
FSCC very highly. Discussions took place on some of the issues that the FSCC highlighted.

7. AOB 

The new food pyramid was raised and discussed and during the course of the debate, PB advised the members that FSAI will be revising its healthy eating guidelines for health care professionals. 

There was also a query about food consumption databases and this issue was discussed. FSAI explained that these databases are vital to the work in the FSAI and that the Authority tries to encourage investment in such studies. 

As this was the last meeting of this iteration of the FSCC, VC remarked on how she enjoyed chairing the meetings and commented on the improvements in the Open Meetings. She thanked everyone for their contributions and wished everyone well and hoped that paths would cross in the future. 

The FSAI CEO congratulated VC and the FSCC for being such excellent ambassadors for the FSAI and for raising so many issues with the Authority. 

The FSAI Chairman also was very appreciative of the Council and he added that he would like greater, more formal association between the FSAI Board, the FSCC and the Scientific Committee and that during his term as Chairman of the FSAI Board he is committed to encouraging stronger links for the future.

Last reviewed: 11/12/2017

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