Consultative Council Meeting Minutes - 20 January 2014

Minutes of the Meeting of the Food Safety Consultative Council on 20 January 2014 in the Clarion, IFSC

Members Present

Ms Veronica Campbell (Chair), [VC]
Mr Cormac Healy, [CH]
Ms Paula Mee [PM]
Mr Martin Roper, [MR]
Ms Sinead Finnegan, [SF]
Mr Dermott Jewell, [DJ]
Ms Breda Raggett, [BR]
Mr Ray Bowe, [RB]
Ms Maree Gallagher [MG]
Ms Margaret Leahy [ML]
Mr Tim O’Brien [TO’B]

Apologies for Absence

Dr Susanne Boyd [SB]
Ms Paula Mee [PM]

In Attendance

Mr Raymond Ellard [RE]
Ms Eileen Lippert [EL]
Ms Gail Carroll [GC]
Ms Dorothy Guina Dornan [DGD]
Ms Olive Ryan [OR] 

 1. Agree minutes of meeting of 17 October 2013

The minutes of the meeting of September 2013 were approved subject to one amendment.

2. Matters arising

  • Hepatitis E in pigs - RE had contacted CH directly
  • Labelling of foods packaged in store - a brief summary of the current national rules and future changes was distributed to the members for information.


3. Review of the Open Meeting

The members’ views of the last open meeting were sought. It was agreed that the meeting was excellent and one of the best to date.  It was thought however that the number of panellists did not afford each sufficient opportunity to contribute equally given the time constraints. For future meetings, it was suggested that the audience could be asked to submit questions in advance. Members asked that more effort be made to market the meeting to consumers, accepting that holding the event in Dublin does attract a bigger attendance.  Future meetings should have a theme which would prove more attractive to the general consumer rather than industry or other stakeholders.   FSAI was asked to invite the ICA to future meetings. Subject to the availability of the members the next Open Meeting will take place in November.

Action: EL to obtain the attendance list from the last meeting and email it to the members.

4. FSAI Update

RE provided the FSAI update and the main points were:

  • Despite there being no new cases in Ireland, the source of HAV in frozen, imported berries has still not been found,  so the boil notice is still in operation. 
  • A recall of cooked mussels
  • Sale of counterfeit vodka
  • FSAI received approval for 15 posts mainly to replace posts vacated and left unfilled
  • One of the members had a query about antibiotic resistance and the development of resistance to disinfectants and cleaning agents.


5. Analysis of Enforcement Activity – Gail Carroll, FSAI

RE introduced GC, a manager in the Service Contracts Division of the FSAI. She gave a presentation on the use of legal enforcement procedures, including closure orders, mainly by the Environmental Health Service (EHS) of the HSE.  In her presentation she outlined the food control wok of the EHS, including the basis for risk categorisation and inspection frequency.  She noted that 119 businesses were closed in 119, a 31% increase in enforcement orders from 2012.  She explained the powers available and the circumstances in which closure orders can be issued, which are contained in pieces of legislation.  Almost 90% of HSE supervised food businesses are in the service and retail sectors and 90% of enforcements are in the service and retail sectors. Ms Carroll also analysed the trends within the closure orders over the past number of years and explained the possible reasons for these.

There was much discussion after the presentation and the queries were dealt with by DGD and RE.  DGD elaborated on the advantages and disadvantages of the two pieces of legislation at the disposal of the HSE.   There was a query about the number of businesses that are unregistered and but this is an unknown figure. The registration process was explained and it was clarified that it is not an approval process and food businesses do not need to display proof of its registration.   There was discussion as to how the HSE categorises establishments for risk. There was a question as to how closure numbers in Ireland compare to other EU members, but no such information is available

Agreed/Action: FSAI will further analyse the data to try to determine the main reasons for closures including any in the ethnic restaurant sector, and provide a report at a future meeting.

Agreed: The issue of enforcement orders to be included on the agenda of a future meeting.

6. Correspondence

There was no correspondence.

7. AOB

There was no other business.

8. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the FSCC will take place on 26 March 2014.


Last reviewed: 1/5/2014

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