Consultative Council Meeting Minutes - 23 January 2013

Meeting of the Food Safety Consultative Council Date & Venue: 23 January 2013 at 11:00 in the FSAI boardroom 

Members Present

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

Apologies for Absence

Ms Margaret Leahy [ML]
Dr Susanne Boyd, [SB]
Ms Paula Mee, [PM]

In Attendance

Mr Raymond Ellard, [RE]
Ms Eileen Lippert, [EL]
Ms Deirdre Webb, [DW]
Mr John Matthews [JM]
Mr Alan Reilly [AR]

1. Update from Alan Reilly

Alan Reilly welcomed all the members to the meeting. He spoke about the article in today’s Irish Times about the Board (or lack thereof) of the FSAI. He explained that the Board is a non-executive board and while it is important from the point of view of corporate governance, it does not prevent the FSAI from operating and handling the current situation surrounding horse DNA in frozen beef burgers.

He then proceeded to give the members the background to the horse DNA issue and clarified the issue and timelines. He confirmed that the source of the contamination is still being sought. The matter of setting tolerance levels was raised and the FSAI was in agreement that discussions will have to take place between all the relevant stakeholders.

AR also stated that retailers themselves decided to take frozen burgers off shelves. This was not requested by the FSAI and the issue is not considered a food safety issue in Europe. It was confirmed that the samples were tested for ‘bute’ and were negative. Discussions also took place regarding the repercussions of the situation and what penalties if any the offending parties will receive. One member however, put things into perspective and stated that Campylobacter is a bigger, more serious food safety issue than horse DNA in burgers.

2. Agree Minutes of Meeting of 20th November 2012

The minutes of the meeting of 20th November were approved subject to two amendments.

3. Matters Arising

The FSAI encounters some glitches regarding the issuing of passwords to the members for e-learning. This will be rectified as soon as possible and the passwords will be issued.

4. Presentation from Deirdre Webb – Irish Grain & Feed Assoc.

Deirdre Webb, director of the Irish Grain and Feed Association was introduced to the members and gave a presentation which provided information about:

  • Structure of the industry
  • The input to Irish farms
  • EU feed volumes
  • Ireland being a ruminant system
  • The main feed importers of feed materials to Ireland
  • The main importers of additives and pre-mix to Ireland
  • The main feed manufacturers in Ireland
  • The most salient feed legislation
  • The raison d’être
  • The importance of supplier control on a global level
  • The provenance of feed
  • Risk based equivalent schemes 2000
  • Equivalence across EU feed sector 1999-2011
  • Feed legislation code of practice
  • Where to find information on the DAFM website
  • Risk profiles of various feeds on IGFA website
  • Monthly RASFF website with notes
  • Various issues pertinent to feed
  • Implementation
  • Feed material consumption by 27 nations in the EU in 2011

There were questions during the presentation which DW handled. It was clarified that Ireland has adopted and adapted the UK system and that IGFA is not in favour of a new feed scheme due to lack of resources. There were other queries following the presentation and these were all dealt with by DW.

5. FSAI Perspective on Animal Feed – John Matthews, FSAI

JM thanked DW for the informative presentation and acknowledged how complex and complicated the topic is. He acknowledged that ‘carry over’ is a problem but it is legislated for. He pointed out Ireland has one competent authority for feed unlike hundreds in the UK where local authorities regulate the industry. He was in agreement with a comment made by DW about the need for senior management of the feed businesses to have a better understanding and knowledge of HACCP and safety and other related issues.

6. Update from the Open Meeting Sub-group

R Ellard provided an update on this and explained that the meeting had to be changed to the 14th March in the Radisson on Golden Lane. The theme of the meeting will be ‘Who is responsible for what we eat – you or the Government?” The plan is to have three speakers and then to lead into a panel and then open up the discussion to the floor with the use of voting buttons. Prof. Mike Gibney was approached to speak but unfortunately is unavailable on the date. The m embers of the FSCC suggested that Paula Mee should be invited to speak and it was suggested that there should be someone from big industry included to the speaker list as the others are all from the artisan sector at the moment. The following have been invited and accepted:
Alan Reilly, FSAI
Ciaran Murphy of Murphy’s ice-cream
Kevin Sheridan – Sheridan’s cheese mongers
Orlaith Blaney – McCann Erickson advertising agency
Suzanne Campbell, food writer/journalist will chair

Action: Members were asked to email their suggestions for speakers as soon as possible, especially anyone who is of the view that it is up to an individual what they eat.

8. FSAI Update

The FSAI update was given at the beginning of the meeting by Alan Reilly.

9. Correspondence

There was no correspondence

10. Any Other Business

There was no other business.


11. Dates for Meetings in 2013

The following dates were agreed:

  • May 21st at 11:00 in FSAI
  • October 1st at 11:00 in FSAI
  • December 3rd at 11:00 in FSAI 


Last reviewed: 6/6/2013

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