Having just published its annual report for 2002, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has outlined a number of key issues it hopes to concentrate on in the 2003/2004 period.
Pat Caulfield, Chairman of the Food Safety Consultative Council, stated that the Council's objective was to provide feedback to the FSAI on the views, opinions and recommendations from the group, in order to outline the key priorities for the future.
"Our priorities for 2003/2004 include highlighting the importance of the safety/quality of drinking water supplies; promoting a food labelling system that best protects consumer health and interests; assisting the FSAI in lobbying for the remit of on-farm food safety activities to cover the entire food chain and promoting the need for increased research and information on the potential benefits of reducing acrylamide in our food supply," he said.
The Council also announced details of its second Open Council Meeting, which is taking place on the 13th November in Maryborough House Hotel, Cork and is open to members of the public and interested parties. It will provide an opportunity for people to raise concerns, issues or queries on food safety issues.
The 2002 report of the Consultative Council details its work during the year. It highlights a number of areas the Council discussed and commissioned reports on. These include a number of food related issues including Johne's disease in cattle; commissioning data on attitudes of consumers and the food industry to food safety; the quality of public and private water supplies and discussing the issue of artisan/small producers and the obstacles to developing a food business in relation to food safety regulations.
The FSAI's Consultative Council was established in mid 2001. It meets quarterly and comprises 22 members representing a broad range of interests drawn from all sectors of the food industry and consumers. It acts as a forum for debate on food safety issues and provides input to the FSAI Board's agenda. The Council through the course of its meetings examines segments of the food chain from farm to fork to review the food safety initiatives already in place and those required to ensure consumers' interests are to the forefront.
The FSAI publishes the minutes of its Consultative Council meetings on www.fsai.ie.