Category Archives: News

Swiss Chefs Savour Irish Beef on Trip to Ireland

This week, Bord Bia is hosting seven Irish beef loving Swiss chefs and two food journalists on a nationwide tour of the country.

The aim is to showcase Ireland’s beef industry and build on Ireland’s positive image in Switzerland as the home of quality, traceable and sustainably produced food.

The chefs are members of the Swiss branch of Bord Bia`s Chefs` Irish Beef Club, which brings together Michelin star and other renowned chefs who promote and use Irish beef in high-end restaurants.

As ‘Irish beef’ brand ambassadors, these award-winning chefs assist Bord Bia in driving the premium image of Irish beef along with other Irish food and beverages across key markets.

As part of a two day tailored itinerary taking in Waterford and Tipperary, the group visited Eddie Keane’s beef farm in Youghal,  Harty’s Oysters in Dungarvan and toured ABP’s slaughtering and deboning facility in Cahir.  They also saw at first hand the practical benefits of Bord Bia`s Quality Assurance Schemes and Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme.

Arno Sgier, who owns the Michelin starred Restaurant Traube in Trimbach summed up the Swiss chefs’ view of Irish beef, saying “the fact that the animals are grass fed and the production is sustainable, has a positive effect on quality and taste and above all, consistency“.

The other chefs making up the “Magnificent Seven” were, Thierry Marcel Fischer (Schlosshotel, Binningen),  Markus Gass (Adler *, Hurden), Dominique Lambelet (Paste Ines), Urs Keller (Kongresshaus, Zürich), Heinz Rufibach (Cuisinier, Zermatt) and Tobias Funke (Zur Fernsicht, Heiden).

Bord Bia’s Nicolas Ranninger who accompanied the group said that Switzerland is a small and complex market with specific requirements and legislation for imported food. Ireland exported approximately 2,000 tonnes of beef in 2014.

He added; “Ireland enjoys an excellent reputation for the quality of its meat, with exports worth over €26 million in 2014.

“Initiatives such as the Chefs’ Irish Beef Club allow renowned chefs meet the Irish producers and understand what differentiates our products and is essential to maintaining and growing our reputation in this lucrative market”.

Seventeen Enforcement Orders Served on Food Businesses in Ireland

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported that 16 Closure Orders and one Prohibition Order were served on food businesses during the month of July for breaches of food safety legislation.

The Enforcement Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive.

Nine Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Mad Cow Milkshakes, Burgers & Kebabs (take away), 1 Annamoe Road, Cabra, Dublin 7
  • Bay Fish and Chips (restaurant), Main Street, Liscannor, Clare
  • Molloys (public house), 59 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
  • Casa De Burritos (restaurant), Unit C, Woodquay, Ennis, Clare
  • Rockin Joe’s (restaurant), 115 O’Connell St, Limerick
  • The Ice Box – Balbriggan (off licence), Castlemill Shopping Centre, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, County Dublin
  • Spring Chinese Restaurant, 83 Main Street, Mallow, Cork
  • The Crescent View Restaurant, Crescent Quay, Wexford
  • CFM Catering Limited (food packers), Knockhouse, Gracedieu, Waterford

Seven Closure Orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • Tropicway Wholesale/Retail (grocery) (closed activity: decanting, blending & packaging of foodstuffs in the first floor room), 9-10 Academy Street, Navan, Meath (first of two Closure Orders served on Tropicway Wholesale/Retail in July) 
  • Tropicway Wholesale/Retail (grocery), 9-10 Academy Street, Navan, Meath (second of two Closure Orders served on Tropicway Wholesale/Retail in July)
  • Lisa’s Trattoria (restaurant), 81 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin 6W
  • Castlemill Roma Take Away, Unit 7, Castlemill Shopping Centre, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, County Dublin
  • La Trattoria (restaurant), Stone Court, Roscommon Town, Roscommon
  • Blackwater Lodge Hotel (closed activity: all food preparation and service activities in and from the kitchen and ancillary areas), The Square, Blackwater, Enniscorthy, Wexford
  • Jojo’s Chinese Restaurant, 104 Parnell Street, Dublin 1

One Prohibition Order was served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Gary Creaven Fish Sales (wholesaler), Menlo, Galway

Commenting on the high level of Enforcement Orders served in July, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI expressed her disappointment at the lack of vigilance by some owners in ensuring their food businesses are fit for purpose and fully compliant with food safety legislation.

“While the majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, unfortunately we continue to encounter cases where consumers’ health is put at risk through a failure to comply with food safety and hygiene requirements” she said.

“These breaches are completely avoidable when food businesses have proper food safety management systems in place.

“Food safety must be paramount.  This requires greater focus to safeguard against standards slipping and to ensure that food served is safe to eat.”

(Image via Food Safety Authority of Ireland)

West Cork Distillers launches Irish whiskey in conjunction with The Pogues

West Cork Distillers has launched an Irish whiskey developed in conjunction with The Pogues.

A collaboration between two of the world’s most renowned distillers, Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy, the whiskey is a blend of grain and 50% single malt Irish whiskey making it Ireland’s highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey.

“We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,” says John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.

“The Pogues offer a perfect partnership as they share many of the same values as our company such as an independent spirit, a slightly unorthodox approach and a commitment to quality, as well as success on the international stage.”

Commenting on the partnership, The Pogues said: “It’s been brilliant working with such experts to come up with a whiskey that we all think speaks of us and that we all like the taste of.

“It’s mind-blowing to think that we will have our band represented through such a great Irish whiskey and we hope it stands the test of time.”

The whiskey has an aroma of malt, cracked nuts, almond and a slight sweetness and its smooth intensity delivers a palate that is malty and floral with a mild chocolate taste and lingering citrus.

Shellfish warning issued for food businesses

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) together with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), has reminded food businesses to only purchase live bivalve molluscs, such as mussels, from suppliers that are approved by the SFPA to place live shellfish on the market for human consumption.

This advice follows the seizure by SFPA officers of five tonnes of mussels which had been harvested illegally in the East Ferry area of Cork Harbour.

This area is currently closed for the harvesting of mussels due to the presence of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxins, which can cause serious illness.

A member of the public observed a person sorting bags of mussels on the shore in the East Ferry area of Cork Harbour and contacted the SFPA.

From the quantities involved and their investigations, the Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers believed it was likely the mussels were intended for sale for human consumption in the Cork area and, as a result of the associated health concerns, they confiscated the shellfish.

Susan Steele, Chair of SFPA, said: “The Irish shellfish industry has world-class systems in place to ensure that consumers worldwide can enjoy Irish seafood safely. When individuals ignore these systems they threaten public health and undermine the excellent reputation that Irish seafood enjoys”.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI added: “These mussels would have posed a risk to human health if they had made it into the food chain”.

Any food business that may have concerns about their shellfish supplier or the traceability documentation provided by them, should contact the SFPA at 023 885 9300

(Lead image via Sea Fisheries Protection Authority)

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Nine enforcement orders served on Irish food business in June

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported that eight Closure Orders and one Prohibition Order were served on food businesses last month for breaches of food safety legislation.

Two Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Shanghai House, 13 Upper Cork Street, Mitchelstown, Cork
  • Mr Wong, 81 Main Street, Cavan

Six Closure Orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • D Limit African & European Restaurant, 61A Ballybough Road, Dublin 3
  • Posh Nosh, 1 Millstream, Moorehall, Ardee, Louth (Two Closure Orders were served on Posh Nosh in June)
  • “Fish & Chips” catering trailer, Main Street, Roundfort, Hollymount, Mayo
  • Pearl River, 62 Phibsborough Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
  • Hotel Curracloe (activity closed: all food preparation and service activities in and from the kitchen and ancillary areas), Curracloe, Enniscorthy, Wexford

One Prohibition Order was served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • Cumiskey’s, 463 Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7

During the month of June, a successful prosecution was carried out by the Health Service Executive against Bimdoc Cash and Carry, Business Centre, Jamestown Business Park, Jamestown Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.

The Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive.

(Generic Lead image via Wikimedia Commons/Hallwyl Museum / Jens Mohr / CC BY-SA)

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New agri-food strategy aims to create 23,000 jobs by 2025

A new 10-year strategy aimed at the agri-food sector has been launched by the Department of Agriculture.

Food Wise 2025 aims to increase exports in Ireland by 85% to €19bn and create 23,000 jobs.

Crafted over the past eight months by a selection of leading figures, the new initiative predicts that Ireland can increase its value in the agri-food, fisheries and wood products sector by 70% to in excess of €13 billion.

With a focus on sustainable growth, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney said that Food Wise 2025 “sets out a vision for the industry to continue along this path of sustainable growth and recognises the strategic importance of specific market and consumer insights if emerging global opportunities are to be fully realised in the decade ahead”.

He concluded by saying “I am committed to putting in place a robust implementation process to monitor progress and deliver on the ambitious projections in the report”.

With over 350 recommendations, the initiative states that to achieve this, it will require a concerted and coordinated approach by primary producers, industry, Departments and State agencies.

Though there was a buzz online about the strategy, it was also noted that seemed to be a lack of balance on the committee with only 8 of the 35 people involved being women:

In tandem with publication of the report, the draft Environmental Analysis of Food Wise 2025 is now available online for an eight week public consultation until August 28th.

It is expected that Final Report of the Environmental Analysis will be presented to the Minister this September.

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(Lead image via Local Roots Global Reach video from Food Wise)

“Food for Life” the theme for this year’s jam-packed Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic

A homage to all things gastronomic, “Food for Life!” will be the theme at this year’s Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic.

Taking place at Stradbally from September 4th – 6th, the designated food area will host a wide array of activities including food demos, wine tasting, mixology demos, debates, food sampling and more.

Describing the Theatre of Food as a great melting pot and meeting place for Ireland’s most talented foodies, Sally McKenna of the McKenna Guides said; “It is always a great privilege to bring together the best chefs, artisans and food professionals to work towards putting on a spectacular food event in such an enjoyable setting”.

Two family pairings will highlight the central theme to the event; The Happy Pear’s David & Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear, and Domini & Peaches Kemp. The sibling sets will each demo recipes to help you feel and look better to live to healthier lifestyle.

With contributions from acclaimed chefs and Ireland’s leading food writers, the Theatre of Food will also present hands-on workshops teaching various forgotten skills like making raw milk cheese, butter, fermented food, gluten-free foods and even a taco workshop.

For those who are more beverage-inclined, Electric Picnickers will have the opportunity to hear from craft brewers, the Brown Paper Bag Project, experience a wine, beer and chocolate tasting from two of Ireland’s leading wine experts, John Wilson and Leslie Williams. As well as that, Oisin Davis will be talking about mixology and whiskey and there will be a very special cocktail demo from Shannen Butler-Keane.

“Design in Food” is a feature of this year’s Picnic and food design elements include food stylist Johan van de Merwe, modern Irish chef skills from JP McMahon and a frozen CO2 display that turns beer into ice cream from Judith and Susan Boyle.

This year, since music is a massive part of the festival, food writer and former Hot Press rock journalist, John McKenna is presenting Let Music Be Your Food with Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press, Kevin O’Toole from Dublin’s Chameleon, Niall Toner of the Sunday Times, TV chef Gary O’Hanlon, Shannen Butler-Keane and front-of-house’s Bridget Healy.

Theatre of Food takes place in the Mindfield area of Electric Picnic. The event is curated by McKennas’ Guides, and produced by VSC Events. Sound exciting? See more of the programme’s breakdown on SpilltheBeans here.

(Images via Theatre of Food on Facebook)

New agency DigitalFood.ie to help food and beverage businesses grow

A new food and drink focused agency, DigitalFood.ie, has been launched in Ireland.

The brainchild of Conor Lynch, CEO of Connector.ie, the new agency hopes to help Irish food and drinks companies with their domestic and international growth strategies.

“We believe that we have the perfect digital solutions for food marketers at established brands, SMEs and food start-ups”, said Lynch.

“We are here to help and advise on how to build their brands, raise awareness and drive sales”.

DigitalFood.ie offers a number of services including food branding, storytelling, content marketing, digital strategy and social media and current clients include SonyFood.ie, Nature’s Best, l’Ecrivain and Cooks Academy.

The new agency has also produced a marketing book which outlines its services called The World’s Most Delicious Digital Marketing Cookbook.

(Lead image via DigitalFood.ie’s Facebook page)

Locally-sourced market-style food to be served up in Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1

A new market-style project is underway at Dublin’s Terminal 1 bringing over 80 new jobs to the airport.

The food and beverage dining area is currently under construction and will be accessible after the security screening, reports the Irish Independent.

The “Marquette” is expected to open in August of this year catering to 260 people and will be serving locally-sourced produce.

According to Dublin Airport’s food and beverage manager Brendan Dee, the Marquette will have an “earthly, rustic setting” with service operating from 5am to the last flight time.

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(Image via Dublin Airport on Facebook)

The new dining area is part of the ongoing €8 million redevelopment of retail inside T1.

The project has now moved onto its recruitment phase and is currently looking for staff including chefs, kitchen porters, restaurant and bar staff.

Recruitment open days will be held in the Maldron Hotel, Dublin Airport from 12pm to 8pm Thursday, 25th June. Email hr@marqette.com for more details

(Lead image via Wikimedia Commons/Marek Ślusarczyk)

€1.32bn deal sees Moy Park sold to world’s largest meat-packing company

Northern Ireland’s biggest private employer Moy Park, has been sold in a deal worth €1.32bn.

According to The Irish Times, the Brazilian company Marfrig has sold its Craigavon-based poultry producer to rival company JBS, in order to pay down debt.

JBS is the world’s biggest meatpacker, which has operations in Brazil and processing plants across the United States, South America, Canada, Mexico and Australia.

Marfrig currently employs 8,500 people in Northern Ireland and as part of the JBS deal will acquire Walsh Family Foods, maker of Dublin delicacy, the spice burger.

The deal which requires approval from European antitrust regulators, will see JBS pay €1.05bn in cash and take on Moy Park’s debts.

It’s expected that the deal will be concluded by the end of the year.

(Lead image via Moy Park Facebook page)