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Junior Cert Resource Pack On Reducing Food Waste

Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland publishes Junior Cert resource pack on reducing food waste to tackle climate change.

The EPA have produced an educational resource pack to support over 20,000 Junior Certificate students to learn about sustainable living through the Home Economics curriculum.

Reducing food waste is one of the most effective actions we can take to address climate change. The resource pack is to be used by Home Economics teachers to engage students on food waste prevention. The pack supports the new Junior Cycle Curriculum and is available to all post-primary schools across the country. You can download the RESOURCE PACK HERE.

Ms Laura Burke, (EPA Director General), has statedsaid:
With over 200,000 tonnes of food waste generated in Irish homes every year, it is clear that we need to change how we manage our food from shopping – to storage – to cooking. The participation of teachers in the development of this resource ensures that it is of a high standard and relevant to the curriculum.”

The pack is a valuable resource for Home Economics Teachers and provides information and tools to teach students about food waste prevention and its important link to climate change. The pack contains an introduction for teachers; posters & handouts with attractive images and activity pages on planning & grocery shopping, food storage, cooking & preserving.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Mr Richard Bruton T.D has welcomed the resource, stating:

“Managing our resources properly is crucial to securing a better, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. We know that 70% of food waste is avoidable and that this costs Irish households approximately €700 per year and contributes significantly to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This resource is a useful tool for teachers and will help students understand the importance of reducing food waste. It includes a number of practical steps, such as planning meals, making shopping lists, using proper storage methods etc, that students can apply in their own lives.

More broadly, we must do more to bring climate action into the classroom. Curriculum must reflect the importance of this issue and promote informed understanding. The Climate Action Plan commits to the development of new short course on climate action for Junior Cycle. It is crucial that our young people are informed and engage with, what is the biggest challenge of their generation.”

Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh TD has also welcomed the resource:

“Educating our students about Sustainable Development is key to ensuring responsible citizenship into the future. This resource promotes the active participation by young people in preventing food waste, which will positively impact on us, our children and future generations.”

Speaking at the launch of the resource at the annual conference of the Association for Home Economics Teachers, Ms Amanda McCloat (Head of the Home Economics Department at St. Angela’s College) said:

“This is a very useful resource for teachers. We are delighted to have been involved in the review process. Home Economics education empowers students with practical food literacy skills which are essential in helping to combat the problem of food waste.”

The resource was developed through the EPA-led Local Authority Prevention Network and is a collaboration between Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Roscommon County Council, Mayo County Council, VOICE Ireland and St. Angela’s College, Sligo.


FSAI Recall Celtic Pure Bottled Water Products

We understand that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) have again issued a recall of Celtic Pure bottled water products, due to microbiological contamination.

The Irish watchdog’s second recall of products comes after batches of Celtic Pure Water were pulled from shelves on Monday last, after they were found to contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Enterococci and E. coli bacteria.

Today it was confirmed that further bacteria had been detected in other additional batches. Again, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococci or E. coli bacteria were detected in implicated batches.

It should be noted that Pseudomonas aeruginosa poses a serious risk to people whose immune system has been severely compromised e.g. transplants or chemotherapy patients. The Enterococci and E. coli, contamination indicates that the bottled water has interacted with some faecal material.

The brands in question relate to Celtic Pure Still and Sparkling waters, contained in one-litre; two-litre; five-litre; 19 litre and 500ml containers. Find link to the affected brands and points of purchase HERE.

People who have already purchased the affected product are being advised not to consume same.


Easy & Nutritious Gluten Free Vegetable Soup

The temperate season of Autumn, marking the transition from summer to winter begins officially this month, on September 23rd.

Here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary already the duration of our daylight has become noticeably shorter and our temperatures have cooled down considerably.

With ravenous children returning home, often wet and cold, from schools, and parents similarly returning from their workplace, the time is here once again for that delicious bowl of nourishing, cheery, warming home-made soup.

This delicious gluten free nourishing soup recipe, shown hereunder, serves 8 persons at a cost of less than €0.50c per generous portion.

Note: Forget your sachet packets of powdered Cup-A Soup etc., as all ingredients are available, fresh daily, from Dunnes Stores, in Thurles Shopping Centre.

1 Large Potato.
1 Onion.
1 Leek.
1 Generous Knob of Butter
1 Bunch of Celery
2500 ml vegetable stock (We suggest Knorr’s Gluten Free Vegetable Stock Pot).
1 Head of Broccoli
6 Carrots
[You can of course substitute Broccoli / Carrots etc. with similar amounts of other vegetables. Experiment with your favourite vegetables or whatever fresh vegetables you have left available. You could try adding parsnip, swede, cauliflower, sweetcorn or peas.]

(1) In a large pot, melt the butter on a medium – low heat.
(2) Chop the onion, potato and leek and add them to the pot. Stir around for 1 minute or so, then cover with a lid and allow to sweat for 10 minutes.
(3) Chop up your remaining ingredients.
(4) Prepare your vegetable stock as per instructions.
(5) Then add your remaining ingredients and prepared stock to the pot.
(6) Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are deemed tender.
(7) Use a stick blender to blitz the soup to a chunky or indeed a smooth consistency. (Whatever is your preference).

On serving, add salt or pepper to taste, or try a little cream.


TD Michael Lowry Calls For Solution To Beef Crisis

Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry pictured here with protesting farmers outside the ABP beef processing plant in Nenagh, North Co.Tipperary.

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry has called on all parties involved in the escalating beef dispute, to find a resolution to this current impasse, which is creating havoc within the entire beef industry.

Taking to Thurles.Info this morning, Mr Lowry stated, “I fail to understand why the recent beef forum did not fully address the central issue; which was and remains the increase in price for beef producers. This ongoing saga is and always was, an issue regarding underpayments to these primary producers”.

It is not sustainable to expect beef producers to continue to operate at a financial loss. It is also unethical to have a small and select group of processors controlling the beef producing industry, while creaming excess profits. There needs and must be, not just fairness, but equity and balance in relation to the distribution of profits within the industry,” continued Mr Lowry.

“I have requested the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Michael Creed, to again intervene in this crisis and to find a more equitable and indeed a final solution to this most contentious of farming issues. There is no doubt that beef producers are currently in a loss-making position and this situation cannot be allowed to continue. This current stance is not sustainable and its continued consequences are causing severe hardship amongst the farming community.” Mr Lowry concluded.

Meanwhile, farmers are maintaining their presence outside of meat plants here in Co. Tipperary, with unofficial protests resuming today at the ABP plants in both Cahir and Nenagh; despite the granting of High Court injunctions yesterday, against those farmers protesting.


FSAI Serve Closure Order On Tipperary Chinese Restaurant

According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, a Chinese Restaurant in Tipperary was one of eight Closure Orders served on food businesses during the month of July 2019. All orders were for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010.

An inspector visiting Tang City, Kickham Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary was concerned by several practises within the outlet, including a chicken carcass, ribs and chicken balls, latter found in a thawing-out state in a walk-in freezer unit. The inspector stated in his report that “This unit was not operating correctly and not fit for purpose”.

Some of the reasons for the eight Enforcement Orders in July.

Temperature and cleaning records being filled out in advance with non-factual details; evidence of fly infestation in a kitchen; a lack of evidence of staff having being trained in food safety procedures; a bag of frozen breaded chicken was thawing at room temperature; evidence of a cockroach infestation; a bird observed flying out of a kitchen through the back door; no hot water in the wash hand basin in the food worker sanitary accommodation; cleaning throughout a butchery area on surfaces and equipment was poor.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI has criticised those businesses who are failing to keep accurate records, as well as failing to train staff adequately in food safety procedures.

Dr Byrne stated, “It is extremely disturbing that a food business would fill out their records in advance with completely non-factual information. This behaviour demonstrates a reckless attitude to food safety and a disregard for the health of their customers. During the month of July, food inspectors detected numerous serious breaches of food safety legislation. It is completely unacceptable that workers in some food businesses are unable to demonstrate adequate food hygiene knowledge and skills. Some food businesses are failing to provide high food safety standards in their premises and among their staff. These failures have the potential to cause a serious risk to consumer health, which has been identified in this month’s enforcements. Food businesses must act responsibly to prevent these serious breaches of food legislation.”

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published here on the FSAI’s website. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.

Others premises served with Closure Orders were in Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, Carlow and Kildare.