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Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards unveils shortlist

Pictured are the judges, from left, back row: Vivek Tohani, Belfast Food Man; Trevis Gleason, Sapphire Solutions Consulting; James Burke, James Burke Associates; Beckie Dart, Irish Quality Food Awards; Drew McIvor, Invest NI; Jane Milton; Brigitta Curtin, Burren Smokehouse; and front row: Lisa McMahon and Liz Creegan, Irish Quality Food Awards; and Elke O'Mahoney, Bia Sásta.

A shortlist has been announced for the 2019 Irish Quality Food & Drink Awards, with winners set to be announced on October 24 at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin.

Shortlisted products made it through the rigour of a month-long judging process at the Limerick Institute of Technology. This was conducted by 150 independent judges, comprising experts from the food and drink industry in Ireland and the UK.

Judges spanned chefs and nutritionists to packaging experts and food technologists. They debated and evaluated over a thousand products from small producers, wholesalers, foodservice and retailers from all over Ireland. The judging took place during July at the Limerick Institute of Technology.

“We had entries from the major supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Dunnes as well as a large array of small and independent food producers across Ireland including those who showcased their products in our highly successful Meet the Buyer event earlier in the year,” said Beckie Dart, director of the Irish Quality Food & Drink Awards.

“The quality of entries was exceptional, reflecting the growing confidence and creativity of the Irish food industry. We introduced a new vegetarian and vegan category this year due to the growing demand from consumers for this type of food product.

“Our steak category has continued to grow over the years and this year we made the decision to split the category over several judging days.”

Judge Elke O Mahony, Bia Sasta, said: “A lot of the products were really high quality and you can see the love and care that went into producing them. There were also a couple of surprises; we had great joy in trying these great products.”

To view the full shortlist, visit https://irish.qualityfoodawards.com/irishqualityfoodawards2019/en/page/shortlist.

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