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EU to ban olive oil jugs from restaurants

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EU to ban olive oil jugs from restaurants

Post  Panda on Sat 18 May - 8:47

EU to ban olive oil jugs from restaurants

The European Union is to ban olive oil jugs and dipping bowls from
restaurant tables in a move described by one of Britain's top cooks as
authoritarian and damaging to artisanal food makers.

The European Union is to ban
olive oil jugs and dipping bowls from restaurant tables. Photo: ALAMY

By Bruno Waterfield,

5:52PM BST 17 May 2013


The small glass jugs filled with green or gold coloured extra virgin olive
oil are familiar and traditional for restaurant goers across Europe but they
will be banned from 1 January 2014 after a decision taken in an obscure Brussels
committee earlier this week.

From next year olive oil "presented at a restaurant table" must be in
pre-packaged, factory bottles with a tamper-proof dispensing nozzle and
labelling in line with EU industrial standards.

The use of classic, refillable glass jugs or glazed terracotta dipping bowls
and the choice of a restaurateur to buy olive oil from a small artisan producer
or family business will be outlawed.

Sam Clark, the food writer, chef and proprietor of the award winning Moro
restaurant in London, told The Daily Telegraph that the ban would stop
him serving his customers specially selected Spanish olive oil in dipping bowls
with bread when they are seated at their table.

"This will affect us. It is about choice and freedom of choice. We buy our
oil, which we have selected from a farm in Spain, to serve our customers," he

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"Yet more packaging is not going to be eco-friendly and will limit choice to
more mass produced products."

Mr Clark attacked the regulation as one that would kill off artisan producers
and accelerate the demise in Europe of traditional ways of making and serving
food, in favour of large industrial producers. "It is very upsetting. Haven't
they already done enough damage to artisan products?," he said.

The European Commissions justification for the ban, under special Common
Agriculture Policy regulations, is "hygiene" and to protect the "image of olive
oil" with a measure that will benefit struggling industrial producers in Spain,
Italy, Greece and Portugal.

From the beginning of next year, Britain, which abstained during a vote of
national food experts on the issues on Tuesday, must enforce the ban via local
authority food inspections of restaurants.

Officials defended the ban as a protection for consumers who would know that
they were getting a safe, guaranteed product with proper labelling of its origin
and with tamper-proof, hygienic dispensers.

"This is to guarantee the quality and authenticity of the olive oil put at
the disposal of consumers. The aim is to better inform and protect consumer. We
also expect hygiene to be improved too," said an official.

The idea that restaurant customers, who want to eat olive oil with their
bread or to dress their food, could not distinguish between a fake product and
the real thing was dismissed as patronising by Mr Clark.

"Customers aren't stupid - they would be the first to know if someone was
being dishonest," he said.

The decision, which will be automatically adopted by the commission in next
few days, has dismayed many officials who are concerned that a ban crafted to
help industry will damage the reputation of the EU at a time of growing
hostility to Brussels bureaucrats.

"This is sort of thing that gets the EU a deservedly bad name. I shouldn't
say so but I hope people disobey this ban," said an official.

"It will seem bonkers that olive oil jugs must go while vinegar bottles or
refillable wine jugs can stay."

Responding to the ban, Martin Callanan MEP, the leader of the European
Conservative and Reformist group, asked: "Is it April 1st?".

"With the euro crisis, a collapse in confidence in the EU, and a faltering
economy surely the commission has more important things to worry about than
banning refillable olive oil bottles? They should be seeking to reduce
unnecessary packaging," he said.
If anyone wanted a reason to leave the EU, this is it!!!
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Re: EU to ban olive oil jugs from restaurants

Post  Angelina on Sat 18 May - 14:00

Oh, FGS!!! Haven't they got anything better to worry about.....like Greece and the Euro
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Re: EU to ban olive oil jugs from restaurants

Post  AnnaEsse on Sat 18 May - 14:51

Next they'll probably want to ban those shared salt and pepper shakers in cafes because they're passed from hand to hand.

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