E-coli outbreak triggers new food origin labels
Post by Kelly Swift
on 06 July 2011 in Food & Drink
The recent E-coli outbreak, which killed 49 people, has triggered new EU food labelling laws.
New EU food labels will be required by law to include a full nutritional breakdown, to indicate any allergenic substances, specify the type of vegetable oil used and clearly mark when the product is classed as an ‘imitation food’, for example oil-based cheese.
For most pre-packed meat products, labels will legally be obliged to state the country of origin, and text on all labels must be of regulation size. As it stands, only beef is required to display the country of origin, but the plans will see pork, lamb and poultry also become subject to these regulations.
Although they are not yet formally in place, MPs across Europe are expected to back the changes when they go to a private vote today.
Confusion ensued after the e-coli outbreak, with Spanish cucumbers initially being blamed, before attention turned to beansprouts from Germany. It has now been confirmed that the outbreak was probably started by contaminated fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt.
The disaster has highlighted the need for increased transparency and clarity on food transportation across Europe.