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article imageEU to ban olive oil jugs from restaurants

By Katerina Nikolas     May 18, 2013 in Food
The familiar jug of olive oil is set to disappear from restaurant tables across the EU from January 1 2014, to be replaced with properly labelled non-reusable containers with tamper proof nozzles.
The latest EU ruling dictates that restaurants must use factory produced labelled bottles which cannot be refilled. A European Commission official justified the ban on open jugs of olive oil by saying the change will "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." (Telegraph)
According to the Olive Oil Times the ban was voted on by the Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets in Brussels. There were 195 votes in favour of the ban, 94 against, and 53 abstentions.
Olive oil fraud is common across the EU, with cheap or adulterated oils being passed off as high quality. The aim of the ban is to ensure consumers are guaranteed the exact product they ordered. However, as Ekathimerini reported the new legislation has already been subjected to ridicule, noting "the Commission currently has no plans to impose similar rules on packaging for butter, salt, pepper or any other dinner table staples."
An inevitable consequence will be higher costs passed on to the consumer while dining out. UK chef and food writer Sam Clark criticised the move, pointing out that consumers can tell if inferior oil is being served. He told the Telegraph: "It will seem bonkers that olive oil jugs must go while vinegar bottles or refillable wine jugs can stay." The Commissions next move could well be to ban open jugs of wine.
More about Olive Oil, EU ban, olive oil dispensers
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