Country-of-origin food label rules to be extended

Poultry, pigmeat, sheepmeat, and goatmeat are to be covered by new rules on country-of-origin labelling on packaged meat products, due to be signed by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney today.

The labels will add to the existing rules in place for beef. The regulation introduces requirements on food business operators including processors, retailers, and butcher shops to ensure country-of-origin labelling information is available to packaged meat customers.

Mr Coveney said: “This regulation is yet another step in providing even clearer and more detailed information to consumers with regards to the food that they purchase. Origin labelling has been in place for beef for many years now and has benefitted the consumer in being able to identify the origin of the products they purchase.”

The EU regulation underpinning these rules covers pre-packed non-processed meat, but does not cover “loose” product, or non pre-packaged meat. However the departments of Agriculture and Health are working with FSAI, HSE, local authority veterinary services and other state agencies to determine whether “loose” produce can be covered on the basis of existing primary legislation.


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