From 1 January 2003 all pre-packed meat-based products such as cooked meats, prepared dishes, canned meat and sausages sold in the 15 EU countries will have to specify offal – such as heart, intestines, liver, etc – and fat on the label when they are present in the food. It will no longer be legal to describe these products simply as “meat”, a term which is to be reserved for muscle-meat and will have to specify the animal it is derived from. This “major change” in labelling, aimed at helping consumers and proposed by the European Commission, was approved yesterday (Thursday) by the EU’s Standing Committee on Foodstuffs.
By Alan Osborn, just-food.com correspondent
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