Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Express, the EU and...fridges

Following the bogus claim from the Express' Chief Political Commentator that 'every criticism' his paper has levelled at the EU has been 'justified', the Head of Media at the European Commission Representation in the UK has been forced to write to the paper again to challenge a story.

On Monday, the Express ran the headline 'Barmy EU 'colder fridges' order will cost us £100m'. The story, by Cyril Dixon, began:

Britain faces a £100million bill because a bizarre new EU regulation will order supermarkets to turn down the temperature on their refrigerators.

Eurocrats are demanding that stores’ cold storage areas are chilled by a further three degrees to “improve” food safety.

An 'order'. A 'new regulation'. A 'demand'.

Or maybe not, says Mark English:

Contrary to claims in your article, “Barmy EU ‘colder fridges’ order will cost us £100m”, 12 December 2011, there are no new EU regulations ordering supermarkets to turn down fridge temperatures. The facts are less chilling.

EU member states have asked the Commission to look into the fact that supermarkets’ own meat cutting plants are not covered by the same hygiene regulations as independent plants, even though they often process more meat.

So the Commission is carrying out a fact finding exercise, to make sure consumers are properly protected.

No changes have been proposed and none could enter into force without full scrutiny by MEPs and national ministers.


  1. It's no wonder so many people thought Cameron throwing his toys out the pram at the EU was the greatest thing ever, when our national press is allowed to print poisonous lies and distortions about the various European Organisations of which we are a part with little or no repercussion.

    Do the newspaper editors even read the correction letters the EU is constantly having to send them?

  2. I decided to make a complaint to the PCC about this (and the same article in the Daily Mail from yesterday). I know it's not the most important issue, but thought it would be quite easy to prove inaccuracy, especially for the Mail who printed the lie after the letter from Mark English was freely available to anyone knowing how to google 'EU fridge'... thanks to your fantastic blog :)
    I'm basically going to make it my mission to pester the PCC. One a day should keep them busy.

  3. And of course having e-coli is preferable to being in the EU anyway...

  4. Me again - Daily Mail has now removed the story from the website! Looking forward to an apology...

  5. Nope. The story is still there on the Daily Mail Webshite.


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