Funny how the EU can enforce strict food hygiene regulations which prevent the Women’s Institute selling jam in second-hand jars but can’t stop Eastern European horsemeat being passed off as beef.
Regular readers may remember this 'story' from October, when the EC Commission Representative in the UK dismissed tabloid stories on a 'ban' on re-using jam jars at fetes as:
completely untrue. There are no EU laws, new or old, which ban re-using old jam jars for fetes.
A question was asked in the European Parliament on this issue following the media coverage. The answer, from Tonio Borg for the European Commission, was published on 14 December. It made clear:
In the Guidance document on the implementation of certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs (SANCO/1731/2008 Rev. 6), the Commission indeed specified that "the occasional handling, preparation, storage and serving of food by private persons at events such as church, school or village fairs are not covered by the scope of the Regulation"...
Therefore, the Commission can confirm that, as long as the preparation, handling and selling of jams at local events to raise money for worthy causes is an occasional activity, it is not covered by Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. Rules governing such activities are established by Member States under national law.
A WI press release from 4 January 2013 confirmed:
Legislation is predominantly aimed at food businesses and excludes occasional activity with respect to charities; therefore the recent interest does not apply to infrequent charitable activities.
Despite all this, Littlejohn claims not only that there are 'strict' regulations banning the WI selling jam in re-used jars, but that the EU are 'enforcing' them.
(Hat-tip to James)