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The new transparent labels for pork and mutton

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After beef, now pork, lamb, goat and bird meat now have their own identity card. Indeed, given the new EU regulation on food labelling, packaging not reporting a series of mandatory information cannot be traded across the whole of the EU.

Implementing regulation Reg.1337/2013 is in force since 1 April 2015 and is part of the large normative revolution carried out for food labels (Reg. 1169/2011), whose requirements apply to fresh, refrigerated or frozen pork, mutton or goat and bird meat.

What is the mandatory information that needs to appear on the new labels? For some time now the following parameters have been reported on packaging of any kind of meat: “Bred in … ” followed by the name of the Member State or third country , and “Slaughtered in … ” , which is also followed by the name of the Member State or third country. This is basically the same kind of information reported over the last 15 years on trays of beef, a measure imposed by the ‘foot and mouth’ emergency at the time.

To be sure you’re taking home a 100% Italian product, the packaging you choose must report “Origin…” and the name of the country (in this case Italy). This means that all the stages, from birth to breeding up to slaughtering, were carried out in Italy. Something new that represents an important piece of the puzzle related to consumers’ food safety, severely tested by the emergencies caused by anonymous meat and food products.

“This is a very important measure designed to improve the traceability of food for consumers, as well as further protecting meat farmed in Italy.” Great satisfaction from senior management at Confagricoltura, which now aims at preserving the quality of Italian products also at an international level, as well as extending this regulation to the remaining kinds of meat not covered by the measure: “The regulation does not include rabbit and horse meat, as well as traditional cold meat. A serious gap we’ll try to bridge with any means.”

A criticism to the new regulation was instead by the Food Safety Area of the Citizens’ Protection Movement (MDC), which approves the measure,  though it highlights some of its shortcomings: “This is big and important news for consumers, but the labels of pork, mutton and bird meat cannot be compared to that of beef in terms of transparency and exhaustiveness. This is just a half win for us.”