IFA Meets Authority On Beef Labelling

IRELAND - AT A recent meeting in Dublin, IFA President Padraig Walshe told the Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority John O’Brien that producers were extremely dissatisfied with the slow pace of implementation of the country-of-origin beef labelling in restaurants, hotels, pubs and catering outlets across the country.
calendar icon 29 March 2007
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Mr Walshe said country-of-origin beef labelling is a major issue for both producers and consumers.

He said: “It is unacceptable that nine months after the original legislation was introduced by the Government, no documentation explaining the requirements and obligations under the law have been sent to the country’s 30,000 food outlets.”

The IFA President said it has now emerged that the Minister for Health Mary Harney has signed off a further Statutory Instrument on beef labelling in the last three weeks clarifying outstanding issues. It has also emerged that there is no database of all the food outlets and the FSAI is relying on contractors to communicate the details on the beef labelling requirement to food establishments.

Mr Walshe told the FSAI that further delay in implementing this legislation cannot be tolerated. The FSAI assured the IFA that briefing material on the legislation was now complete and would be sent out to all establishments over the next four weeks.

In addition, the FSAI said food outlets such as restaurants and hotels could expect to be inspected by environmental health officers a number of times during the year and prosecutions will be taken if they are found not to be implementing the law on food labelling.

The FSAI also informed the IFA they will be undertaking a comprehensive programme of advertising and information campaign for the public on country of origin beef labelling over the coming weeks.

Mr Walshe said surveys conducted by IFA last autumn indicated that up to two-thirds of restaurants, pubs and hotels were not complying with the country-of-origin beef labelling requirements.

Source: Unison.ie
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