Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 07 October, 2003
Written Answers. - Food Labelling Scheme.
Mr. McCormack Mr. McCormack
224. Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the provision he has made for traceability of all meat products sold in supermarkets and retail outlets; if he plans to introduce labelling, identifying the country of origin, slaughter date and other relevant information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22266/03]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The general EU requirement is that pre- packed meats sold at retail level must have an indication of the last premises in which the product was prepared or packed for retail sale. In the case of beef, there are specific requirements which go far beyond this and provide for a full traceability system from the retail sale right back to the farm of origin.
I have been concerned about two issues in particular in relation to labelling of food. One of these relates to the question of enforcement of existing provisions and I have arranged for the centralisation of control of food labelling in the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. A second issue is the scope of the existing EU beef labelling regulations and in this regard, I have raised with the European Commission the question of extending these to the catering sector. Obviously, consumer requirements are a key element in assessing the need to change or broaden existing labelling rules on meat, and I have asked the consumer liaison panel to carry out market research in this area. I expect to have the findings of this research in the coming month.
Dáil Éireann 571 Written Answers. Food Labelling Scheme.