December 4, 2008

EU to redefine "fresh" poultry meat

The EU will proceed with its redefinition of "fresh" poultry meat, despite concerns that member states could vote to reject a linked proposal on allowing antimicrobial carcass treatments.


The European Commission's proposal extends the definition of fresh poultry meat to cover poultry preparations, defining "fresh" poultry meat preparation as one that was made only from fresh poultry meat.


Current EU marketing rules state that frozen poultry meat can be thawed and used to make and sell products that are unfrozen and appear to be fresh, such as raw chicken breast cuts in sauces.


If the new rules are accepted, such preparations can only be marketed in a frozen state.


EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel is expected to push through the changes in definition, even if the linked proposal on antimicrobial treatment would be rejected in the EC Council this month. Chances for a rejection are high, as acceptance would allow US imports of chlorine-washed chicken to resume.


The move was lauded by Peter Bradnock, chief executive of British Poultry Council (BPC).


The EU poultry industry, including BPC, has long pressed for these updates in the marketing regulations in light of technological developments, and they support the Commission's new definitions, said Bradnock.

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