Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Policy Point Wednesday - "Defrosted" in the EU

The European Union Food Information Regulation (FIR) is in the process of creating a designation for foods sold as fresh, which were previously frozen.
“In the case of foods that have been frozen before sale, and which are sold defrosted, the name of the food shall be accompanied by the designation ‘defrosted’."
Previously, the requirement to disclose freezing of a food item prior to thawing and selling was only required when a lack of disclosure might be considered "misleading."

No such labeling requirement exists in the US - requirement being the key word.  The FSIS states it:
"develops and provides labeling guidance, policies and inspection methods and administers programs to protect consumers from misbranded and economically adulterated meat, poultry, and egg products which ensure that all labels are truthful and not misleading."
In other words, although a "previously frozen" designation does exist, it's completely voluntary in the US.  Think about how well that's working the next time you're buying chicken in the supermarket and you find a completely frozen bird in with the fresh ones...

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