There have been recent reports in some of the local and national press, that the EU is about to ban the sale of homemade jam in recycled jars.
I would like to reassure readers that there is no EU legislation, new or old, that would prevent an individual volunteer for an organisation like the Women’s Institute from selling homemade preserves in recycled jam jars at their local village fete or church fair.
The false impression seems to have come about after the Church of England advised parishes that the sale of jam in re-used jars breached food hygiene regulations, citing guidance they had received from the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA). However, the FSA’s guidance is issued for ‘food business operators’ and the Agency has stated that someone making jam for an occasional event like a local fundraiser would be unlikely to be considered a ‘food business’ and therefore not affected by the regulations. This has been confirmed by the European Commission.
The European Commission has already issued a full rebuttal of the story but sadly, as is often the case, the euromyth seems to have spread much further than the truth. I would encourage readers to share this news with friends and family, it would be a terrible shame for people who enjoy selling their homemade preserves to help their local community to stop doing so due to a misunderstanding.
Labour MEP for the East Midlands