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Coughlan announces 'Country of Origin' Information on Beef to be mandatory at Restaurants and all Food Service Outlets

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced important new regulations on beef labelling. These regulations extend the existing beef labelling regulations to now require hotels, restaurants, pubs serving food, caterers and essentially all those involved in serving beef to consumers to provide consumers with information on the country of origin of their beef. Minister Coughlan said that she very much appreciated the strong support she received on this matter from the Tanaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD.

The regulations will come into effect from 3 July 2006. Minister Coughlan said "This is an important development for consumers. The public have, through various surveys, indicated clearly that they want this information. I have always since coming to my present Ministry with responsibility for food pushed for the public to be given the maximum amount of information on food at all points of sale so that they can be re-assured about the origin and the quality as well as the safety of the products they are purchasing and consuming. This I see as a basic consumer right and something which is beneficial to all concerned in the industry."

Minister Coughlan said the regulations will be enforced by the FSAI and through checks to be carried out by Environmental Health Officers throughout the country.

14 June, 2006


These Regulations entitled "Health (Country of Origin of Beef) Regulations 2006" provide that a food business operator providing prepared beef to consumers shall not (a) advertise the beef for sale or supply, (b) present it for sale or supply, or (c) sell or supply it unless the country or countries of origin of the beef is indicated at the point of advertising, presenting, sale and supply in clear legible type on the advertisement, menu or other presentation used.

Date Released: 14 June 2006