EU To Ban Olive Oil Bottles From Restaurants
Traditional olive oil jugs are to be banned from restaurants across Europe following a decision in Brussels.
The European Commission has declared that only non-refillable, pre-packaged factory bottles with tamperproof lids can be used from 2014.
It will end the practice of restaurants sourcing their own artisan products to be used in bottles and dipping bowls.
EU spokesman Olivier Bailly said the move is being initiated because consumers often get fooled by being served cheap olive oil.
"We are just making clear that when you want to have olive oil of a certain quality in a restaurant, you get exactly the one you are paying for," Mr Bailly said.
"We are just protecting consumers", he insisted as he added that the non-refillable bottles would also improve hygiene.
However the move has been criticised as further meddling by unelected bureaucrats.
"They should let the people decide what olive oil bottles they want to use and not dictate uniformity from the centre," Ukip MEP Paul Nuttall said.
"This ridiculous move is even contrary to their often repeated call in favour of reusing goods."
The European Commission said that a majority of the 27-member nations backed the ban.
It has already been compulsory in Portugal since 2006, despite early grumbles from restaurant owners.
The Commission currently has no plans to impose similar rules on packaging for butter, salt, pepper or any other dinner table staples.
Olive oil is a product which has been prone to widespread fraud in the EU, when cheap produce is sometimes passed off as high-end extra virgin oil from the top regions.
With the move, the EU wants to make sure citizens can be assured that have the exact product they asked for on their plate.
Farmers' federations have supported the ban.
"This will ensure a high-quality product for consumers," Rafael Sanchez de Puerta of the Copa-Cogecas Federation said.
Also, by displaying the name, origins and storing conditions, "this will help to preserve the image of olive oil", he said.
The EU is the world's biggest producer of olive oil, accounting for up to 70% of global output, the European Commission said.