olive-oil.jpg

EU to Ban Olive Oil Jugs from Restaurant Tables

Because they don’t have anything else to worry about in Brussels.

If you want ever again to dip your bread into a bowl of olive oil on your table at a restaurant in Europe, or to pour olive oil onto it from a quaint, refillable jug, you’d better hurry up. It’ll be illegal in January 2014:

The small glass jugs filled with green or gold coloured extra virgin olive oil are familiar and traditional for restaurant goers across Europe but they will be banned from 1 January 2014 after a decision taken in an obscure Brussels committee earlier this week.

From next year olive oil “presented at a restaurant table” must be in pre-packaged, factory bottles with a tamper-proof dispensing nozzle and labelling in line with EU industrial standards.

The use of classic, refillable glass jugs or glazed terracotta dipping bowls and the choice of a restaurateur to buy olive oil from a small artisan producer or family business will be outlawed.

Let’s see. This move will benefit large industrial producers at the expense of small, artisanal olive oil makers, require non-eco-friendly, mass-produced generic packaging, and kill off one more vestige of what remains of European charm. 

The decision, which will be automatically adopted by the commission in the next few days, has dismayed many officials who are concerned that a ban crafted to help industry will damage the reputation of the EU at a time of growing hostility to Brussels bureaucrats.

“This is sort of thing that gets the EU a deservedly bad name. I shouldn’t say so but I hope people disobey this ban,” said an official.

“It will seem bonkers that olive oil jugs must go while vinegar bottles or refillable wine jugs can stay.”

Responding to the ban, Martin Callanan MEP, the leader of the European Conservative and Reformist group, asked: “Is it April 1st?”.

“With the euro crisis, a collapse in confidence in the EU, and a faltering economy surely the commission has more important things to worry about than banning refillable olive oil bottles?”

The Telegraph is having none of this:

There are bigger reasons to desire renegotiation of our relationship with the EU, but its obsession with olive-oil dipping does add to its aura of authoritarianism. What next? If the EU tries to tell the British how much milk or sugar to put in their tea, we predict a riot.

  1. Matthew K. Tabor

    One of my favorite stalls at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv — and when I first saw the sign I thought, “We’d better hurry up before all three of these are banned.”

    olive_oil.jpg

  2. Scott Abel (formerly EstoniaKat)

    Your concern for European olive-oil affairs is noted. ;p

    Seriously though, I can’t think of ONE restaurant that uses them, anyway. I use them at home, primarily for guests, but that’s about it.

    The utility of the original bottle cannot be denied. And I feel more sanitary, as I found worms wiggling in a vinegar jug about 10 years ago.

  3. Scott Abel (formerly EstoniaKat)

    I will amend my statement; I thought of one. But the greasy fingerprints on the bottle turned me off.

  4. Brian Clendinen

    Two questions, what are the penilities for breaking the regulations, and how did UKIP vote (did they even have any members on the committee)?

  5. Percival

    Nigel Farage and Daniel Hannan to heap epic scorn in 3…2…1…

  6. Israel P.

    I think someone should do a Deling Poll.

  7. Crow

    Evidently, the olive oil lobby wields some considerable clout. 

    How do they expect to enforce this? Nearly every mom and pop restaurant in rural Italy and Greece has a simple jug of olive oil on the table that doesn’t meet these standards (and, usually, some reasonably decent home made table wine). 

  8. 9thDistrictNeighbor

    Well, there is an historical precedent for the British to riot when someone messes with their tea….

  9. Umbra Fractus
    EstoniaKat: Your concern for European olive-oil affairs is noted. ;p

    Seriously though, I can’t think of ONE restaurant that uses them, anyway. I use them at home, primarily for guests, but that’s about it.

    The utility of the original bottle cannot be denied. And I feel more sanitary, as I found worms wiggling in a vinegar jug about 10 years ago. · 1 hour ago

    And unelected bureaucrats in Belgium should force the rest of the continent to adopt this practice because…?

    Worms in a vinegar jar are already covered by local and/or national sanitation laws. There is absolutely no reason for Brussels to get involved here.

  10. She
    9thDistrictNeighbor: Well, there is an historical precedent for the British to riot when someone messes with their tea…. · 32 minutes ago

    Yes, but these are not my Grandfather’s Brits.  Trust me.

  11. Crow

    This just in. Mayor Bloomberg has jug envy.

  12. Israel P.

    Let the Greeks deal with their own olive oil. The Germans can make rules for their own sauerkraut. The Brits for Fish and Chips and the French can regulate cheese for themselves.

    The EU can regulate Brussels sprouts.

  13. Paul-FB

    Big Government = Bigger Problems…..duh!!

  14. Pilli

    Coming soon to a bureaucracy near you!  Oh, wait!  Already here.

  15. GLDIII
    Israel P.: Let the Greeks deal with their own olive oil. The Germans can make rules for their own sauerkraut. The Brits for Fish and Chips and the French can regulate cheese for themselves.

    The EU can regulate Brussels sprouts. · 53 minutes ago

    But I like Brussel Sprouts, especially when sautéed in olive oil. 

  16. tabula rasa

    You’ve not heard to the thousands and thousands of olive oil poisonings all over Europe?  Public health crisis.  People are hurting–government must move.

    Judith’s story could just as easily run in the Onion, and everyone would have laughed at the irony of making fun of silly and useless regulation and bureaucracy.

  17. Jack Richman
    Crow’s Nest: This just in. Mayor Bloomberg has jug envy. · 1 hour ago

    Thanks for that!

  18. Douglas

    Note to the UK: get out. Get out while you can, and do whatever you have to do to make it happen. If that means David Cameron’s head on Traitor’s Gate, so be it.  Do it before you’re assimilated, Borg-style, into some faceless Brussels superstate.

  19. Scott Abel (formerly EstoniaKat)
    tabula rasa: You’ve not heard to the thousands and thousands of olive oil poisonings all over Europe?  Public health crisis.

    Being the devil’s advocate here, how old is that olive oil in your jug at the restaurant? Days, weeks, months … years?

  20. Pseudodionysius

    Nearly every mom and pop restaurant in rural Italy and Greece has a simple jug of olive oil on the table that doesn’t meet these standards (and, usually, some reasonably decent home made table wine). 

    Heh. So let me see, what do Italy and Greece have in common? Ah yes, southern Mediterranean countries. Where are EU headquarters? Where is the tension level? The old Northern European versus the Southern European division resurfaces.

    The only logical solution is to vote the EU parliament members out of office. Oh, wait.

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