Spain to ban unsealed olive oil containers

The EU might have backed down from the proposal in May, but Spain’s gone and done it anyway! A new Royal Decree announced today will regulate olive oil packaging in hotels and restaurants to prevent re-use. Hoteliers and restaurateurs will now have to provide oil that is labelled with origin, quality, date of manufacture and best-before date in a single-use, non-resealable bottle or sachet.

Agriculture minister Arias Cañete said that olive oil is a fundamental part of Spain’s economy and integral to “Brand Spain”, and stressed that for the benefit of consumers and producers alike, oil must be labelled, untamperable and non-refillable to ensure that the oil is what it says, and that a bottle containing “virgin oil” isn’t refilled with a cheaper type, or even with oil that’s not from olives at all.

As expected, the measure has been welcomed by producers and condemned by restauranteurs. For us, the consumers, it’ll soon mean an end to pretty oil bottles on tables, and no more chilli oil in a little bowl … . At least we’ll know that when we order olive oil, that’s what we’ll get.

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