Statement: EC bureaucrats are responsible for stopping customers enjoying favourites such as a ploughman’s lunch thanks to a Directive regulating the temperature at which cheese may be served.
Response: This is untrue. There is a Directive dealing with the Hygiene of milk and dairy products (Ref: 92/46); however this does not cover the temperature at which cheeses may be served as it does not deal at all with sales direct to the customer. Moreover the Community has no intention of regulating in this area. Any such action is left to the Member States.
The Directive refers directly only to the temperature at which pasteurised milk needs to be stored. The one other reference to temperature deals with the temperature at which cheese should be transported and this is regulated by the manufacturer. It is up to the cheese producer to suggest the best temperature at which his product should be both stored and transported before it enters the retail network. This temperature is not enforced in any way; the manufacturer simply has to indicate at what temperature and for how long the product should be stored.