Freedom to re-use old jam jars preserved
Mid-Somerset WI and community groups and the diocese of Bath and Wells will be contacted by South West Euro MP Sir Graham Watson to quash what he calls the latest "euromyth".
In October, the EU was accused of threatening the age old tradition of reusing jam jars to sell home made preserves, pickles, jams and chutneys through new health and safety legislation. However, following the submission of a parliamentary question by Sir Graham, the European Commission has now confirmed that the proposed legislation, designed to improve the sterilisation of jars being used in the marketplace, does not apply to those who produce their jam at home for charitable or domestic purposes.
Following the news, Sir Graham said: "My inbox has literally been jammed full of queries from church groups, WI members and community leaders on the issue. Selling jams and preserves at village fates and fundraisers is a core part of British life and I want to assure everyone that the European Commission had no plans to threaten this.
"Through a parliamentary question, I have been reassured that anyone wishing to sell their homemade produce for charitable purposes or to fundraise for their organisation is excluded from the new health rules. EU guidelines on food preparation do not generally apply to church or community groups and that will continue to be the case.
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"Once again, a fiction has turned into a news story by anti-Europeans. It is time we put a lid on it and spent our time explaining how the EU makes people's lives better instead of finding a proposal that will never come to fruition to turn into a euromyth to bash Brussels with. I hope we can avoid getting into another pickle over such matters in future!"