Supermarket bacon set for re-brand

27th July 2011 - Fine Cut

The EU is set to pass a new directive which could change the packaging on all bacon sold in Europe.

Under new regulations, any bacon with over five per cent water content would now need to be classified as "bacon with added water" and a reference to this would need to be explicitly clear on the product labels.

It is aimed at reducing the number of unscrupulous suppliers adding water to pump the meat up to a larger portion. Naturally, many supermarkets have opposed the move but food regulators have welcomed it, claiming that the new regulations will mean people know more of what goes on with their food and the flavours will not be diluted.

"Pumping bacon full of water does nothing for it," farmer Paul Ainsworth told The Telegraph. "The moisture comes from the fat, just as it does from Parma ham or good salami."

In response, however, the supermarkets have claimed that the vast majority of bacon sold in the UK contains "added water" and so in giving the labels this overhaul would only set to confuse consumers.

Sarah Cordey of the British Retail Consortium told "We are concerned the nature of the product could change significantly and that any change could be confusing for consumers who perhaps wouldn't understand that they were buying the same product that now just had an 'added water' label."

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