Food Law News - UK - 1998
29 October 1998: MILK HYGIENE - New Drinking Milk Regulations
MAFF Press Release (423/98), 29 October 1998
New Drinking Milk Regulations
New drinking milk regulations which will set marketing and quality standards for drinking milk in Great Britain and throughout the European Union will come into force on Saturday 31 October 1998.
The enforcement of a new EC Council Regulation (2597/97) will replace the existing Drinking Milk Regulations 1976 and the Drinking Milk (Scotland) Regulations 1976, which enforced the previous Council Regulation (1411/71) on milk marketing standards.
The main features of the EC Council Regulation are:
- a change in the upper fat limit for skimmed milk from 0.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent;
- maintenance of the prohibition on downward adjustment of protein content; this does not allow the protein content of milk to be altered but enables the fat content to be adjusted;
- a provision allowing for protein enrichment and lactose reduction of drinking milk, such products would have to be labelled;
- a prohibition on the import of products into the EC for sale as drinking milk if they do not comply with the EC Regulation.
The new GB Regulations make provision for enforcement of the Council legislation by local authorities, specify offences and make provision for penalties to be applied where the regulations have been contravened.
Agricultural Departments issued a consultation exercise on 23 July on new draft regulations. (See previous item: 23 July 1998).
The EC compositional requirements (Regulation (EEC) 1411/71), for skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk came into effect on 1 January 1998. The new EC quality standards (freezing point, minimum protein content and minimum non fat dry matter) will come into effect from January 1999.
The Regulations revoke the following Regulations in their entirety:
- The Drinking Milk Regulations 1976;
- The Drinking Milk (Scotland) Regulations 1976;
- The Milk and Dairies (Revision of Penalties) Regulations 1985.
The Regulations also revoke certain parts of other existing Regulations as follows:
- The Milk and Dairies (Revision of Penalties) Regulations 1982;
- The Food Safety (Exports) Regulations 1991;
- The Milk and Dairies (Standardisation and Importation) Regulations 1992;
- The Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995;
- The Dairy Products (Hygiene) (Scotland) Regulations 1995.
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