The origin of certain foods must then be clearly marked. Compared to the first draft, what is new in the regulation announced today is that the labeling includes both public and private canteen kitchens. In addition, the product range was expanded to include game. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 2.2 million dishes are served in canteen kitchens every day.
In Austrian canteens, such as those of companies, hospitals and schools, the origin of meat (beef, pork, poultry, sheep, goat and game), milk and dairy products (including butter, cheese and curd cheese) and eggs must be specified in the future become. Signage in a transparent form is mandatory, for example by means of a notice or an indication on the menu. “This is a first concrete implementation step for more transparency on our plates,” commented Minister of Agriculture Norbert Totschnig (ÖVP) and Minister of Health Johannes Rauch (Greens) on Thursday in a statement.
No obligation for restaurants and manufacturers
An obligation for restaurateurs and food manufacturers is not planned. However, those catering establishments that advertise voluntarily with information about the origin of their products must ensure or be able to prove that the information is correct and not misleading, as the information from the Ministry of Agriculture shows.
The reactions were mixed. While the ÖVP Farmers’ Association and the Chamber of Agriculture (LKÖ) welcomed the result, criticism came from animal rights activists. The Verein gegen Tierfabriken (VGT) and Vier Pfoten agreed in principle to the law, but they objected, among other things, to the fact that there was still no general regulation on labeling in the catering trade. The Viennese animal protection ombudsman also sees this as an oversight.