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EU rules could turn Xmas ham grey: report

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EU rules could turn Xmas ham grey: report
14:10 CEST+02:00
New EU food safety regulations could leave Swedish Christmas hams a few shades of grey and leave the popular pork "flintasteak" decidedly drier, the country's meat industry has claimed.

The National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) has however disputed the claims.

"There will be permitted additives so it will be the same product in the end, I believe. I fail to see any threat to the products," said Evelyn Jansson Elfberg at the agency.

The new additive regulations came into force in Sweden on June 1st, but work to determine how products can be defined is still ongoing within the EU.

"If the wrong definition is selected then we can't make the products as we do now and then the nature of the product, and that which customers are used to, will be changed," said Åke Rutegård, president of Kött och charkföretagen - an organization representing the meat-processing industry.

Christmas hams and "flintasteak" are currently routinely sprayed with a saline solution as well as other additives, such as nitrate. If the products are classified as processed meats then some additives could be banned.

This could lead to changes in the colour and texture of the popular products, the industry has claimed.

"We are not trying to just ban things. It is possible there are other additives available for use that are more healthy for humans," Evelyn Elfberg Jansson said.

The issue will be subject to a vote by member states in September.

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