Phosphate additives in kebab meat: Commission proposal goes ahead 

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Plenary session 

A resolution opposing the authorisation of phosphate additives in kebab meat failed to win an absolute majority of 376 MEPs on Wednesday.

According to the European Commission, phosphate additives form a protein film to bond meat pieces together© European Union 2017 - EP  

The European Commission can therefore now proceed to allow the use of phosphoric acid, di and tri phosphates and polyphosphates (E 338-452) in kebab meat - be it mutton, lamb, veal, beef or poultry.


According to the European Commission, The use of phosphates is required for a partial extraction and breakdown of meat proteins to form a protein film on vertical meat spits to bond meat pieces together in order to ensure homogenous freezing and roasting.


The resolution tabled by the Public Health and Food Safety Committee received 373 votes in favour, 272 against and 30 abstentions, falling short of the 376 votes in favour required for adoption.


The resolution called on the plenary to oppose the authorisation due to health concerns and pending a scientific review of the additives to be published by the European Food Safety Authority before the end 2018.


Quick Facts


A 2017 Commission report found that within some Member States, the authorities and food business operators used different and sometimes incorrect interpretations of EU law regarding meat preparations and products, resulting in a lack of uniform implementation.