Unpackaged cheese sale to end in Turkey by January 2016
ISTANBULThe sale of unpackaged cheese will end in Turkey as of Jan. 1, 2016, according to a new regulation from the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.
The new regulation, which was prepared based on the views of sector players, universities and nongovernmental organizations in conformity with the Turkish Food Codex, will result in dramatic changes in the sale of cheese, according to a written statement by the Turkish Packaging Manufacturers’ Association (ASD) on Sept. 28.
In this vein, only packaged and hygienic cheese can be sold in the market as of next year. The packaging will also need to be in accordance with what is required in the Turkish Food Codex, related food regulations and the Food Hygiene Regulation.
“All food products, especially milk products, need to be sold in packages for good health and hygiene.
According to the Turkish Food Codex, the required packages of milk products and cheese need to show the production date and place and expiration date of the product. Correct packaging extends the lifetime of foods as well as maximizing health and hygiene standards. We see the new step a historic move in maintaining food safety, hygiene and the fight against the informal economy. And we hope such moves will be applied to legumes and fresh fruit and vegetables in the future,” said ASD President Sadettin Korkut.
The new regulation will also ensure lower salt levels in white cheese and banned the use of aromatic products in cheese.
According to data from the National Milk Council, the consumption of cheese per capita was 16.5 kg in Turkey in 2013, much higher than the world average, following only the highest cheese consumers, Europeans, at 17.01 kg.
Sector players claim that the sale of unpackaged cheese is disadvantageous for people’s health.