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Leave our jam alone!
1:00pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
THOUSANDS of people who regularly sell their home-made jam, marmalade or chutney in used jars may have to abandon their traditions after a warning that they are breaching European health and safety rules.
Legal advisers to Britain’s Churches have sent out a circular saying that while people can re-use jars for jam at home, they cannot sell them or give them away as raffle prizes at public events.
It will mean that chari-ties such as the WI cannot sell jam they make to raise cash for charities – unless the jar is brand new.
The Rev Richard Pratt, from the Diocese of Carlisle, has said: “Home-made jams, chutneys and preserves are a feature of English life, particularly at this time of year, and although we are of course keen to make sure that we don’t do anything that would harm people or damage their health in any way, it seems hard to believe recycled jam jars constitutes a real threat to people’s health.
“We wait to see whether this comes into action. I think this is one of those ‘you can’t be serious’ ones.”
North West MEP Paul Nuttall said that Eurocrats should ‘keep their sticky fingers out of our jam jars’.
“Yet another piece of interfering nonsense from overpaid bureaucrats with nothing better to do than meddle in other people’s daily lives,” said Mr Nuttall, UKIP Deputy Leader.
“Selling home-made jams and chutneys has always been an important part of fundraising for church and voluntary groups and I hope that those in this country adopt the same attitude that no doubt will happen on the continent – and ignore it.”
The Women’s Intitute has recommended that its 210,000 members follow the guidance.
One South Lakeland WI member told the Gazette that she was ‘horrified’ at the regulation but added that there were others who had said that the ‘Jerusalem and jam’ ethos would not suffer.
The National Federation of Women’s Institute has told its members: “So jars should not be reused for jam if that jam is then going to be sold in any capacity – for charity or commercial events. The Food Standars Agency advises anyone making jam for anything other than private personal use to use jars that have been made to be reused – for example Kilner jars are produced with the intention that they will be reused.”
The Food Standards Agency has said that the interpretation of the regulation would be down to individual local authorities.
A spokeswoman for South Lakeland District Council said: “We would say that normal common sense and hygiene rules apply.”