Italy’s Senate approves new Expiry Date Rules for Olive Oil

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Italy’s Senate has approved changes to existing legislation from 2013 that required a minimum expiry date of no more than 18 months after its production for virgin olive oil.

The European Commission has put pressure on Italy to eliminate this expiry date, and leave it to producers to take responsibility to define expiration dates themselves.

The Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti has warned that the decision to remove the maximum legal shelf life “will serve to promote the disposal of old stocks to the detriment of consumers”.

It says that numerous studies have shown that, over time, olive oil loses its polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins, which form the basis of the properties that make it a valuable health food.

The implementation of the EU guidelines, claims Coldiretti, “amounts to deleting the expiry date, since the bottlers will only set it based on their own commercial interests”, adding that the “risk is that many will take advantage to dispose of the old oil”.

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