No one wants to ban kebabs

BEUC NEWS - 07.12.2017

Last week, some media carried headlines about the EU wanting to ban kebabs. This information was wrong. In reality, some members of the EU Parliament want consumers to enjoy kebabs and gyros free of unnecessary phosphate additives.


Next week, the whole EU Parliament will vote on whether to authorise the use of phosphates in gyros and kebab meat. We have sent all MEPs in which we call on them to object to allowing phosphates in these products. Here are our main arguments:

  • There are health concerns over phosphates: it is more prudent to wait for the EU food safety watchdog (EFSA) to conclude its ongoing re-evaluation of phosphate additives before allowing them in more products. The results are expected by the end of 2018.
  • Phosphates make it possible for meat to retain more water, meaning your kebab might contain less meat than you think. BEUC and its member organisations have been denouncing this practice and have consistently opposed the use of phosphates in meat preparations for many years.
  • Yes, kebabs can be made without phosphates; there is no convincing technological need to use these additives.
  • Phosphates are currently not allowed in kebabs and gyros. Their unlawful use for several years in some Member States is no valid reason for legalising it.

The EU Parliament is due to vote in plenary on Tuesday 12.12.2017.


  • Read the as adopted in the EU Parliament ENVI Committee on 28 November.
  • Read our letter to the EU Parliament .
  • See from our Spanish member OCU.
  • Read our report Close up on the meat we eat .