The European Union (EU) has proposed legislation banning the doner kebab, claiming that the popular fast food contains unsafe levels of phosphates.
The phosphates are necessary to retain water and keep seasoned kebab meat moist and flavoursome as it roasts on a spit for hours on end.
An estimated 1.3 million doner kebabs are sold each day in the UK from more than 20,000 outlets, The Telegraph reports. The dish was brought to Europe by Turkish migrants and is especially popular in Germany.
However, the European Parliament this week voted against allowing phosphoric acid and phosphates in certain foods, including beef, lamb, and poultry. The full chamber is due to vote again on the issue in two weeks.
MEPs claimed kebab meat could put Europeans at greater risk of heart disease after a scientific review in 2012 suggested a possible link between phosphates and the disease.
Ibrahim Dogus, chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, an umbrella organisation that represents fast food groups including the Kebab Association, told The Telegraph:
“An EU ban on the doner would damage the takeaway industry – a sector which generates £4.5bn in economic growth to the UK and supports 231,000 jobs.
“Doner kebabs are a much-loved staple in takeaways up and down the country and have been enjoyed since the 8th century BC.”
He added: “In many cases, such as in my own restaurants, kebabs are homemade and when served with a fresh salad and pitta bread offer consumers a healthy choice.
“Restaurants are already responding to consumer demand by providing healthier options and adapting menus – from choosing lower fat oils to sourcing local produce.”
Brussels has backtracked on an attempted to effectively ban the most famous traditional dish of… Brussels. https://t.co/rIjznVyajA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 26, 2017
Earlier this year, Brussels abandoned plans at the last minute to effectively ban Belgian fries following a backlash.
EU bureaucrats claimed the national dish of Belgium – the home of the EU’s capital Brussels – contribute to cancer due to the presence of a harmful compound called acrylamide.
However, the legislation was amended and the famous dish, sever in Brussels since the 17th century, was saved.