Pubs, restaurants and other catering establishments would have to provide "clear and unambiguous" information on the origin of food on their menus, under new proposals from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The FSA's updated Country of Origin Guidance, opened for consultation yesterday, is aimed at improving consumer confidence in the food labelling process by removing any possibility that misleading information can be presented.
There is no legal requirement for pubs or restaurants to specify where food on the menu comes from, but there has been criticism that customers are often misled, whether intentionally or not.
The Scottish Executive is currently considering the responses to a consultation on its proposals to make origin labelling for beef compulsory in the foodservice sector.
The Meat and Livestock Commission has campaigned for similar rules to be introduced throughout the UK through its Menu Transparency Campaign.
The consultation on the new FSA guidance, which is targeted as food manufacturers, retailers and catering establishments, runs until December 13.
By Daniel Thomas