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- Doner kebabs could soon be banned across Europe if a proposal from the EU goes forward.
- The Health Committee expressed concerns over links the phosphates in kebabs have with heart disease.
- The full parliament will meet in two weeks to vote.
A late-night kebab could soon be a thing of the past, according to legislation which has been put forward by the European Union.
According to Metro, the legislation would make doner kebabs – which originated in Turkey – illegal across Europe, because of the phosphates that they contain and their links to cardiovascular disease.
The popular dish – often consumed after a night out – is made up of shaved kebab meat in a pita, usually with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of dressings.
An estimated 1.3 million doner kebabs are sold every day in the UK from more than 20,000 outlets, according to The Guardian, while 200,000 people work in the multi-billion euro industry across Europe.
Meanwhile, according to German daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau, there are around 16,000 doner restaurants in Germany, with three million doner kebabs served daily.
- gorkem demir / Shutterstock
The EU’s Executive Commission originally proposed to officially authorise the use of phosphates in the lamb, mutton, beef, or veal that goes onto a shop spit. However, earlier this week the Health Committee voted 32-22 to oppose it, expressing concerns that approving the meat would put Europeans at greater risk of heart disease, according to recent health studies suggesting a link between the two.
Takeaway owners are saying that doner meat needs the additives to “keep it juicy and full of flavour, both while being transported and on their rotisseries,” Metro reported.
Some are even accusing the EU of “doner discrimination,” since some sausages contain phosphates would still be allowed.
The most vocal owners are in Germany, where the doner kebab is incredibly popular. However, the dish has also spread to London and New York.
“They are looking for ways to hurt Turkish businesses here,” Berlin kebab bistro owner Baris Donmez said.
“Such a ban would be the biggest pile of garbage imaginable.”
The full European parliament will meet to vote on the issue in two weeks. If the proposal is rejected, it will be sent back to the commission – and the future of the beloved kebab will remain up for debate.