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EU to ban reusable olive oil bottles

BRUSSELS — The small glass bottle filled, and refilled, with golden olive oil has long been a staple on many restaurant tables across Europe. Now, the European Union is going to ban it.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive, said Friday that, as of next year, restaurant customers will only be allowed to use oil from nonrefillable bottles with proper content labeling.

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EU spokesman Olivier Bailly said consumers often get fooled by being served cheap olive oil. Non-refillable bottles would also improve hygiene, he claims.

‘‘We are just protecting consumers,’’ said Bailly. ‘‘We are just making clear that when you want to have olive oil of a certain quality in a restaurant, you get exactly the one you are paying for.’’

But with the EU increasingly criticized as a meddling agency overriding national choice and preference, the ruling quickly was quickly attacked and ridiculed.

The European Commission said that a majority of the 27 member nations backed the move.

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