Morrisons apologises and vows to change labels after advertising 'non-EU salt and pepper' chicken

Morrison has apologised for calling the salt and pepper in its chicken 'non-EU'. (Morrisons)

Morrisons has apologised after the packaging on one of its chicken products said it was made with “non-EU salt and pepper”.

The supermarket chain was hit with a wave of complaints on social media over the labelling, with many claiming it was pro-Brexit.

Read more: Morrisons shareholders set to approve £7bn takeover

The labelling on Morrisons’ £4 Salt & Pepper Chicken Crown says it is “made from British chicken and non-EU salt and pepper”.

The supermarket has said sorry and intends to change the packaging, but food regulations and legislation indicate the controversial labelling was merely following the letter of the law.

File photo dated 22/08/21 of a Morrisons store in Camden, London, as the battle to buy the supermarket has ended with private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) outbidding Fortress in a dramatic auction process.. Issue date: Saturday October 2, 2021.
A Morrisons store in Camden, London. (PA)

On Twitter, one user published a picture of the roast in the bag product, writing: “Tell me Morrisons that this is not real.

“Your response will dictate whether or not I ever shop at your stores again.”

Another wrote: “This is pathetic Morrisons”.

One user tweeted: “I thought this was a joke Morrisons but it’s for real.

“I shan’t be darkening your Brexity threshold ever again.”

A Morrisons spokesperson told Yahoo News UK: “The wording on the packaging is an error for which we apologise.

“We are changing the packaging immediately.

“Our chicken label is adhering to British packaging regulations, however, we will be redesigning it to make it clear this is not a political commentary.”

Food Standard Agency regulations state: “All food is subject to general food labelling requirements and any labelling provided must be accurate and not misleading.

“The indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of a food shall be mandatory.”

Morrisons said it will change the labelling on its chicken crown 'immediately'. (Morrisons)

European law states that “indication of the country of origin or place of provenance shall be mandatory” on food labelling “where failure to indicate this might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food”.

Read more: Anti-vaxxers boycott Morrisons after sick pay cut

According to the British government’s own food labelling regulations, most requirements on food labelling remain as they were before the end of the Brexit transition period, “because we are retaining EU legislation in UK law”.

However, some rules will change because the UK has left the EU.

Food companies have until the end of September 2022 to implement label changes for goods produced or imported and placed on the UK market, meaning retailers have until this time to change references from “non-EU” to “non-UK”.

Watch: Brexit fishing row – British scallop trawler released as France backs down