Food and farming minister Elliot Morley unveiled the plans to 15 top level food industry figures this week.
A source at the meeting said Morley assured delegates that DEFRA would take a "softly softly" approach to adopting the new EU rules.
Draft UK guidance on implementation would be cross-checked against other EU states to ensure the legislation was not goldplated.
Implementation will be project-managed by a dedicated member of DEFRA's staff working to a 2005 deadline for full enforcement.
Attending the meeting were the British Retail Consortium, the Association of Convenience Stores, the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, the Chilled Food Association, the British Meat Manufacturers Association, Booker and major multiples.