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Food Labelling For Butchers Meat Products That Look Like A Cut, Joint, Slice, Or Portion Of Meat

This leaflet has been prepared for the guidance of traders by the Northern Counties Chief Trading Standards Officers Group. It is not an authoritative document on the law and is only intended for guidance. 

 

This Leaflet Covers

The labelling of meat products such as bacon, cooked ham, gammon steak, which do look like a cut, joint, slice or portion of meat and which are:-

 

This Leaflet Does Not Cover

 

Required Labelling

A notice should be displayed on each meat product which is clear and conspicuous to customers stating:-

 

Names

A name is:-

Some ingredients, of a type which a purchaser would not expect in such a product (eg milk protein in cooked ham) must be included in the product's name. To find out if this applies refer to Table 1 and Lists A and B towards the end of this document.

The name of the notice must be exactly the same as used for the sale to you. Failure to do this may lead to a misdescription of the food and possible criminal offences, in addition, only using part of the name could lead to falsely describing the product.

 

Labelling of Additives

The following types of additive must be labelled:-

For this purpose it is sufficient to state the type of additive. You need not specify its full name or 'E' number. Some bacon contains antioxidant.

 

Declaration of Added Water

Added water must be declared if a meat product subject to this leaflet contains added water then it must be labelled to that effect using one of the declarations listed in Table 2. To find which is needed refer to Table 1 and read off the number of the declaration appropriate to the type of meat in question and its other ingredients.

 

Obtaining the Necessary Information

Labelling responsibility rests with the retailer and its no excuse to say " I didn't know". If the necessary information is not stated on the manufacturer's label, or on the supplier's invoice, then you must ask your supplier for the information.

TABLE 1

ITEM NUMBER

TYPE OF MEAT

ADDED INGREDIENTS

ADDED INGREDIENTS MUST BE INCLUDED IN NAME

ADDED WATER DECLARATION NEEDED FROM TABLE 2

1

Raw Meat

Only water

No

A

2

Raw Meat

More than water

Yes

D

3

Cooked Meat

Only those in List A

No

A

4

Cooked Meat

Other than those in List A

Yes

D

5

Cured Meat (Uncooked)

Only those in List B

No

B

6

Cured Meat (Uncooked)

Other than those in List B

Yes

E

7

Cured Meat (Cooked)

Only those in List B

No

C

8

Cured Meat (Cooked)

Other than those in List B

Yes

D

 

ADDED INGREDIENTS

LIST A water, additives, salt, herbs, spices, garnishing

LIST B water, curing salts, various sugars, honey, salt, herbs, spices, additives, hydrolised proteins, yeast extract, garnishing, flavourings, smoke and smoke solutions.

 

TABLE 2

No

STATUTORY DECLARATIONS

NOTES

A

"with not more than X% added water"

Insert at X at the maximum added water content

B

"with not more than Y% added water"

Insert at Y the maximum amount of added water over 10% in multiples of 5% eg 15% of added water is declared at 5% and 16% as 10%

C

"with not more than Z% added water"

Insert at Z the maximum amount of added water in multiples of 5% eg 3% of added water declared as 5% and 6% as 10%

D

"with added water" AND "minimum X% meat "

insert at X the minimum meat content

E

"with added water" AND "minimum X% meat"

I) "with added water needed if above 10%"
ii) insert at X the minimum meat content

 

Other Problems

If meat products which have been frozen are offered for sale at room temperature they should be labelled "previously frozen - do not refreeze"

Any meat which has been treated with proteolytic enzymes eg Swifts 'Proten' Beef, must be labelled 'tenderised'.

Other legal requirements which may affect your labelling (eg weight marking, price display) are covered in other leaflets.

Foods and ingredients that have been irradiated must be labelled 'irradiated' or 'treated with ionising radiation'.

 

Cooking and Other Treatments

Only meat that has been truly smoked can be described as 'smoked'. Treatment with a smoke solution is 'smoke flavoured'.

It is important that for cooked meats the correct cooking procedure is described eg roast, boiled etc. Flash roasting is not roasting and should not be described as such.

Products described as Ham should be sliced from a whole cured piece of meat from the hindquarters of a pig. Products which are from the shoulder, or are 'formed' or have been 'chopped and shaped' must be correctly described in order to avoid misleading the consumer and committing an offence.

 

October 2000


North Yorkshire County Council

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