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Meat Products Compositional Standards

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

It summarises the law requiring some types of meat products to contain a minimum amount of meat, lean meat, and named meat.


This Leaflet Does Not Cover

The labelling of meat products which is described in another leaflet.


Meat Products

Any food which contains meat from an animal or bird, or which meat is an ingredient, except:-


Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements are summarised below.

Sales to Caterers

These must comply with the minimum standards the same as if they were being sold by retail.


If you make your own products ensure that you know, and stick to, the exact recipe and make due allowance for variations in mixing and/or manufacture.


Table A

Name of Product

Minimum Meat Content

Minimum Lean Meat Content

Type of Meat Used

X Burger



80% of the food must be X

Economy X Burger



60% of the food must be X




All pork and/or beef

Chopped X




Corned X



All the meat must be X

Luncheon X




Pork Sausage, Link, Chipolatas, Sausage Meat



80% of the meat must be pork

Liver/Tongue sausage



30% of the meat must be liver/tongue

X Sausage, Link, Chipolatas, Sausage Meat



If X is beef, 50% of meat must be beef. If X is any other meat, 80% of the meat must be X

X Pate



X must characterise the food

X Paste



X must characterise the food

X Spread



70% of the food must be X

Table B

Meat Pies etc

Meat Content Cooked Uncooked

Lean Meat content Cooked Uncooked

X Pie, Game Pie:-above 200g
100g to 200g
less than 100g

25% 21%
21% 18%
19% 16%

12.5% 10.5%
10.5% 9%
9.5% 8%

Vegetable and Meat Pies

10% 8%

5% 4%

Meat and Something Else Pies

12.5% 10.5%

6.25% 5.25%

Pasty, Bridie, Sausage Roll

12.5% 10.5%

6.25% 5.25%

Scottish/Scotch Pie

20% 17%

10% 8.5%

a) the letter X represents a named type of meat, or the word meat'.

b) all references to pies also apply to puddings


Uncooked Meat Products

Certain parts of the carcase of mammalian species may not be used in uncooked meat products ie; brains, feet, small and large intestine, lungs, oesophagus, rectum, spinal cord, spleen, stomach, testicles, udder. Note also the banned material in the following paragraph.


Specified Risk Material

The sale of SRM or any food containing it is banned for human consumption as is its use or sale in the preparation of food for human consumption. For bovine animals SRM varies according to whether it is UK or non UK and its age but generally includes, skull including brain and eyes, tonsils, spinal cord, thymus, spleen and intestines. For sheep and goats there are also differences for age, UK and non UK animals, but generally SRM includes skull including brain and eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and spleen.



The types, and amounts of additives, such as colours and preservatives that can be used in meat products are strictly controlled. Some are banned whereas for others only permitted additives may be used. Please ask for further details.


Minced Meat

There is no standard prescribed by law but it is generally accepted that it should not contain more than 20% fat. If qualified by words such as lean or extra lean a fat content considerably less than this would be expected. Where a particular meat is named eg Minced beef, there should be no other meats present. The use of additives in minced meat is prohibited.


October 2000

North Yorkshire County Council

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