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Additional Requirements for the Labelling of Minced Beef

EU Legislation

Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 (OJ L204, p1, 11/08/2000) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 820/97

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1825/2000 (OJ L216, p8, 26/08//2000) of 25 August 2000 laying down detailed rules for the application of Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the labelling of beef and beef products

Amended by

Consolidated version of   Regulation (EC) No 1825/2000  (as 23rd March 2007)

National Legislation

European Communities (Labelling of Beef and Beef Products) Regulations, 2000 (S.I. No. 435 of 2000)
European Communities (Labelling of Beef and Beef Products)(Amendment) Regulations, 2002 (S.I. No. 485 of 2002)

Since July 2000 compulsory labelling has been in place for beef (whether fresh or frozen). Operators or organisations marketing beef are obliged to label the beef at all stages of the marketing process with specific information in addition to the labelling requirements set out in Directive 2000/13/EC

The legislation governing the labelling of beef grants certain derogations regarding minced beef labelling, therefore minced beef can be labelled as follows:

Minced beef the labels must contain

  • A traceability number/reference code, which links the meat and the animal or animals it came from.
  • the words "Prepared in" followed by the name of the Member State or third country where the mincing took place
  • the word 'Origin' where the State or States involved are  not the State of preparation
  • Member State or Third Country where the slaughter took place 


Minced beef labels may also contain one or more of the indications listed below

  • the date on which the meat was prepared
  • the approval number of the slaughterhouse at which the animal/animals were slaughtered and the Member States/third country in which the slaughter house is established
  • the approval number of the cutting hall and the name of the Member States /third country in which the cutting hall is established
  • Member State or third country of birth
  • all Member States or third countries where fattening took place

When the beef is not wrapped, the relevant information must be provided in written and visible form to the consumer at the point of sale


Labelling of prepared beef


Health (Country of Origin of Beef) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 307 of 2006) (Note this S.I. only applies to food businesses providing prepared beef to consumers)

Amended by

Health (Country of Origin of Beef) (Amendment)Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 85 of 2007)

S .I. 307 of 2007 and its amendment S.I. No. 85 of 2007 are intended primarily for the catering and food service sector. The regulations place an obligation on restaurants and other catering establishments to communicate information on the country of origin of beef to the consumer.

The Regulations define “Prepared beef” as: "means beef, within the meaning assigned to it by Regulation (EC) No. 1760/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000, which has been cooked or otherwise prepared for human consumption in the caterer's establishment and beef within that meaning which has been bought in cooked" This includes:

  • minced beef brought into the food business either fresh or frozen and cooked or otherwise prepared in the establishment and served to customers
  • minced beef bought into the food business already cooked and subsequently served to customers.

A caterer providing 'prepared beef' to consumers must not

  • advertise the beef for sale or supply;
  • present it for sale or supply or
  • sell or supply it

unless the country or countries of origin of the beef is indicated at the point of advertising, presenting, sale and supply in clear legible type on the advertisement, menu or other presentation used.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has published Guidelines for Environmental Health Officers for Enforcement of the Health (Country of Origin of Beef) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 307 of 2006), as amended. These guidelines aim to provide assistance in the interpretation of the Regulations.

A leaflet titled Advice for Caterers on the Country of Origin of Beef Labelling Requirements has also been published.