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Requirements for raw materials - minced meat

Regulation (EC) 853/2004 defines 'Minced meat' as "boned meat that has been minced into fragments and contains less than 1 % salt". Minced meat must not be re-frozen after thawing.

Food business operators (FBOs) producing minced meat must ensure that the raw materials used to prepare minced meat must:

  • comply with the requirements for fresh meat;
  • derive from skeletal muscle, including adherent fatty tissues.

The raw material used to prepare minced meat must not be derived from:

  • scrap cuttings and scrap trimmings (other than whole muscle cuttings). (Once they have been obtained from whole muscle, the use of small trimmings and cuttings of meat that are fit for human consumption is permitted once the microbiological quality of the minced meat is guaranteed at all times);
  • mechanically separated meat (MSM);
  • meat containing bone fragments or skin; or
  • meat of the head with the exception of the masseters, the non-muscular part of the linea alba , the region of the carpus and the tarsus, bone scrapings and the muscles of the diaphragm (unless the serosa has been removed).

Regulation (EC) No 1162/2009 (NO LONGER IN FORCE) granted a derogation from the above requirements for a transitional period which ended on 31 December 2013. However, the FBO must check the raw materials entering the establishment to ensure compliance with the name of the product in the table below in respect of the final product labelled as such:

Composition criteria checked on the basis of a daily average

Product Fat Content Connective Tissue: meat protein ratio
Lean minced meat <7% <12
Minced pure beef <20% <15
Minced meat containing pigmeat <30% <18
Minced meat of other species <25% <15