Authorisation of Retail Butcher Shops Handling SRM
Containers & Storage
Staining & Disposal
What is the age limit for bovine animals as regards SRM?
The vertebral column (backbone) of bovine animals over 30 months is regarded as Specified Risk Material (SRM) and is not permitted in products for human consumption.
May I sell T-Bone Steak or similar cuts containing backbone?
Yes, but traditional T-Bones (containing the 'T' of bone), may only be cut from animals under 30 months. The traditional T-Bone steak contains vertebral column, which in animals over 30 months of age is SRM. Therefore the traditional T-bone cut containing vertebral column may only be derived from animals under 30 months of age.
The vertebral column of animals over 30 months of age must be removed as SRM and should not be present in cuts of meat for supply to consumers. Specifically, the vertebral body (the short thick part of the 'T') including the first inch of the transverse process (the long tapering part of the 'T') must be removed from cuts supplied to consumer, when derived from animals over 30 months. It is therefore not possible to sell a cut containing the traditional 'T' of bone from animals over 30 months. It is possible to cut meat for human consumption from this area in animals over 30 months, but it must not contain these SRM bones.
May I sell other cuts of beef from animals over 30 months?
Yes, in cattle the parts which must be removed as SRM and not sold in food are the following:
• Tonsils, the last four meters of the small intestine, the caecum and the mesentery of bovine animals of all ages
• Skull, excluding the mandible and including the brain and eyes, and the spinal cord of bovine animals over 12 months
• Vertebral column, excluding the vertebrae of the tail, spinous and transverse processes of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae and the median sacral crest and wings of the sacrum, but including the dorsal root ganglia, of bovine animals over 30 months (see below)
Why is vertebral column regarded as SRM?
Vertebral column is the part of the skeleton which, in life, contains the spinal cord. The connections of the spinal cord to the nerves throughout the body are facilitated by structures known as Dorsal Root Ganglia. These are tiny junction boxes which lie very close to the spinal cord, within or close to the vertebral column. In bovine animals over 30 months of age the TSE-related risk associated with these structures is deemed sufficient to warrant their removal from the food chain as SRM. Removal of the vertebral column manages the risk posed by these structures.
May I handle vertebral column in my retail butchers shop?
Vertebral column of bovine animals over 30 months is SRM and may only be handled by retail butchers shops which are specifically authorised for the purpose. This authorisation permits handling and removal of SRM vertebral column but does not allow handling of any other SRM.
Vertebral column of bovine animals less than 30 months is not SRM and may be handled by any retail outlet.
Why is 'Authorisation' necessary to handle vertebral column from animals over 30 months?
Specified Risk Material (SRM) refers to a group of tissues and organs of animals which have been show to have potential to transmit diseases such as BSE. SRM must be removed from the food and feed chain and disposed of as Category 1 material in accordance with prescribed legislative requirements, in order to ensure optimal consumer protection. In general terms they should be removed at the slaughterhouse under strictly controlled conditions. However the legislation takes account of the nature of beef trade on-the-bone, and in the case of vertebral column of animals over 30 months, permits removal at points in the food chain later than the slaughterhouses, e.g. at cutting plants or retail outlets. SRM has to be removed and disposed of properly. Both European and National legislation require that retail outlets which handle, remove and store SRM be specifically authorised.
I want to be able to handle SRM at my retail outlet. What do I need to have in place in order to be confident of achieving authorisation?
In order to comply with the regulations for authorisation, retail butchers should have the following systems in place:
Clear identification of any SRM vertebral column on the establishment.
- RED STRIPE: At intake, all sides or wholesale cuts of beef containing vertebral column must have a label which would enable judgement of whether or not they are over 30 months, and hence contain SRM. Since 1 July 2017, beef carcase labels on animals over 30 months must have a red stripe.
- BLUE STRIPE: Prior to 30 June 2017, a blue stripe was used to identify carcases under 30 months where removal of vertebral column was not required. This has now been replaced by the red stripe as set out above. However, food business operators can continue to use the blue stripe on carcases under 30 months for their own purposes
- DOCUMENTATION: At intake, a document must accompany the meat indicating whether any vertebral column in beef sides or wholesale cuts is SRM or not. For example an invoice might read 'Sides of beef from animals under 30 months', Sides of beef from animals over 30 months' or 'Sides of beef with vertebral column which is not SRM' or 'Sides of beef with vertebral column which must be removed as SRM'. This documentation must be kept for a period of one year.
Safe removal of SRM from products destined for human consumption.
- Removal of SRM vertebral column must be performed in a separate space or time from other operations
- Removal must be performed by someone competent in the knowledge and skills required for removal of vertebral column, such as a trained craft butcher
- Removal must be followed by cleanup and sanitation of the area
- Wastewater drains in the SRM removal area must be fitted with a grid of maximum pore size of 6 mm. All waste trapped in these drains during the SRM removal procedure and the subsequent cleanup (Bone dust or fat accumulation) is Category 1 material
Proper separation, identification and disposal of Category 1 material
- Following removal Category 1 material must be stored in dedicated leak-proof properly labelled containers
- It should be stained with patent Blue Dye ( E131 Patent Blue V at 0.5% weight/volume solution ) prior to dispatch from your establishment
- It must be collected by an approved haulier for disposal at an approved rendering plant. Records of collection should be maintained for two years
- Containers should be managed hygienically with any wastewater screened to remove material greater than 6 mm as Category 1 material.
I am authorised and understand that my local inspector will inspect my system on an ongoing basis, what sort of records do I need to be able to show?
You will need to be able to demonstrate the following records:
• Documentation for all carcases or wholesale cuts containing vertebral column which you have received in the past year, with a clear indication of what vertebral column required removal as SRM and what didn't.
• Documentation for collection of all Category 1 material by an approved haulier for the preceding two years.
That all seems like a lot of trouble. Can I avoid authorisation entirely, by avoiding all vertebral column of animals over 30 months?
Yes, you can. Only retail outlets which handle SRM have to be authorised. Therefore retail outlets may handle any cuts of meat which don't contain vertebral column of animals over 30 months.
Without authorisation you may handle the following:
• Boned-out beef from any age of animal
• Bone-in beef from any age of animal which has had vertebral column removed prior to acceptance at your establishment
• Bone-in beef containing vertebral column from animals under 30 months.
Can I sell T-Bone steaks in my shop without special authorisation?
Yes. Vertebral column of cattle under 30 months is not SRM, so you may handle such material, and cut and sell T-Bone steaks from this material, without any authorisation.
Should I label the T-Bones I have for sale as having been derived from animals under 30 months?
No, This is not necessary. The only bovine vertebral column which is permitted in products for human consumption, is from animals under 30 months. Sale of products containing vertebral column from bovine animals over 30 months is not permitted and is in fact a serious breach of the legislation, so it is not necessary to indicate that the T-Bones you have for sale are from animals under 30 months. However you must have systems in place to enable verification of the fact that the T-Bones for sale are derived from carcasses under 30 months.
The only vertebral column that I handle at my shop is from animals under 30 months; do I need authorisation?
No, If you do not handle SRM you don't need to be authorised to handle SRM. You should make a declaration of only handling vertebral column from animals under 30 months.
However, you do need to have systems in place that would enable verification of this fact. Specifically any carcase beef you purchase must have a label with a blue stripe indicating that its vertebral column is not SRM. Similarly, accompanying documentation should indicate the same fact, and be retained by for a year. The onus is on you the retailer to ensure that carcase beef is examined at intake and legislative compliance assured.
In general, I only handle vertebral column from animals under 30 months, but at some times of the year this beef is difficult to source, so I occasionally handle vertebral column from animals over 30 months. Do I need authorisation?
Yes. All SRM has to be removed in accordance with the legislation. Any handling of SRM in a retail outlet, regardless of how small a quantity or how infrequently, requires authorisation. Any handling of SRM by an unauthorised retail outlet is a legal offence.
The only beef I handle at my shop is either boned-out or has the vertebral column removed. Do I need authorisation?
No. If you do not handle SRM you do not need to be authorised to handle SRM. You should make a declaration of not handling any vertebral column, and hence not handling any SRM.
However, you do need to have systems in place that would ensure that beef purchased meets these criteria, in the form of documentation describing the nature of beef purchased. If your supplier provides bone in beef with vertebral column removed, then this would need to be indicated in the accompanying documentation, e.g. 'Sides of beef with vertebral column removed'.
Will authorisation to handle SRM at my retail shop also grant me authorisation as a haulier for category 1 material?
No. these are separate issues. (See also Staining & Disposal section) . Authorisation to handle SRM at a retail outlet means just that and no more.
A retail outlet authorised for handling SRM:
• May take in and store carcasses and wholesale cuts containing SRM
• May remove this SRM
• May store any category 1 material created as part of the food business operation at that establishment,
• Must have all category 1 material collected by an approved haulier for correct disposal.
Activities that are not permitted by authorisation include
• Haulage of Category 1 material generated in your authorised retail shop.
• Haulage of Category 1 material generated in any other establishment
• Storage of Category 1 material generated in any other establishment
• Dispatch of carcasses or wholesale cuts containing SRM from your retail establishment
The inspectorate responsible for your retail shop is also responsible for assessing your authorisation for handling SRM at that establishment. In Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is the competent authority for approving hauliers and intermediated storage depots for Category 1 material. If you wish to become authorised as a haulier or intermediate storage depot for Category 1 material, you should apply to DAFM.
I have the animals' age at slaughter printed on the labels, is that enough?
No. The European legislation is quite specific in that all the labels on beef carcases in which vertebral column is SRM must be marked with a red stripe. Furthermore the legislation is quite specific in requiring butchers shops to maintain documentary evidence of the age of carcase beef purchased in the preceding year.
All business operators along the food chain have responsibility regarding proper labelling and identification of food and by-products. It is the responsibility of the retail butcher to ensure that beef accepted complies with these regulations.
Red stripes and documentation are the proof of carcase age required by the legislation.
If your supplier already has a system in place to ensure that the animal's age at slaughter is on the label, then a red stripe on those over 30 months, and an indication of carcase age on accompanying documentation should be reasonably attainable.
The invoices I receive use the term 'Heifer Beef' which I understand to mean animals under 30 months of age. Is that sufficient?
No. Whilst the common use of the word heifer would imply a young animal, its meaning is not tight enough to exclude the possibility of the animal being over 30 months. The commercial document should indicate either the age of the animals, or the requirement to remove the vertebral column from the animals as SRM. Examples of indications likely to be acceptable include 'Sides of beef from animals under 30 months', Sides of beef from animals over 30 months' or 'Sides of beef with vertebral column which is not SRM' or 'Sides of beef with vertebral column which must be removed as SRM'.
I wish to buy/sell a shop which has been authorised for handling SRM. Does the authorisation transfer to the new owner of the shop?
No. The authorisation does not transfer with the shop. Authorisation to handle SRM refers to a food business operation performed under the control of a food business operator at a certain establishment. If the operation, the operator, or the establishment change, then the new operation by that operator at that establishment would have to be authorised.
The SRM removal in my shop might be done by any of a number of staff members, do I need to have each person authorised?
No. The authorisation to handle SRM refers to a food business operation performed under the control of a food business operator at a certain establishment. Part of that authorisation would be an assessment of the adequacy of the procedure for removal of SRM, including the competence of the personnel involved.
I own several shops each of which might handle SRM, do I need authorisation for each shop?
Yes. The authorisation to handle SRM refers to a food business operation performed under the control of a food business operator at a certain establishment. Each establishment handling SRM needs to be individually authorised.
I am authorised to remove bovine backbone from animals over 24 months. However I never have bovine carcases with backbone from animals over 30 months in my shop. Do I still need to be authorised?
No. If you will never be removing backbone from bovine carcases over 30 months (defined as SRM), then you will not need to be authorised. In this situation, you should notify the HSE (local Environmental Health Service office) that you no longer need to be authorised and return your certificate of authorisation. However, you must be sure that you have systems in place to check the ages of any bovine carcases containing backbone you buy to ensure that they are from animals under 30 months. Inspectors will be checking that you never have SRM in your shop.
Would I be required to have a separate work area and equipment dedicated to SRM removal?
No. There needs to be separation of the SRM removal procedure in space or time from other food operations. So, provided there is no other food activity in the SRM removal area during the removal procedure, and there is a documented adequate cleanup procedure following the SRM removal procedure, it is possible to use the same work area and equipment that is used for other food operations. Your inspector should be consulted on specific removal proposals for your establishment.
Do I always have to do the removal myself, or could one of my apprentice butchers perform the task?
The authorisation to handle SRM refers to a food business operation performed under the control of a food business operator at a certain establishment. Part of that authorisation would be an assessment of the adequacy of the procedure for removal of SRM, including the competence of the personnel involved. It is your responsibility to ensure that staff are supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity. Authorisation to handle SRM would require you, the FBO, to demonstrate that staff involved in the removal are specifically supervised and instructed and /or trained in the removal of SRM vertebral column. Inspectors may wish to verify the competence of staff involved in the removal procedure.
What sort of cleanup would be required?
All organic material such as bone dust or fat accumulations should be removed from the entire work area. Specific attention should be paid to cleaning of band-saws . The entire area should be washed with a detergent and sanitised with a disinfectant. Any particulate material collected during the cleanup procedure is Category 1 material. Wastewater drains should be screened throughout the SRM removal and cleanup procedure to remove material > 6 mm, and this trapped material is Category 1.
Containers and Storage
All of the waste generated in my shop is collected as Category 1 material, even though only small proportion is in fact Category 1. Is this acceptable?
Yes, this is acceptable. It is your responsibility to ensure that animal by-products generated in your shop are dealt with in an appropriate manner. A mixture of animal by-product categories which contains any Category 1 material must all be regarded as Category 1 material. Therefore, systems which do not provide for separation of Category 1 material from other animal by-product categories must regard all animal by-products as Category 1. Thus, while you may voluntarily decide to have a system which doesn't separate Category 1 material from other animal by-products, you must then deal with all of this material according to the requirements for any Category 1 material. Specifically, this material must be stored in dedicated, appropriately labelled, leak-proof containers, and stained prior to leaving your establishment. Hauliers should not accept unstained Category 1 material. Your inspector should be informed of this approach as the amount of Category 1 material stored at and consigned from your shop is likely to significantly exceed the amount of SRM accepted.
What sort of storage facilities do I require for Category 1 vertebral column, which I have removed? May I use e.g. plastic bags?
All containers for Category 1 material need to be appropriately labelled (see below), dedicated to category 1 and nothing else, impervious, and lidded when not in use. Cut bone contains sharp material, and plastic bags do not represent leak-proof containers for cut bone. Simple inexpensive systems include buckets with lids, wheelie- bins or dustbins.
Are Specified Risk Material (SRM) and Category 1 Animal By-Products the same thing?
In general terms, yes they are more-or-less used to refer to the same thing. SRM refers to tissues in animals or their products which pose risks of transmitting TSEs. These have to be removed from the food chain, and disposed of as the highest risk category of animal by-products, referred to as Category 1. All SRM is Category 1 once removed. Whilst other Category 1 materials do exist, for the most part Category 1 material is SRM.
Which label should I have on the container, SRM or Category 1?
Ideally, the container should be labelled as "Category 1 Animal By-Products for Disposal'. However, labelling with "Specified Risk material", "SRM", "Category 1" or "Cat. 1", or a combination of those, may be acceptable.
The material in the container is dyed and obviously Category 1, is that sufficient without labelling of the container?
No. The container has to be labelled appropriately.
I only handle SRM at certain times of the year, and wish to use the container for other purposes at other times of the year. Is that acceptable?
No. The regulations specifically prohibit the re-use of Category 1 containers for lower risk waste, or for food.
The material stored in Category 1 containers is obviously not a food product, and cleaning might create contamination. Do I have to keep them clean?
Yes. Authorisation of a retail butchers shop to handle SRM is given in the context of that establishment remaining primarily an establishment involved in the sale of food for human consumption. In that context, hygienic management of all aspects of the operation, including waste containers is very important. You should perform any cleaning of these containers in a place or time separate from food. Any wastewater generated during cleaning of these containers must be screened to remove material greater than 6mm as Category 1 material.
I'd like to keep the Category 1 material refrigerated pending collection. Is it possible to store it in the chill which is primarily used for foodstuffs?
There should be clear separation of Category 1 material from food. Chills which are very full with food, or Category 1 containers which are very large, may not permit this clear separation in a typical retail shop chill. Specifically, carcasses or wholesale cuts hanging in a chill may not be in contact with the Category 1 container. Also, filling of Category 1 containers within a food chill may create the possibility of contamination, so they should be removed to the SRM removal area for filling, then covered prior to entry to the chill. Furthermore, hygienic management of containers is extremely important if stored in such an environment. Your inspector should be consulted on specific storage proposals for your establishment.
I don't generate very much Category 1 material, and only have infrequent collection, so I'd like to freeze this material pending collection. Is this acceptable?
Category 1 material may be frozen during storage, provided there is clear separation from food. Typically, this would require a dedicated freezer clearly designated as Category 1 container. Your inspector should be consulted on specific storage proposals for your establishment.
Staining and Diposal
The stain is messy and awkward to work with. Do I have to stain the SRM material immediately upon removal from the carcase?
Ideally, yes, Category 1 material should be stained immediately upon removal. An ideal system would incorporate the staining of Category 1 material immediately following each removal procedure, e.g. staining would take place at the end of each batch just before cleanup.
However, the practicalities of working with stain may be problematic in the retail context. The only SRM that may be handled in a retail shop is Vertebral column, so the only Category 1 material that may be present is bone. Therefore, if a system is in place to ensure adequate identification and separation of removed Category 1 material at the shop, then a system involving delayed staining, until immediately prior to collection by an approved haulier, may be acceptable. You should be able to demonstrate receipts for purchase of dye and adequate procedures for making up the dye. Your inspector should be consulted on specific staining proposals for your establishment.
In all cases the Category 1 material must be stained before leaving the authorised retail establishment.
Must I have stain on-site, or may I have an arrangement with the haulier to stain the material on my establishment prior to collection?
As the operator of an establishment authorised for handling of SRM you need systems in place to endure adequate disposal of Category 1 material. Whatever system you have in place has to ensure that Category 1 material is stained before leaving your establishment. A procedure involving the absence of stain at your shop with the haulier doing the staining of material prior to acceptance, may be acceptable provided it is verifiable e.g. by means of:
• Written arrangement with a haulier,
• Visible stain residue in Category 1 containers.
Your inspector should be consulted on specific staining proposals for your establishment.
Is it acceptable for the haulier to stain the Category 1 material after it has been emptied into his lorry?
No, this is not acceptable. As the operator of an establishment authorised for removal of SRM you need a system to ensure that Category 1 material is disposed of properly. All Category 1 material should be stained before leaving your establishment. The absence of such a system would prevent authorisation. The practice of staining after leaving your establishment would not comply with the regulations. Hauliers should only accept stained material.
This level of control is necessary to provide assurance that, following collection at your establishment, this material undergoes disposal prescribed for Category 1 material, for which you are paying. Staining helps prevent any possibility of use of Category 1 material for any purpose other than disposal at rendering plants.
I have bin-liners and gloves which are contaminated with category 1 material. May I dispose of the whole container, or a liner, or gloves, as Category 1 material?
No. Rendering plants have systems to ensure proper rendering of Category 1 material. Incorporation of plastic material would have potential negative affect on the rendering process. Disposal of the containers or liners or gloves which have been contaminated by SRM/Category 1 material as normal waste in landfill is permitted provided all material greater than 6mm has been removed.
Hauliers are reluctant to bring their lorries into the urban environment where my shop is. Can I transport my SRM to somewhere else for collection?
No, you cannot transport it without specific approval as a Category 1 haulier. Category 1 material has to be handled in a controlled manner. The legislation permits the approval of intermediate storage depots, to deal with situations like this. An approved intermediate storage depot might provide a service of collection from retail outlets for subsequent collection. If the slaughterhouse supplying the carcasses collects the SRM from your retail outlet, then that FBO must be approved as a Category 1 haulier and intermediate storage depot. It is your responsibility to have in place a system for proper disposal of Category 1 material by means of approved hauliers/intermediaries.
In Ireland , the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) is the competent authority for approving hauliers and intermediated storage depots for Category 1 material. If you wish to become authorised as a haulier or intermediate storage depot for Category 1 material, you should apply to DAF.
I have a small slaughterhouse and attached boning hall that supplies my own shop. I handle SRM all of the time at my slaughterhouse, and sometimes handle vertebral column from animals over 30 months at my shop. Does my retail outlet need to be authorised for handling SRM?
Yes, retail outlets handling and removing SRM need to be authorised for that purpose. There is strict control of SRM at slaughterhouses, and part of your slaughterhouse's approval incorporates an assessment of the adequacy of the SRM systems you have in place. Handling of SRM in any retail butcher shop requires specific authorisation. Therefore, a reasonable solution permitting you to avoid authorisation at your shop would be to remove any SRM at the approved boning area attached to the slaughterhouse, rather than bringing it to your retail outlet for removal. You may still bring carcase beef containing vertebral column of animals under 30 months from your slaughterhouse to your shop without authorisation.
I have a small slaughterhouse that supplies my own shop. My slaughterhouse doesn't have cutting facilities, but my shop has cutting facilities, and that's where I remove SRM vertebral column. Does my shop need to be authorised?
Yes, retail outlets handling and removing SRM need to be authorised for that purpose. So you would have to fulfil the authorisation requirements regarding identification, and safe removal of SRM at your shop. See below for details on how ownership of a slaughterhouse might be relevant to authorisation of a shop for SRM handling.
I have a small slaughterhouse that supplies my own shop which requires authorisation. Must I have a separate Category 1 waste collection facility at the shop?
Your slaughterhouse would have Category 1 storage and collection facilities. These facilities may suffice for the purposes of authorisation of your retail shop, with return of Category 1 vertebral column from the shop to the slaughterhouse. It is your responsibility to ensure appropriate storage and disposal of Category 1 material generated in the shop. The inspector responsible for your retail authorisation would need to verify the effectiveness of storage and disposal facilities for your retail operation.
The following considerations are relevant:
• Both the shop and the small slaughterhouse must be under the ownership and control of one food business operator.
• There may only be return from a single local retail shop to the small slaughterhouse.
• All containers used for storage or transport of Category 1 material, even if temporary storage or transport from the shop to the slaughterhouse, must be regarded as Category 1 containers, i.e. they must be leak-proof appropriately labelled and dedicated to Category 1 and nothing else thereafter.
• If the shop is a separate establishment, not on the same site as the slaughterhouse, (e.g. motorised transport is required for movements between these establishments), then Category 1 material must be stained before leaving the shop. Transport of empty or full Category 1 containers in vehicles which are primarily used for transport of food should be done with regard to managing any risk of food contamination.
• Your Category 1 disposal records must clearly identify the contribution of the retail shop to your overall Category 1 disposal consignments. This is an important issue, without which appropriate disposal of Category 1 material from the shop is not apparent. Relatively crude versions of this information are likely to suffice. For example your disposal records might indicate that Category 1 material consignment from you slaughterhouse consisted of the material from your slaughterhouse throughput for that period, e.g. '3 cattle and 10 sheep'; and in addition clear indication of the Category 1 material from your shop e.g. 'one wheelie-bin full of bones from the shop'.
• Your Category 1 disposal records must be available to the inspectorate responsible for your retail authorisation
Your inspector should be consulted on proposals regarding slaughterhouse collection and storage facilities for retail authorisation.
I have a small slaughterhouse that supplies my own shop. Do I need to have a blue-striping system for labels of carcasses that I supply to myself?
Yes, you need the blue stripes. Blue striping is required by the Regulations on the labels of carcasses and wholesale cuts containing vertebral column which need not be removed as SRM. The presence of vertebral column in your shop has to be backed-up by a blue-label system to facilitate control of SRM. The blue stripe is a legally required part of the proof that the vertebral column in your shop is not SRM.
I have a small slaughterhouse that supplies my own shop. Do I need to have a years' documentary evidence of the age of carcasses supplied to myself?
You do need to have an adequate record system to indicate that age of carcase beef accepted in your shop during the preceding year. A documentary system describing carcase movements from the slaughterhouse to the shop would be a good approach to this, but you do not need to specifically begin writing invoices to yourself. Your slaughterhouse records are likely to be adequate if they show details of animal age, but should be available to the inspectorate responsible for supervision of the retail part of your business. Your inspector should be consulted on specific documentary verification proposals for your establishment.
I have a small slaughterhouse where all animals slaughtered are under 30 months of age. I dispatch some carcase beef. Do I need blue striping and age indication on the documentation of dispatched carcases?
Yes. Blue striping is required by the regulations on the labels of carcasses and wholesale cuts containing vertebral column which need not be removed as SRM. The absence of a blue-stripe on the label of a carcass or a wholesale cut containing vertebral column would indicate that the vertebral column requires removal as SRM. Similarly an indication of the requirement for removal of vertebral column or not is required on the commercial documentation of all carcase-beef dispatched from slaughterhouses.
I have a small slaughterhouse where I bone-out all carcasses and only dispatch boned-out beef. Do I need to have a blue striping system?
Yes. Blue striping is required by the regulations on the labels of carcasses and wholesale cuts containing vertebral column which need not be removed as SRM. The absence of a blue-stripe on the label of a carcass or a wholesale cut containing vertebral column would indicate that the vertebral column requires removal as SRM. Your veterinary inspector should be consulted on proposals for ensuring SRM removal in your slaughtering and de-boning operation.
If you dispatch any bone-in beef containing vertebral column, then you need a blue striping system and age information on the accompanying documentation.
Vertebral Column / Backbone of Cattle
|Under 30 Months
||Over 30 Months
|May be present in food sold to consumers e.g. T-bone steak
||May not be present in food sold to consumers
|May be present in retail shops
||May only be present in retail shops with specific authorisation for handling SRM
|Blue stripe must be present on carcase label
||Blue stripe muse be absent on carcase label
|Presence of beef supplied to retail shop must be indicated on commercial document
||Presence in beef supplied to retail shop must be indicated in commercial document
|No specific disposal requirements (above those for normal animal by-product disposal
||Must be disposed of as Category 1 material
Last reviewed: 23/8/2017