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Labelling of Beef and beef products

European Legislation

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1760/2000 (OJ L204, p1, 11/08/2000) 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

Amended by

Regulation (EU) No 653/2014  (OJ L189, p33, 27/06/2014) of 15 May 2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 as regards electronic identification of bovine animals and labelling of beef

Consolidated version of  Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 ( as at 17 July 2014)

 

 

 

 

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

Amended by

Corrected by

  • Corrigendum (OJ L179, p56, 07/07/2007) to Commission Regulation (EC) No 275/2007 of 15 March 2007 amending Regulation (EC) No 1825/2000 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 (OJ L76, p12, 16/03/2007)

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

National Legislation

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

Amended by

  • European Communities (Labelling of Beef and Beef Products) Regulations, 2002 (S.I. No. 485 of 2002)
  • The European Communities (Labelling of Beef and Beef Products)(Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (S.I. No. 404 of 2015)

Health (Country of Origin of Beef) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 307 of 2006)

Amended by

(Note S.I. 307 of 2006 as amended only applies to businesses providing prepared beef to consumers)

S.I. 435 of 2000 and its amendment S.I. 485 of 2002 require a mandatory traceability and origin labelling for beef from slaughterhouse to point of sale to consumers. This labelling system for beef consists of two elements, a compulsory beef labelling system and a voluntary beef labelling system, with the objective of providing maximum transparency during the marketing of beef. Compulsory beef labelling requires operators or organisations to label beef with specific information at all stages of marketing up to and including the point of sale to the consumer

The requirements apply to all fresh or frozen beef, either carcasses, de-boned meat, cut meat or minced meat, which are marketed in the EU The information required under the Labelling of beef Regulations should be applied to or attached to individual pieces of meat or to their packaging material. Where beef is not wrapped, the information is required to be provided in a written and visible form to the consumer at point of sale

Operators or organisations are required to label beef with the following information:

  • the reference number or code of the animal or group of animals from which the beef was derived
  • the country of the slaughterhouse and approval number. The indication should read:- 'Slaughtered in (name of country) (approval number)'.
  • the country of the cutting hall and approval number. The indication should read:- 'Cutting in (name of country) (approval number)'.
  • Origin of the beef.

(i) If the beef is derived from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the same country, the indication on the label may be given as "Origin: (name of country)" . For example, 'Origin: Ireland '
(ii) If the beef is derived from animals from different countries the label must indicate:

  • Country of birth
  • Country (or Countries) of fattening
  • Country of slaughter

For example, 'Born in Italy' 'Reared in France' 'Slaughtered in Ireland '

Beef from Third Countries

By way of derogation, beef imported into the Community for which not all the information referred to above is available, shall be labelled with the words:

  • 'Origin: non-EC'; 'Slaughtered in (name of third country).

Labelling where information is not available

Meat derived from animals born in the Community before 1st January 1998 , where there is no information regarding the place of birth and/or the place of rearing, the label should state:

  • 'Born before 1st January 1998'

Meat derived from animals imported live into the Community where there is no information regarding the place of birth and/or the place of rearing, the label should state:

  • Live import into the EU' or 'Live import from (name of 3rd country).

Simplification of the indication or origin

Beef derived from animals that have been reared for 30 days or less in the country of birth or the country of slaughter, are not required to have this country on the label provided that the animal has been reared for a period longer than 30 days in another country (i.e. the country where the animal spent the longest period of time appears on the label).

Degoration from certain labelling requirements

Commission Regulation (EC) No 275/2007 of the 15th March 2007 introduces some degorations from certain labelling requirements of . In  Regulation (EC) No. 1760/2000 in  particular it gives a derogation to trimmings from the labelling requirements of Article 13(2)(b) (i.e. show slaughterhouse approval number)and Article 13(2)(c) (show cutting plant approval number) and Article 13(5)(a)(i) (Member State or third country of birth) and Article 13(5)(a)(ii) (all Member States or third countries where fattening took place) of Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000, and requires that operators and organisations indicate on labels for trimmings:

  • (a) the country of slaughter of the animals from which the trimmings came; the indication shall read: “Slaughtered in (name of the Member State or third country of slaughter)”;
  • (b) the country in which the trimmings were produced and the approval number of the plant at which they were produced; the indication shall read: “Produced in (name of the Member State or third country of production and approval number of the plant)”;
  • (c) the countries in which the animals constituting the group were born and raised; the indication shall read: “Born and raised in (names of the countries in which the animals were born and raised)”.

By way of derogation from paragraph (a) and (c) above, where all the animals in the group were born, raised and slaughtered in the same country, operators shall be authorised to use the indication “Country of origin:” followed by the name of the Member State or third country in which the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

Trimmings are defined in the Regulation as " small pieces of meat recognised as fit for human consumption produced exclusively during trimming operations during the boning of carcases and/or the cutting up of meat;"

Commission Regulation (EC) No 275/2007 also provides a degoration for pre-packaged meat from the requirement in Regulation (EC) No. 1760/2000 Article 13(2)(b) (show slaughterhouse approval number) and Article 13(2)(c) (show cutting plant approval number) for those operators who make use of the derogation on further cutting of meat, using meat of animals slaughtered at a maximum of three different slaughterhouses and from carcases cut up at a maximum of three different cutting plants. Such operators are required to list the following information as well as that listed in Article 13(5)(a) ( i.e. country/countries where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered):

  • (a) the country of slaughter of the animals, followed by the approval number of the slaughterhouse or, where appropriate, the two or three slaughterhouses at which the animals constituting the group were slaughtered; the indication shall read: “Animals in the group slaughtered in (name of the Member State or third country of slaughter) (approval number(s) of the slaughterhouse or the two or three slaughterhouses concerned)”;
  • (b) the country in which the carcases were cut up, followed by the approval number of the cutting plant or, where appropriate, the two or three cutting plants at which the carcases were cut up; the indication shall read: “Cutting of meat in batch in: (name of the Member State or third country in which meat was cut up) (approval number(s) of the plant or the two or three plants concerned)”.

In the case of non pre-packaged meat a derogation from Article 13(2)(b) (show slaughterhouse approval number) and Article 13(2) (c) (show cutting plant approval number) of Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000, at points of sale to the final consumer operators and organisations shall label all non-prepackaged cut meats displayed for sale with the name of the country in which the animals from which the meat came were born, raised and slaughtered, followed by the name of the country in which the carcases were cut up.

Meat of animals born and/or raised and/or slaughtered in different countries shall be clearly separated when displayed for sale. Information shall be displayed in the sale outlet by such meats so as to allow the final consumer to distinguish easily between meat from different origins.

Operators who display non-pre-packaged cut meats together for sale each day shall record, with the date, the approval numbers of the slaughterhouses in which the animals were slaughtered and the cutting plants in which the carcases were cut up. They shall provide that information to consumers who so request.

Labelling: voluntary beef labelling system

Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 set out rules for a voluntary beef labelling system which  required food business operators to seek approval for the use of certain claims such as  breed, method of fattening etc. from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  In 2014, it was agreed at EU level that with the introduction of other legislation since the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000, the specific rules on the voluntary labelling system for beef and beef products was superfluous and should therefore be deleted.


Regulation (EU) No 653/2014 was published and this removed the requirement for approval of voluntary claims on the on the characteristics of the meat. Consequently, as for any other sort of meat, food information on beef which goes beyond mandatory labelling must respect the current horizontal legislation, including Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (FIC)

 

 

Last reviewed: 18/7/2016

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