Food Law News - EU - 1996

10 October 1996: BEEF - Labelling of Beef and Beef Products

MAFF Letter, 10 October 1996

Labelling of Beef and Beef Products

The Commission has published proposals for two new Regulations to help restore confidence in beef and beef products following the difficulties arising from BSE. The first covers the identification and registration of cattle and the second is on the labelling of beef and beef products. Only summary details of the second are given here.

In addition to the requirements on labelling already existing, if an operator or organization wishes to label beef or beef products in a detailed manner at the point of sale, it must meet the requirements of the Regulation. Each operator or organization shall submit a specification for approval to the competent authority of each Member State in which production or sale of the beef or beef products in question takes place. The specification shall indicate the information to be included on the label, the measures to be taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, the control system to be applied. Any specification which does not ensure a link being made between identification of the carcase, quarter, pieces of meat and meat products and the individual animal, or in the case of pieces of meat and meat products the animals concerned, shall be refused. Where a specification is approved, the operator or organization shall be entitled to label beef and beef products, provided that the label contains its name or logo.

Provision is made for approval in different Member States and for products from third countries.

Details are given as to the type of information which can be included on beef and beef products. Detailed rules may be developed regarding this information.

The proposals are due for early discussion as a matter of urgency.

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