Mince label rules tightened

All minced meat must be labelled with the correct percentage of fat and collagen under new law which will come into force on 1 January 2014.

The new legislation aims to help consumers make more informed choices and will be introduced over the coming months in a bid to give food businesses time to amend labels or consider product changes.

Under current law, minced meat labelled as “lean meat” can contain up to 15% fat and 15% collagen. However, under new law, lean will only refer to products with 7% or less fat and collagen content of 12% or less.

Food and farming minister George Eustice said: “For the first time, people choosing ‘lean’ minced meat will be guaranteed a low fat product. Minced meat will be clearly labelled with the percentage of fat, empowering people to make more informed choices about what they buy.”

UK businesses will still be allowed to make minced meat with a higher fat and collagen content than new EU limits, as long as it is labelled clearly.

Director of of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Stephen Rossides said: “The BMPA welcomes the Government’s announcement on minced meat labelling. These provisions ensure that consumers have the information they seek, and they enable UK meat companies to satisfy the range of minced meat choices that consumers expect.”

All EU member states are allowed to exceed levels of fat and collagen as long as the product is labelled with a national mark.