Time limit on preparation of minced beef rethink

Letter to the editor.


Scottish butchers have a difficulty with the new European legislation that requires mince prepared from chilled meat (other than poultry meat), to be prepared within six days of slaughter.

In Scotland, beef is matured for longer than six days. Maturation of bone-in beef tenderises roasting cuts and steak cuts through enzyme reactions. When hanging hindquarters, the shin or hough is still intact at the top of the hindquarter in the area adjacent to the traditional point of suspension.

Obviously, this beef is used before it wastes but it is older than six days. If beef to be used for mince must be less than six days from point of slaughter, this will radically change the practices of the industry, remove a point of difference for beef from Scotland and drastically reduce the eating quality of Scotch beef.

We see this requirement's inclusion covers the consumption of raw mince. While this may be a practice in Europe, it is certainly not how beef mince is consumed in UK. I would urge a review of this requirement.

Douglas Scott

Chief Executive

Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Assocs

Needless Road, Perth.