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Labelling of Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the competent authority for the purpose of implementing the regulations governing the labelling of beef and beef products.  

Under these regulations (EU Parliament and Council Regulation 1760/2000 and S.I. No. 435 of 2000), operators and organisations involved in the marketing of beef must label beef so as to provide consumers with the following information:

 

  • A reference number or reference code permitting the identification of the animal or group of animals from which the beef was derived;
  • The approval number and country of the slaughterhouse - the indication should read: 'Slaughtered in (name of the Member State or third country) (approval number)';
  • The approval number and country of the de-boning hall - the indication should read: 'Cutting in; (name of the Member State or third country) (approval number)';
  • The Member State or third country where the animal was born, fattened and slaughtered (Origin).

 

The regulations also provided for voluntary beef labelling provisions whereby operators wishing to provide supplementary information on beef labels could only do so subject to the approval of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. However, these requirements were rescinded from 13 December 2014.

For full information on the repeal of the Voluntary Beef Labelling Scheme and advice for Food Business Operators wishing to put voluntary indications on beef labels going forward, please click on this link: Trader Notice 42/2014

Regulations were introduced in 2006, which extended beef labelling laws to the restaurant and catering sectors. The Health (Country of Origin of Beef) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 307 of 2006), require that a food business operator providing prepared beef to consumers shall not (a) advertise beef for sale or supply, (b) present it for sale or supply, or (c) sell or supply it unless the country or countries of origin of the beef is indicated at the point of advertising, presenting, sale and supply in clear legible type on the advertisement, menu or other presentation used. The regulations are being enforced by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Further information on the labelling of beef can be found on the websites of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and the EU Commission, at the following links:

FSAI – Labelling of Meat Products

EU Commission – Product Labelling and Packaging

Further details may be obtained from: Beef Policy Section, Meat and Milk Policy Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: (01) 607 2880      e-mail: BeefPolicy@agriculture.gov.ie