Origin Labelling Requirements for Fresh, Chilled or Frozen Meat from pigs, poultry, sheep and goats
From April 1st 2015, it is a legal requirement that Food Business Operators (FBOs) comply with EU Regulation 1337/2013. This means that country of origin labelling will be required for prepacked meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry supplied to the final consumer or mass caterer. A Statutory Instrument (SI 113 of 2015) has been brought into National Law in order to provide for implementation of the Regulation and specifically to provide for enforcement and penalties.
The Regulation covers pre-packed non-processed meat. Simply put this means fresh, chilled or frozen carcases, whole birds and cuts of these meats (e.g. chicken breasts, pork chops, lamb cutlets). It does not cover ‘cured meats’ (bacon/rashers/sausages/salami/deli ham) or meat products that have been further processed (for example, chicken kievs/stuffed pork fillet, or products that contain meat as an ingredient (for example Lasagne). The rules also apply to all poultry which includes chicken, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowl.
If a member of the public has a query on a product they come across that falls within the regulation, they should contact the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). The FSAI have an Advice Line on 1890 33 66 77 which consumers can ring to discuss issues they may have with food products. The FSAI in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the HSE, Local Authority Veterinary Service and other relevant state agencies will be the competent bodies for following up on queries but the FSAI will be the first point of contact for consumers.