Minced Meat and Meat Preparations (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

Link to law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/1997/495/made/data.htm?wrap=true
Published: 1997-11-13

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
1997 No. 495

FOOD
Minced Meat and Meat Preparations (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

Made
13th November 1997

Coming into operation
8th December 1997

Whereas it appears to the Department of Agriculture that it is necessary or expedient—

(a)
for the purposes of ensuring that food complies with food safety requirements or in the interests of public health; or

(b)
for the purposes of protecting or promoting the interests of consumers,

to make the following Regulations;

Now therefore, that Department, being the Department concerned, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 15(1), (2) and (3), 16(1), 25, 26(3), 47(2) and 48(2) of, and paragraphs 1, 5 and 6 of Schedule 1 to, the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991(1) and of every power enabling it in that behalf, and after consultation, in accordance with Article 47(3) of the said Order, with such organisations that appear to it to be representative of interests substantially affected by the Regulations, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Part IPreliminary

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Minced Meat and Meat Preparations (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 and shall come into operation on 8th December 1997.

Interpretation

2.  In these Regulations—

“approval authority” means the Department or any district council or the Department and any district council acting jointly;

“cold store” means any premises which store minced meat or meat preparations under refrigerated conditions;

“cold treatment” means treatment by refrigeration;

“the Department” means the Department of Agriculture;

“EEA Agreement” means the Agreement on the European Economic Area(2) signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992, as adjusted by the Protocol(3) signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993;

“EEA State” means a State, other than the United Kingdom, which is a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement;

“enforcement authority” shall be construed in accordance with regulation 12;

“farmed game” means wild land mammals which are reared and slaughtered in captivity, excluding—

(a)
mammals of the family Leporidae; and

(b)
wild land mammals living within an enclosed territory under conditions of freedom similar to those enjoyed by wild game;

“farmed game bird meat” means the meat of birds, including ratites, but excluding poultry, which are not generally considered domestic but which are bred, reared and slaughtered in captivity;

“farmed game meat” means meat obtained from farmed game;

“final consumer” means a person who buys minced meat or meat preparations—

(a)
otherwise than for the purpose of resale;

(b)
for direct transport to, and consumption on, premises either in his ownership or under his personal supervision or in the ownership or under the personal supervision of a person employed by him; or

(c)
for direct transport to premises either in his ownership or under his personal supervision or in the ownership or under the personal supervision of a person employed by him for sale as ready cooked take-away food for consumption off the premises;

“Fresh Meat Regulations” means the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations (Northern Ireland)1997(4);

“GB Hygiene Regulations” means the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995(5), the Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995(6) or the Wild Game Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995(7);

“health mark” means a mark of a kind described in Schedule 7 and applied in accordance with regulation 7(1)(e) or 8(1)(h), as the case may be, and that Schedule;

“Hygiene Regulations” means the Fresh Meat Regulations, the Poultry Meat Regulations or the Wild Game Meat Regulations;

“independent premises” means any premises which are used for the production of minced meat or meat preparations and which are not licensed premises or premises approved under regulation 4 of the Meat Products Regulations;

“industrial premises” means any premises which have been approved under regulation 4 and—

(a)
which produce minced meat; or

(b)
whose total production of meat preparations exceeds 7.5 tonnes per week; or

(c)
whose total production of meat preparations and meat products (where they are produced in the same premises) exceeds 7.5 tonnes per week;

“licensed” means licensed under regulation 4 of the Fresh Meat Regulations, regulation 4 of the Poultry Meat Regulations or regulation 3 of the Wild Game Regulations;

“meat” means parts of animals (other than solipeds) or birds which are suitable for human consumption and have been—

(a)
produced in licensed establishments or in establishments licensed under the corresponding provisions in the GB Hygiene Regulations, and given a health mark in accordance with, any of the Hygiene Regulations or of the GB Hygiene Regulations; or

(b)
imported and examined in accordance with the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993(8);

“meat preparation” means meat to which foodstuffs, seasonings or additives have been added or which has undergone a treatment insufficient to modify its internal cellular structure and so alter its characteristics;

“meat product” has the same meaning as in the Meat Products Regulations;

“Meat Products Regulations” means the Meat Products (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(9);

“mechanically recovered meat” means meat which—

(a)
comes from residual meat on bones apart from—

(i)
the bones of the head; and

(ii)
the extremities of the limbs below the carpal and tarsal joints and, in the case of swine, the coccygeal vertebrae;

(b)
has been obtained by mechanical means; and

(c)
has been passed through a fine mesh such that its cellular structure has been broken down and it flows in puree form;

“minced meat” means meat which has been minced into fragments or passed through a spiral screw mincer and includes such meat to which not more than 1% salt has been added;

“non-industrial premises” means any premises approved under regulation 4 which are not industrial premises;

“occupier” in relation to any premises means a person carrying on the business of producing or storing minced meat or meat preparations on those premises;

“the Order” means the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991;

“packaging”, in relation to minced meat and meat preparations, means the placing of one or more of those products, wrapped or unwrapped, in a container, as well as the container itself;

“Poultry Meat Regulations” means the Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(10);

“premises” means any industrial or non-industrial premises;

“pre-prepared minced meat” means minced meat destined for use in a meat preparation but which has been stored, other than incidentally to a continuous manufacturing process, before such use;

“production” means manufacturing, preparing, processing, packaging, wrapping or rewrapping;

“registered premises” means premises which are not approved under regulation 4 but which are licensed, approved under regulation 4 of the Meat Products Regulations, or registered under regulation 4 of the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992(11);

“seasonings” means salt, mustard, spices and aromatic spice extracts, or aromatic herbs and aromatic extracts thereof;

“third country” means any country, other than the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands, which is not an EEA State;

“Wild Game Meat Regulations” means the Wild Game Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(12); and

“wrapping”, in relation to minced meat or meat preparations, means the placing of such products in material which comes into direct contact with them, as well as the material itself.

Exemptions

3.  These Regulations shall not apply to—

(a)premises producing or storing minced meat and meat preparations exclusively for direct sale in Northern Ireland to the final consumer from those premises or from a sales point adjacent to those premises;

(b)the production of mechanically recovered meat; or

(c)the production or sale of minced meat intended to be used as a raw material for the production of sausage meat destined for inclusion in a meat product.

Part IIApproval of premises

Approval of premises

4.—(1) A person shall not use any premises for the production of minced meat or meat preparations intended for consignment, or sale for consignment, to an EEA State, or to a third country, for human consumption unless those premises are approved under this regulation and comply with the appropriate requirements of the Schedules.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), the approval authority to which an application has been made under paragraph (3), shall approve the premises to which the application relates—

(a)where the premises are not independent premises but are licensed premises or premises approved under regulation 4 of the Meat Products Regulations—

(i)for the production of minced meat if it is satisfied that the requirements of Schedule 1 are met; and

(ii)for the production of meat preparations if it is satisfied that the requirements of Schedule 2 are met; or

(b)where the premises are independent premises, for the production of minced meat or meat preparations, as the case may be, if it is satisfied that the appropriate requirements of Schedule 3 are met,

and shall refuse so to approve those premises if it is not so satisfied.

(3) The occupier of, or a person proposing to occupy, any premises for the production of the minced meat or meat preparations mentioned in paragraph (1) may apply in writing to an approval authority for the approval of those premises under this regulation.

(4) In the case of non-industrial premises the following derogations from the requirements specified in Schedules 1, 2 and 3 shall apply that is to say—

(a)taps near work stations may be hand-operable;

(b)an adequate number of lockers will suffice in place of changing rooms; and

(c)the manufacture and wrapping of meat preparations may take place in the same room, provided that—

(i)those operations constitute a single production cycle complying with the requirements of these Regulations and guaranteeing the safety of the raw materials and finished products; and

(ii)the design and dimensions of the room so allow.

(5) An approval authority shall allocate to each premises approved by it under this regulation an approval number.

(6) The approval authority to which an application has been made under paragraph (3) shall notify the applicant of its decision in relation to the application and of the reasons for any refusal to grant an approval under this regulation.

Revocation of approvals

5.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3) and to regulation 6(3), an approval authority may, by notice in writing given to the occupier of any premises approved under regulation 4, revoke that approval if it is satisfied that—

(a)the premises no longer comply with the relevant requirements of these Regulations;

(b)adequate health inspection of the premises is being hampered;

(c)the business carried on at the premises in respect of which the approval was granted is no longer being carried on there; or

(d)the premises have become exempt under regulation 3.

(2) The approval authority shall state in any notice of revocation given under paragraph (1)—

(a)the date on which the revocation is to take effect; and

(b)the reason for the revocation.

(3) An approval shall not be revoked under paragraph (1)(a) or (b) in respect of any premises unless—

(a)there is in force in relation to the premises—

(i)a prohibition order under Article 10 of the Order; or

(ii)an emergency prohibition order under Article 11 thereof; and

(b)under either such an order minced meat or meat preparations may no longer be produced at the premises.

(4) Where the approval authority gives a notice of revocation under paragraph (1)(c), then for the purposes of that paragraph, “occupier”, in relation to any premises which, at the time the notice was given, are vacant, means the last person known to the approval authority to have carried on at the premises the business of producing minced meat or meat preparations.

Right of appeal

6.—(1) Any person who is aggrieved by a refusal to grant an approval under regulation 4 or by a revocation of such an approval may appeal to a magistrates' court against the decision.

(2) Article 37(2) to (3) of the Order shall have effect in relation to an appeal under this regulation as it has effect in relation to an appeal under that Article but with the omission of paragraph (2A)(b) and the word “or” immediately preceding it.

(3) A notice of revocation under regulation 5(1) shall not take effect until the time for appealing against it under Article 37 (2A) of the Order (as applied by this regulation) has expired and, if an appeal is lodged, until the appeal is finally disposed of or abandoned.

Part IIIConditions for the marketing of Minced Meat and Meat Preparations

General conditions for the marketing of minced meat

7.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3) a person shall not consign or sell for consignment to an EEA State, or to a third country, for human consumption any minced meat unless it is derived from meat of bovine animals, pigs, sheep or goats, and—

(a)it has been produced in premises approved under regulation 4;

(b)it has been prepared from striated muscle (other than heart muscle), including the adjoining fatty tissues, which, in the case of pigmeat, has been examined for trichinae (trichinella spiralis) or has undergone the appropriate treatment as described in Council Directive 77/96/EEC(13) on the examination for trichinae upon importation from third countries of fresh meat derived from domestic swine;

(c)it has been produced in accordance with the appropriate requirements of Schedule 4;

(d)it has been checked in accordance with the relevant provisions of paragraph 1 of Schedule 6;

(e)it has been labelled and given a health mark in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 7;

(f)it has been wrapped and packaged in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 8 and stored in a cold store in accordance with the appropriate requirements of Schedule 9;

(g)it is transported in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 10;

(h)it is accompanied during transportation by a commercial document and, where appropriate, by a health certificate in accordance with regulation 9(1)(b);

(i)where the meat (other than sheepmeat or pigmeat) from which it is derived has been frozen or deep frozen, such meat was de-boned prior to freezing or deep freezing and, after freezing or deep freezing, was stored for not more than 18 months in the case of beef or veal and 12 months in the case of goatmeat;

(j)where the meat from which it is derived is sheepmeat or pigmeat and has been frozen or deep frozen and such meat was deboned prior to freezing or deep freezing or immediately before mincing under hygienic conditions and, in either case, after freezing or deep freezing was stored for not more than 12 months in the case of sheepmeat and 6 months in the case of pigmeat;

(k)where the meat from which it is derived has been chilled, such meat has been minced within 6 days of slaughter or, in the case of boned and vacuum-packed beef or veal, within 15 days thereof;

(l)it has undergone cold treatment within one hour of portioning and wrapping, except where processes were used requiring the lowering of the internal temperature of the meat during production;

(m)where it is packaged and presented chilled, it is obtained from meat as described in sub-paragraph (k) and cooled to an internal temperature below 2°C as quickly as reasonably possible, except that a limited quantity of frozen meat as described in sub-paragraph (i) or (j) may be added to the meat before mincing to accelerate the refrigeration process, provided that this addition is mentioned on the label and the cooling time referred to above does not exceed one hour;

(n)where it is packaged and presented deep frozen, it is obtained from meat as described in sub-paragraph (i) or (j) and complies with the conditions specified in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Quick-frozen Foodstuffs Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1990(14);

(o)it has not been treated by ionising or ultraviolet radiation; and

(p)where any of the designations specified in column (1) of the table in paragraph 1 of Schedule 11 are used as described in that table on the packaging, the requirements as to total fat content and collagen content of meat protein, specified opposite that designation in columns (2) and (3) respectively, are met.

(2) A person shall not sell for human consumption in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands minced meat unless—

(a)it has been produced in premises approved under regulation 4 or in registered premises which comply with the requirements of Schedule 1 or, in the case of independent premises, Schedule 3, as appropriate;

(b)it has been produced in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 1, 2 and 6 of Schedule 4;

(c)it has been checked in accordance with the relevant provisions of paragraph 1 of Schedule 6;

(d)it has been wrapped and packaged in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 8 and stored in a cold store in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 4 and 5 of Schedule 9; and

(e)where any of the first three designations specified in column (1) of the table in paragraph 1 of Schedule 11 are used as described in that table on the packaging, the requirements as to total fat content, and collagen content of meat protein, specified in columns (2) and (3) respectively opposite that designation are met.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to minced meat originating in an EEA State or a third country, save that such minced meat shall be handled and transported in accordance with these Regulations.

(4) A person shall not affix the health mark to any minced meat which does not satisfy the requirements specified in paragraph (1).

General conditions for the marketing of meat preparations

8.—(1) Subject to paragraph (4), a person shall not consign or sell for consignment to an EEA State, or a third country, for human consumption any meat preparation unless—

(a)it has been produced in premises approved under regulation 4;

(b)where it is derived from pigmeat, such meat has been examined for trichinae (trichinella spiralis) or has undergone the appropriate treatment as described in Council Directive 77/96/EEC;

(c)where the meat from which it is derived has been deep frozen, such meat has been used within, in the case of beef and veal, 18 months of slaughter, in the case of sheepmeat, goatmeat, poultrymeat, rabbit meat and farmed game meat, 12 months thereof and, in the case of other meat, 6 months thereof;

(d)where it is packaged and presented chilled, it has been cooled as quickly as reasonably possible to an internal temperature below—

(i)2°C where it contains minced meat;

(ii)7°C where it contains fresh meat;

(iii)4°C where it contains poultry meat; and

(iv)3°C where it contains offal;

(e)where it is packaged and presented deep frozen, it complies with the conditions specified in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Quick-frozen Foodstuffs Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1990;

(f)it has been produced in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 5;

(g)it has been checked in accordance with the relevant provisions of paragraph 1 of Schedule 6;

(h)it has been labelled and given a health mark in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 7;

(i)it has been wrapped and packaged in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 8 and stored in a cold store in accordance with the appropriate requirements of Schedule 9;

(j)it has been transported in accordance with the appropriate requirements of Schedule 10; and

(k)it has not been treated by ionising radiation, save where this has taken place for medical purposes.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4) a person shall not consign or sell for consignment to an EEA State, or to a third country, for human consumption meat preparations (other than fresh sausages and sausage meat) containing pre-prepared minced meat of bovine animals, pigs, sheep or goats unless such minced meat satisfies the requirements of regulation 7(1).

(3) A person shall not sell for human consumption in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands any meat preparation produced in Northern Ireland unless—

(a)it has been produced in premises approved under regulation 4 or in registered premises which comply with the requirements of Schedule 2 or, in the case of independent premises, Schedule 3, as appropriate;

(b)it has been produced in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2(b) of Schedule 5;

(c)it has been checked in accordance with the relevant provisions of paragraph 1 of Schedule 6;

(d)it has been stored in a cold store in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 4 and 5 of Schedule 9, or, where it is unpackaged, in a licensed cold store; and

(e)it has not been treated by ionising radiation save where this has taken place for medical purposes.

(4) Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply to meat preparations originating in an EEA State or third country, save that such meat preparations shall be handled and transported in accordance with these Regulations.

(5) A person shall not affix the health mark to any meat preparation which does not satisfy the requirements specified in paragraph (1).

Transport documentation

9.—(1) The occupier of premises approved under regulation 4 shall ensure that any minced meat or any meat preparation intended for consignment to an EEA State or to a third country is accompanied during transportation from the premises—

(a)by an invoice or delivery note containing the following information—

(i)the approval number of the premises in which the minced meat or meat preparation was produced and, in the case of frozen minced meat, the month and year of freezing;

(ii)the name and address of the consignee; and

(iii)in the case of minced meat destined for Finland or Sweden, a statement that the minced meat is free from salmonella bacteria; and

(b)in the case of minced meat or any meat preparations—

(i)which is obtained from any premises situated in a place or area which has been declared to be an infected place or area under the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(15); or

(ii)destined for any EEA State other than Iceland and which will be transported through a third country, by a health certificate in the form containing the particulars set out in Schedule 12 (in the case of minced meat) or Schedule 14 (in the case of meat preparations).

(2) A health certificate which is required to accompany any consignment under paragraph (1)(b) shall be kept by the consignee for two years from the date of consignment and shall, upon request, be presented by him to an enforcement authority.

(3) In the case of minced meat or any meat preparation which has been consigned to an EEA State, other than Iceland, and is intended for export from that State to a third country the occupier of the premises in which the minced meat or meat preparations was produced shall provide the competent authority of that EEA State with such veterinary certification as it may request.

(4) Any person who receives minced meat or meat preparations direct from any premises approved under regulation 4 shall keep the invoice or delivery note document for two years from the date of receipt so that it can be produced at the request of the enforcement authority.

Part IVAdministration, Penalties and Enforcement

Information to be provided by district councils

10.  Every district council shall provide the Department with such information relating to the execution of its duties under these Regulations as the Department may from time to time require.

Duties of occupier

11.—(1) The occupier of any premises shall take all necessary measures to ensure that in those premises these Regulations are complied with at all stages in the processes of production of minced meat or meat preparations in the premises and, in particular, shall carry out his own checks to ensure—

(a)that critical points in relation to production in those premises are identified and acceptable to the enforcement authority;

(b)that methods which are acceptable to the appropriate enforcement authority for monitoring and controlling such critical points are devised and followed;

(c)that, when samples are taken for the purpose of checking compliance with the hygiene standards required by these Regulations, they are analysed or examined as appropriate in a laboratory acceptable to the enforcement authority;

(d)that as far as is reasonable and practicable a record of compliance with sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) is kept in permanent form and that such a record is made available on request to the enforcement authority;

(e)that health marking is controlled and carried out properly;

(f)that the appropriate enforcement authority is notified immediately when a laboratory examination of samples, or any other information at the occupier’s disposal, reveals a health risk; and

(g)in the event of an imminent health risk arising in respect of any minced meat or meat preparations, that meat or those preparations and any other such meat or preparations obtained under technologically similar conditions and likely to present a similar degree of risk are withdrawn from the market, and that meat or preparations so withdrawn are held under the supervision and control of the enforcement authority until they are destroyed, used for purposes other than human consumption, or, with the agreement of the enforcement authority, reprocessed in a manner appropriate to ensure they are safe for human consumption.

(2) The occupier of any premises to which paragraph (1) relates shall further ensure—

(a)that workers in the premises are given such instruction and training in hygiene matters as is appropriate to any tasks undertaken by them;

(b)that the packaging of minced meat and meat preparations produced in the premises bears a clear and legible indication of the temperature at which those products are to be transported and stored and—

(i)in respect of chilled minced meat or meat preparations, the use-by date; and

(ii)in respect of deep frozen minced meat or meat preparations, the minimum durability date; and

(c)that microbiological tests are conducted at the frequency, and assessed using the criteria for interpretation, laid down in Schedule 11 or 13, as appropriate.

(3) Any record required to be kept in pursuance of paragraph (1)(d) shall be kept for a period of at least 2 years from the date of production of the minced meat or meat preparations to which it relates or, in the case of chilled minced meat or meat preparations, for a period of six months after the expiry of the ‘use-by' date thereof.

Supervision and enforcement

12.—(1) These Regulations shall be enforced and executed by the Department or any district council or by the Department and any district council acting jointly and any authority having such responsibility shall be known for the purposes of these Regulations as “an enforcement authority”.

(2) Premises shall be inspected and monitored by an enforcement authority in accordance with Schedule 6.

Offences and penalties

13.—(1) If—

(a)a person (other than a district council acting as an approval authority or enforcement authority) contravenes any provision of these Regulations; or

(b)the occupier of any premises fails to take all reasonable steps to secure the compliance by any person employed by him or any person admitted to those premises with any provision of these Regulations,

he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(i)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale; or

(ii)on conviction on indictment, to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

(2) No prosecution for such an offence shall commence after the expiry of—

(a)three years from the commission of the offence; or

(b)one year from its discovery by the prosecutor,

whichever is the earlier.

Application of various Articles of the Order

14.  The following provisions of the Order shall apply for the purposes of these Regulations as they apply for the purposes of Article 7, 13 or 14 of the Order and any reference in them to the Order or any provision of the Order shall be construed as a reference to these Regulations—

Article 3 (application to food offered as prizes etc.);

Article 4 (presumptions that food intended for human consumption);

Article 8 (inspection and seizure of suspected food);

Article 19 (offences due to fault of another person);

Article 20 (defence of due diligence);

Article 34 (obstruction etc. of officers); and

Article 43 (protection of public analyst acting in good faith).

Part VMiscellaneous and Supplementary

Minced meat and meat preparations from Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

15.—(1) A person shall not sell for human consumption any minced meat or meat preparations produced or stored in a place to which this regulation applies and intended for consignment to an EEA State or to a third country unless any such production or storage in that place was in accordance with legislation having effect in that place and corresponding to the provisions of these Regulations concerning the consignment or sale for consignment of such products to an EEA State for human consumption.

(2) A person shall not sell for human consumption in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands any minced meat or meat preparation which has been produced or stored in a place to which this regulation applies unless such production or storage in that place was in accordance with legislation having effect in that place and corresponding to the provisions of these Regulations concerning the sale of such products for human consumption in Northern Ireland.

(3) The places to which this regulation applies are Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Amendments

16.—(1) After regulation 3(2)(f) of the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992(16) there shall be added—

“(g)as premises approved under regulation 4 of the Minced Meat and Meat Preparations (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 producing minced meat or meat preparations for export to another State (other than Iceland) which is a Contracting Party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 as adjusted by the Protocol signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993.”.

(2) After regulation 3(2)(j) of the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(17) there shall be added—

“(k)the Minced Meat and Meat Preparations (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997.”.

(3) After regulation 3(2)(j) of the Food Safety (Temperature Control) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(18) there shall be added—

“(k)the Minced Meat and Meat Preparations (Hygiene) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997.”.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland on

L.S.
Liam McKibben
Assistant Secretary
13th November 1997.

Regulations 4(2)(a)(i) and (3) and 7(2)(a)

SCHEDULE 1Requirements for premises, other than independent premises, producing minced meat

1.  As well as being licensed premises or premises approved under the Meat Products Regulations, premises shall have at least the following facilities—

(a)a room for mincing and wrapping separate from the cutting room or a specific and distinct area for that purpose in the cutting room, equipped with a recording thermometer or recording telethermometer;

(b)a room for packaging, unless the conditions laid down in paragraph 4 of Part V of Schedule 2 to the Meat Products Regulations are met;

(c)a room or cabinets for storing salt; and

(d)refrigeration equipment enabling the requirements of these Regulations as to temperatures to be met.

2.  Staff engaged in the manual preparation of minced meat shall wear masks covering the mouth and nose and, if so directed by the enforcement authority, smooth moisture-proof gloves which are disposable or capable of being cleaned and disinfected.

Regulations 4(2)(a)(ii) and (3) and 8(3)(a)

SCHEDULE 2Requirements for premises, other than independent premises, producing meat preparations

1.  As well as being licensed premises or premises approved under the Meat Products Regulations, premises shall have at least the following facilities—

(a)a room separate from the cutting room for the production of meat preparations, the addition of other foodstuffs and wrapping, equipped with a recording thermometer or recording telethermometer; except that—

(i)the production of meat preparations may take place in the cutting room in a specific and distinct area; and

(ii)seasonings may be added to whole poultry carcases in a specific room separate from the slaughterhall or a separate and distinct area within it;

(b)a room for packaging unless the conditions laid down in paragraph 4 of Part V of Schedule 2 to the Meat Products Regulations are met;

(c)a room for storing seasonings and other cleaned foodstuffs ready for use;

(d)refrigerated rooms for the storage of—

(i)meat from which meat preparations may be derived; or

(ii)meat preparations; and

(e)refrigeration equipment enabling the requirements of these Regulations as to temperatures to be met.

2.  Staff engaged in the manual preparation of meat preparations shall wear masks covering the mouth and nose and, if so directed by the enforcement authority, smooth moisture-proof gloves which are disposable or capable of being cleaned and disinfected.

Regulations 4(2)(b) and (3), 7(2)(a) and 8(3)(a)

SCHEDULE 3Requirements for independent premises producing minced meat or meat preparations

1.  As well as complying with the requirements of Schedule 1 to the Meat Products Regulations, independent premises shall have rooms meeting the descriptions set out in the following provisions—

(a)in the case of independent premises producing minced meat, paragraph 1 of Part I of Schedule 2 to the Meat Products Regulations and paragraph 1(a) of Schedule 1 to these Regulations; and

(b)in the case of independent premises producing meat preparations, paragraph 1 and, depending on the nature of the meat preparation, paragraph 2 of Part I of Schedule 2 to the Meat Products Regulations.

2.  Staff engaged in the manual preparation of meat preparations shall wear masks covering the mouth and nose and, if so directed by the enforcement authority, smooth moisture-proof gloves which are disposable or capable of being cleaned and disinfected.

Regulation 7(1)(c) and (2)(b)

SCHEDULE 4Conditions for the marketing and production of minced meat

1.  Before mincing or cutting up, meat shall be examined and all soiled and suspect parts shall be removed and condemned.

2.  The following may not be used for the production of minced meat—

(a)scrap cuttings, scrap trimmings or mechanically recovered meat;

(b)meat referred to in Part IX of Schedule 10 to the Fresh Meat Regulations, Part II of Schedule 9 to the Poultry Meat Regulations or Part II of Schedule 5 to the Wild Game Meat Regulations;

(c)meat containing bone fragments;

(d)in the case of meat derived from bovine animals, sheep, goats or pigs, bone scrapings, the non-muscular part of the linear alba, the carpus and tarsus region or meat from the muscles of the head, with the exception of the masseters which may be used provided that, where they are derived from bovine animals, an examination for cysticercosis has been conducted; and

(e)in the case of meat derived from bovine animals, meat from the muscles of the diaphragm except where, after the removal of serosa, an examination for cysticercosis has been conducted.

3.  Not more than one hour shall elapse between the removal of the meat from a refrigerated environment for mincing and the production and chilling or deep-freezing of the minced meat, during which time the internal temperature of the meat shall not exceed 7°C and the temperature of the production area shall not exceed 12°C, save that a longer period shall be permitted where the addition of salt so justifies on technical grounds and there is no risk to public health.

4.  Where the one hour time limit described in paragraph 3 above or such longer period as may be permitted thereunder is exceeded, the meat may not be minced until its internal temperature has been reduced to 4°C or less.

5.  Immediately after production minced meat shall be hygienically wrapped, packaged and cooled and stored at the appropriate temperatures specified or referred to in regulation 7(1)(l) or (m).

6.  Minced meat shall not be deep-frozen more than once.

Regulations 8(1)(f) and (3)(b)

SCHEDULE 5Conditions for the production of meat preparations

1.  The production of meat preparations shall take place in temperature controlled conditions such that any risk to public health is avoided.

2.  Meat preparations shall—

(a)immediately after production, be wrapped and packaged in accordance with Schedule 8 and cooled to the appropriate temperature referred to in regulation 8(1)(d) or (e);

(b)not be deep-frozen more than once; and

(c)where they are to be consigned to an EEA State or to a third country, be so consigned within 18 months of their production.

Regulations 7(1)(d) and (2)(c), 8(1)(g) and (3)(c) and 12(2)

SCHEDULE 6Supervision of production

1.  Establishments shall be subject to supervision by an authorised officer of the enforcement authority, who shall ensure that the requirements of these Regulations are met and shall in particular—

(a)check—

(i)the cleanliness of the premises and equipment and staff hygiene;

(ii)the efficacy of the checks carried out by the occupier in accordance with regulation 11;

(iii)in accordance with Schedule 11, the microbiological and hygienic condition of the minced meat or meat preparations;

(iv)where appropriate, the health marking of the minced meat or meat preparations; and

(v)storage and transport conditions;

(b)if appropriate take samples required for laboratory tests; and

(c)make any other checks considered necessary to ensure compliance with these Regulations.

2.  The authorised officer shall have free access at all reasonable times to any premises to check that these provisions are being strictly complied with, and to such documentation as may be required to ascertain the slaughterhouse or other establishment of origin of meat used in the production of minced meat or meat preparations.

3.  Inspection and monitoring of premises shall take place—

(a)in the case of premises attached to cutting establishments, at the same frequency as for the said cutting establishments;

(b)in the case of approved premises producing minced meat meeting the requirements of regulation 7(1), at least once on each day of production; and

(c)in the case of any other premises, as often as the enforcement authority considers necessary given the size of the premises and the type of product manufactured.

Regulations 2(1), 7(1)(e) and 8(1)(h)

SCHEDULE 7Marking and labelling

1.  The health mark shall correspond—

(a)for minced meat and meat preparations derived from bovine animals, pigs, sheep, goats or farmed game, to the description contained in paragraph 1 of Schedule 12 to the Fresh Meat Regulations;

(b)for meat preparations derived from poultry meat, farmed game bird meat or rabbit meat, to the description contained in paragraph 1 of Schedule 11 to the Poultry Meat Regulations; and

(c)for meat preparations derived from wild game meat, to the description contained in paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the Wild Game Meat Regulations.

2.  The health mark shall include the approval number allocated to the premises in accordance with regulation 4(5).

3.  Without prejudice to the Food Labelling Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(19), in the case of meat preparations where the following information is not clear from the name of the food or the list of ingredients, it shall be visibly and legibly displayed for inspection purposes on the packaging—

(a)the species from which the meat used is derived and, in the case of a mixture, the percentage of each species; and

(b)on packaging not intended for the final consumer, the date of preparation.

4.  In the case of minced meat, and meat preparations made from pre-prepared minced meat except for fresh sausages and sausage meat, bearing the health mark provided for in this Schedule, the labelling shall also display the following words and indicate the appropriate percentages—

(a)“percentage of fat under . . .”; and

(b)“percentage of collagen in meat protein under . . .”.

Regulations 7(1)(f) and (2)(d)and 8(1)(i)

SCHEDULE 8Wrapping and packaging

1.  Wrapped minced meat or meat preparations shall be packaged save that where the wrapping material used fulfils all the protective requirements of packaging set out in paragraph 3 below, they do not in addition need to be packaged.

2.  Minced meat and meat preparations shall be marked on the packaging, or wrapping material referred to in paragraph 1 with a health mark.

3.  Packaging shall take place under satisfactory hygiene conditions and—

(a)shall not alter the organoleptic characteristics of the minced meat or meat preparations;

(b)shall not be capable of transmitting to the minced meat or meat preparations substances harmful to human health; and

(c)shall be sufficiently strong to ensure effective protection of the minced meat or meat preparations during transport and handling.

4.  Packaging shall not be re-used for minced meat or meat preparations unless it is made of corrosion-resistant materials which are easy to clean and it has been cleaned and disinfected beforehand.

5.  Any minced meat or meat preparations wrapped in commercial portions intended for direct sale to the consumer shall bear a reproduction of the health mark, which may be of reduced dimensions, on the wrapping material or a clearly visible label attached to the wrapping.

Regulations 7(1)(f) and (2)(d) and 8(1)(i) and (3)(d)

SCHEDULE 9Storage

1.  Minced meat and meat preparations shall be chilled immediately after wrapping and, where required, packaging.

2.  Minced meat shall be stored at the appropriate temperatures indicated in regulation 7(1)(m) or (n).

3.  Meat preparations shall be stored at the appropriate temperatures indicated in regulation 8(1)(d) or (e).

4.  Minced meat and meat preparations shall be deep-frozen only on the premises of production, or in a cold store.

5.  Minced meat and meat preparations shall not be stored with other foodstuffs unless it is ensured, by virtue of the packaging, that the minced meat or meat preparations cannot be adversely affected.

Regulations 7(1)(g) and 8(1)(j)

SCHEDULE 10Transport

1.  Minced meat and meat preparations shall be dispatched in such a way that they are protected from anything liable to contaminate or otherwise adversely affect them, having regard to the duration, conditions and means of transport.

2.  Vehicles used to transport minced meat and, subject to paragraph 3, meat preparations, shall be equipped with apparatus to ensure that the appropriate temperatures required by these Regulations are not exceeded during transport and with a recording thermometer.

3.  Meat preparations produced in non-industrial premises may be transported from those premises to nearby outlets at temperatures higher than those referred to in paragraph 2, provided that such transportation does not take more than one hour.

4.  Where the minced meat or meat preparations were produced in premises situated in an area subject to restrictions for animal health reasons and are to be transported through a third country, the means of transport shall remain sealed.

Regulations 7(1)(p) and (2)(e) and 11(2)(c)

SCHEDULE 11Sampling requirements and compositional and microbiological criteria for minced meat

1.  Compositional criteria:

Designations
Fat content (%)
Collagen content in meat protein (%)

(1)
(2)
(3)

“Lean minced”, used in relation to meat of any permitted species
≤7
≤12

“Minced pure”, used in relation to meat of bovine animals
≤ 20
≤ 15

“Minced”, used in relation to meat of any permitted species and containing pig meat
≤ 30
≤ 18

“Minced”, used in relation to sheep meat or goat meat
≤ 25
≤ 15

For the purposes of this table “meat of any permitted species” means the meat referred to in regulation 7(1) or (2), as the case may be.

2.  Microbiological criteria:

Lower Threshold (per g.)
Upper Threshold (per g.)
Microbic Limit

Solid media
Liquid media
Solid media
Liquid media

Aerobic mesophile bacteria
5 × 105

5 × 105

5 × 106

1.5 × 107

5 × 108

Escherichia coli
50
50
5 × 102

1.5 × 103

5 × 104

Staphylo- coccus aureus

102

102

5 × 103

3 × 103

5 × 104

3.  Microbiological tests shall be conducted—

(a)on each day of production on a representative sample of the minced meat referred to in regulation 7(1) and of pre-prepared minced meat for use in meat preparations to which regulation 8(2) applies; and

(b)at least once a week on a representative sample of any other minced meat or, alternatively, of any meat intended for the production of any such other minced meat, in the latter case the sample being taken from deep in the muscle after the surface has been cauterised.

For the purposes of this paragraph “a representative sample” means a sample comprising five separate units of a weight appropriate to the test to be carried out, taken at different times and at reasonable intervals during production.

4.  The quality of the minced meat or meat analysed shall be evaluated according to the following categories:

Category (a): fully satisfactory— all results at or below the lower threshold;

Category (b): acceptable subject to paragraph 5— all results at or below the upper threshold; or

Category (c): unacceptable— any results above the upper threshold.

5.  In the case of category (b), if the results of tests on five consecutive samples show an incidence of samples which produce results above the lower threshold but at or below the upper threshold of above 2 in 5, the quality shall be considered unacceptable. However, where this occurs only in the case of aerobic mesophile bacteria, the occupier may consider submitting another sample from the same batch for further microbiological examination for aerobic mesophile bacteria.

6.  Where in respect of any sample the results are at or above the microbic limit, the minced meat shall be regarded as presenting an imminent health risk for the purposes of regulation 11(1)(g).

7.  Where in respect of any sample the result of the test for salmonella shows a presence in 10g, the quality shall be considered unacceptable.

Regulation 9(1)(b)

SCHEDULE 12Health certificate for minced meat

Regulation 11(2)(c)

SCHEDULE 13Sampling requirements and microbiological criteria for meat preparations

1.  Table of microbiological criteria:

Lower Threshold (per g.)
Upper Threshold (per g.)

Solid media
Liquid media
Solid media
Liquid media

Escherichia coli
5 × 102

5 × 102

5 × 103

1.5 × 104

Staphylococcus aureus
5 × 102

5 × 102

5 × 103

5 × 103

2.  Microbiological tests shall be conducted at least once a week on a representative sample of finished meat preparations or, alternatively, of any meat intended for the production of meat preparations, where possible the sample being taken from deep in the muscle after the surface has been cauterised.

For the purposes of this paragraph “a representative sample” means a sample comprising five separate units of a weight appropriate to the test to be carried out, taken at different times and at reasonable intervals during production.

3.  The quality of the meat preparations or meat analysed shall be evaluated according to the following categories:

Category (a): fully satisfactory— all results at or below the lower threshold;

Category (b): acceptable subject to paragraph 4— all results at or below the upper threshold; or

Category (c): unacceptable— any results above the upper threshold.

4.  In the case of category (b), if the results of tests on five consecutive samples show an incidence of samples which produce results above the lower threshold but at or below the upper threshold of above 2 in 5, in the case of Escherichia coli, or above 1 in 5, in the case of Staphylococcus aureus, the quality shall be considered unacceptable.

5.  Where in respect of any sample the result of the test for salmonella shows a presence in 1g., the quality shall be considered unacceptable.

Regulation 9(1)(b)

SCHEDULE 14Health certificate for meat preparations

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)
These Regulations implement Council Directive 94/65/EC (O.J. No. L.368, 31.12.94, p.10) laying down the requirements for the production and placing on the market of minced meat and meat preparations.
The Regulations do not apply to premises producing or storing minced meat or meat preparations for direct sale from those premises to the final consumer, to mechanically recovered meat or to the production or sale of minced meat to be used to produce sausage meat which, in turn, will be used in a meat product (regulation 3).
The Regulations—
(a)require premises producing minced meat or meat preparations intended for consignment or sale for consignment to be approved under and comply with the Regulations (regulation 4);
(b)provide for the revocation of approvals (regulation 5);
(c)provide a right of appeal (regulation 6);
(d)specify one set of conditions for the consignment, or sale for consignment, of minced meat to an EEA State or to a third country and another set for its sale for consumption in the United Kingdom (regulation 7);
(e)specify one set of conditions for the consignment, or sale for consignment, of meat preparations to an EEA State or to a third country and another set for their sale for consumption in the United Kingdom (regulation 8);
(f)specify requirements regarding the transportation of minced meat and meat preparations (regulation 9);
(g)require the provision of information to the Department by district councils regarding the execution of their duties (regulation 10);
(h)specify duties of an occupier of premises (regulation 11);
(i)define “enforcement authority” and make enforcement authorities responsible for the supervision of premises and for the enforcement and execution of the Regulations (regulation 12);
(j)create offences and prescribe penalties (regulation 13);
(k)apply specified provisions of the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (regulation 14);
(l)make provision for minced meat and meat preparations produced or stored in Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (regulation 15); and
(m)amend specified Regulations (regulation 16).


(1)
S.I. 1991/762 (N.I. 7) as amended by S.I. 1996/1633 (N.I. 12)

(2)
O.J. No. L.1, 3.1.94, p. 1

(3)
O.J. No. L.1, 3.1.94, p. 571

(4)
S.R. 1997 No. 493

(5)
S.I. 1995/539 as amended by S.I. 1995 No. 3189, S.I. 1996 No. 1148 and S.I. 1997 No. 2074

(6)
S.I. 1995/540

(7)
S.I. 1995/2148

(8)
S.R. 1993 No. 304

(9)
S.R. 1997 No. 494

(10)
S.R. 1995 No. 396

(11)
S.R. 1992 No. 167; the relevant amending Regulations are S.R. 1994 No. 346, S.R. 1995 No. 396, S.R. 1997 No. 493, S.R. 1997 No. 494 and S.R. 1997 No. 496

(12)
S.R. 1997 No. 496

(13)
O.J. No. L.26, 31.1.77, p. 67. The annexes have been amended three times, by Council Directives 84/319/EEC (O.J. No. L.167, 27.6.84, p. 34) and 89/321/EEC (O.J. No. L.133, 17.5.89, p. 33) and Commission Directive 94/59/EC (O.J. No. L.315, 8.12.94, p. 18)

(14)
S.R. 1990 No. 455, as amended by S.R. 1992 No. 464 and S.R. 1994 No. 52

(15)
S.I. 1981/1115 (N.I. 22)

(16)
S.R. 1992 No. 167, the relevant amending Regulations are S.R. 1994 No. 346 as read with the Poultry Meat Regulations

(17)
S.R. 1995 No. 360

(18)
S.R. 1995 No. 377, the relevant amending Regulations are S.R. 1997 No. 493

(19)
S.R. 1996 No. 383
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