Meat Labelling Should Be Extended

Processed food has received a good deal of bad publicity recently. The health lobby points to the amount of salt that is used to help with its preservation. They also wonder whether people know how much sugar goes into what would seemingly be ‘harmless’ things like sauces. Fizzy drinks, sweets and biscuits have plenty of sugar but its use is far more widespread. Too much sugar and salt are harmful. The publicity goes beyond this however. There is an increasing feeling that food companies should be far more open and detailed in the labelling of their products. Processed meat is a case in point.

Sausages, burgers, pies and ready meals are very popular in the UK. The problem is that they are not always as they seem. The scandal of the use of horsemeat has not been forgotten. When consumers look at mince on a supermarket shelf some of them still have a nagging doubt whether the beef mince label they look at is entirely accurate.

Fresh Not Processed

A new law comes into being shortly compelling retailers to divulge the origin of their fresh cuts. Campaigners want that law to be extended to include processed meat in its many forms. There have been suggestions that tasty nuggets that children love are the poorest parts of meat with additives to provide the flavour. If that is true, it should be known by everyone. Parents can then decide whether they want their children eating such food.

Meat Labelling


There are religious reasons why some people avoid beef or pork. Hindus do not want to buy something described as lamb that in fact is beef. Likewise Muslims and those of the Jewish faith have to avoid pork. That alone is a reason for consumers using companies that are perfectly open about the origin of their products.

The reason for buying Halal meat is religious for some people but the volume of labelled halal products sold in the UK today suggests that the industry is transparent. Consumers are being told that the meat on offer comes from particular sources even if some of it comes in a processed form. It is good to find a supplier that can be trusted. If that supplier provides quality then it is likely to be able to establish a loyal clientele.


Some parts of the food industry are very reluctant to see legislation on labelling becoming stricter. They claim it will increase the cost of food and that is something that ultimately consumers won’t like. This cannot be proved either way. Those consumers that are concerned at least have an alternative and that is to buy from reliable sources that have removed any doubt about what they are selling and where it comes from.


Image courtesy of Mister GC/

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