FSA consultation on mechanically separated meat guidance

News article

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a public consultation seeking views on new guidance relating to mechanically separated meat (MSM)

The FSA has developed new guidance to provide support for food businesses following a series of court judgments on the definition of MSM.

MSM is obtained by the removal of meat from bones, reducing food waste, and it must be produced in a hygienic and safe way.

The court rulings have implications for MSM production in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, as they have provided clarity on what MSM is, how the definition should be interpreted by food businesses, and how they should apply it to their products.

The court rulings have determined three criteria for the classification of MSM:

  • the use of bones from which the intact muscles have already been detached (or of poultry carcases, to which meat remains attached)
  • the use of methods of mechanical separation to recover that meat
  • the loss or modification of the muscle fibre structure of the recovered meat

Some businesses will be affected by the outcome of these court rulings, and the FSA understands that time may be required for food businesses to adapt their processes and the way they classify products as a result.

The FSA is consulting with consumers, industry, and other stakeholders on how suitable their new guidance is, as well as asking for input on an impact assessment from the businesses that will be affected by the implementation of the guidance.

The FSA's approach to implementing the guidance will be informed by the outcome of the impact assessment, undertaken as part of the consultation.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Wednesday 22 May 2024.

Find details and respond to the mechanically separated meat guidance consultation.

First published 29 February 2024