The government-funded Food Standards Agency(FSA) opened up a channel for industry to offer their opinion on current guidance notes, particularly a table of typical values for percentage fat, collagen and protein of meat ingredients.
The move stems from guidance notes on the labelling and composition of meat products published in September 2003, currently being reviewed to identify where revisions may be necessary 'in light of use and experience.'
"The current scope of meat cuts needs to be expanded to cover the variety of meat cuts currently being used to manufacture meat products.
This data is important to facilitate accurate calculation of meat content, taking account of any excess fat or connective tissue," said the FSA.
Advising the industry on performance criteria for the submission of meat ingredients, the UK food watchdog highlighted that laboratories should follow the requirements and principles of ISO 17025.
"The laboratory should utilise BSI methodologies or equivalent for fat, collagen (hydroxyproline) and protein. In operating in accordance with ISO 17025, the laboratory is required to partake in performance assessment schemes and the submission of any data," the FSA said in a statement.
The company should supply as much detail as possible regarding the origin of the meat cut to include where appropriate anatomical details, geographic origin, slaughter location, breed, sex and carcass conformation score (for example, degree of fatness), they add.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is advising the FSA through a committee with representatives from the meat and meat products trade, enforcement authorities and research associations.