By-products colour code

A European Union (EU) scientific committee for the food chain and animal health has approved a mandatory colour-coding system for packaging containing meat by-products that are moved between EU member states.

The system, proposed by the European Commission, includes: black packaging for meat by-products posing the greatest health risks, such as carcases from which specified BSE risk material has not been removed; yellow packaging for lesser-risk material, such as livestock dying ahead of being slaughtered; and green for the safest meat by-products fit for human consumption, but not sold as food for commercial reasons.

The Commission said the rules would "improve the traceability of animal by-products through identification and marking systems".

National governments can only operate complementary colour-coding systems for animal by-products traded within their own countries. The committee also ordered the marking of meat-and-bone meal and animal fat, from rendering plants processing black and yellow packaged by-products.

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