General labelling rules
Labels on meat and meat products for sale in New Zealand (including poultry) must follow the general labelling rules. Which rules apply will depend on the type of business you are in.
Additional rules for meat and meat products
In addition to the general labelling rules, there are some extra rules for labels on meat and meat products. These apply to:
- meat products containing offal
- minced meat
- raw meat joined or formed to look like a cut of meat
- fermented comminuted processed meat
- fermented comminuted manufactured meat
- raw poultry products.
Note: This page doesn't cover all exceptions and special conditions for labelling meat and meat products. (For example, there are rules around the amount of meat required in a meat pie.) We recommend you also read the food standards and follow all the rules that apply to your business.
If a meat product contains offal, you must label it as follows:
- brain, heart, kidney, liver, tongue or tripe must be identified either:
- as offal (for example, "Contains offal"), or
- by the specific name of the type of offal (for example, "Contains kidney and tongue")
- any other type of offal must be identified by name (for example, "blood").
State the proportion of fat in minced meat
If you make a claim about the fat content of minced meat (mince), the label must show the maximum proportion of fat, in grams per 100g.
When raw meat is joined or formed to look like a cut of meat
When raw meat is formed or joined in a way that looks like a cut of meat, whether coated or not, using binding but not applying heat, you must say on the label:
- the food is meat that is formed or joined
- how to cook it so the food is within safe microbiological limits.
Fermented comminuted processed or manufactured meat
Fermented comminuted processed or manufactured meat includes salami, pastrami, beer sticks, and biltong. These types of products have specific naming requirements on their labels.
Fermented comminuted processed meat
If fermented comminuted processed meat has:
- not been heat treated or cooked, it must be called "fermented processed meat – not heat treated"
- been heat treated, it must be called "fermented processed meat – heat treated"
- been cooked, it must be called "fermented processed meat – cooked".
Fermented comminuted manufactured meat
If fermented comminuted manufactured meat has:
- not been heat treated or cooked, it must be called "fermented manufactured meat – not heat treated"
- been heat treated, it must be called "fermented manufactured meat – heat treated"
- been cooked, it must be called "fermented manufactured meat – cooked".
Both processed and manufactured
If the label shows a trade name, these words must be shown near the trade name:
- if not heat treated or cooked: "fermented"
- if heat treated: "fermented heat treated"
- if cooked: "fermented cooked".
The label may only talk about a heating process if it is:
- required by the naming rules, or
- part of cooking instructions for consumers.
Raw poultry products
Who to contact
If you have questions about labelling meat or meat products, email firstname.lastname@example.org