United States Mission to the European Union
Foreign Agricultural Service
United States Department Of Agriculture
Last modified: December 12, 2017

Beef labeling

Regulation 1760/2000 sets out rules for compulsory and voluntary beef labeling.  Detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation 1760/2000 are set out in Regulation 1825/2000.  Under the compulsory beef labeling scheme, labels for all bovine meat must indicate the following information:

  • “Born in: name of third country”
  • “Reared in: name of third country or third countries”
  • For beef derived from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the same third country, the above indications may be combined as “Origin: name of third country”
  • A reference number ensuring the link between the meat and the animal or animals
  • “Slaughtered in: third country/approval number of slaughterhouse”
  • “Cutting in : third country /  approval number of cutting plant”
  • A traceability code linking the meat to the animal or a group of animals representing the production of maximum one day

By way of derogation, beef imported into the EU for which not all the information listed above is available, must be labeled “Origin: non-EU” and “Slaughtered in name of third country”.

Regulation 653/2014, an amendment to Regulation 1760/2000, changes the rules for voluntary labeling.  Voluntary beef labeling has to comply with the rules set out in the “Food Information to Consumers” Regulation 1169/2011 which became applicable on December 13, 2014.  Definitions and requirements applicable to terms and or categories of terms that may be put on labels of pre-packed fresh and frozen beef and veal will be adopted at a later date.