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AUS: ANZFA On Meat Pie Standards

Wednesday, 11 August 1999

Your Chance To Have A Say About Meat Pies (And Sausage Rolls And Dim Sims) - Anzfa Releases The Draft Meat Standard

The Managing Director of Australia New Zealand Food Authority, Mr Ian Lindenmayer, today called for public comments on the proposed new standard for meat and meat products.

'I would like to thanks the members of the public, as well as the professional and industry groups, who have commented so enthusiastically on some of the earlier proposals to bring the old meat standard, including the meat pie standard, up to date,' Mr Lindenmayer said.

'I hope people will be pleased with the new standard which takes many earlier comments into account. The draft standard will ensure the public health and safety of our meat products, which is the principal outcome for the standard, and it will also provide much more consumer information about a wider range of products.

'The new draft standard will cover all processed meat products, such as meat pies, sausage rolls, sausages and mince as well as the newer products we eat today such as meat samosas and dim sims. Under the new standard consumers will be able to read on the label exactly how much meat and other main ingredients is in any processed meat product such as meat pies or sausage rolls or spring rolls.

'The proposed standard will give industry the flexibility to make meat products to a recipe that consumers will like (or to continue their well loved recipes) and give consumers information on what it is in the product. A new proposal for a labelling standard also recommends labelling on all foods so people can tell how much fat, energy and sugar they contain.

'This change responds to the fact that while many people want a lot of meat in their pies, others prefer to have less meat but more of other ingredients such as vegetables. Some consumers are trying to reduce their meat consumption but still like to eat pies regularly.

'Even if the product is not packaged you can ask whoever is selling it for this information and I would expect many pie sellers will use signs telling you exactly what is in your pie,' Mr Lindenmayer concluded.

The proposed new standard has a number of main points:

the present 25% (Australia) and 24.5% (New Zealand) minimum requirement for meat in pies will be replaced by percentage labelling so that consumers can see exactly how much meat is in their pie;

no manufacturer will be able to sell a meat pie with no meat in it as they could be prosecuted under the Trade Practices Act;

sausages will retain their 50% meat minimum as ANZFA's dietary modelling shows that they are an important source of meat and protein for children;

offal will be allowed in meat pies, as it is under the current standard, but in future it must be labelled by percentage and the type of offal;

mince must only include minced whole meat (ie the only fat allowed is that attached to a piece of meat); and

where a claim is made such as premium or lean mince then the percentage of fat must be declared.,

After this period of public comment a final standard will be provided, later this year, to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council (ANZFSC) which consists of the New Zealand, State and Territory Health Ministers. It is chaired by Senator the Hon Grant Tambling, Parliamentary Secretary to the Commonwealth Minister For Health and Aged Care. Should ANZFSC agree to the Standard it is likely to become law mid-next year.

Submissions close on 22 September 1999. Anyone wishing to make a written submission on the proposed standard should contact ANZFA on (02) 6271 2222 Canberra or (04) 473 9942 Wellington, or check our website www.anzfa.gov.au or www.anzfa.govt.nz

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