On 1 July, new and stricter EU rules on labelling meat-based products will come into effect, in a bid to give consumers better information about what they are eating.

A directive amending current EU labelling legislation to tighten up the definition of the term "meat" for the labelling of meat-based products entered into force on 1 January, with a six-month transitional period that is due to end on 30 June.

Consumers generally perceive meat to mean muscle-meat. The new definition will allow consumers to clearly see if they are eating muscle-meat, fat or offal. The directive applies to products that contain meat as an ingredient, while meat sold without further processing is excluded. Affected products include sausages, pâté, cooked meats, prepared dishes and canned meat.

Enforcement and possible sanctions arising from infringements of EU legislation relating to the labelling of foodstuffs are the responsibility of the Member States.