The UK meat industry has hit out at EU rules governing the age of meat for mincing.

Under European regulations, red meat cannot be used for mincing if it is more than six days old.

However, a spokesperson for the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) told just-food that the regulation goes against trends and customs in the UK.

"EU rules were put in place to protect people who eat raw mince," the BMPA said today (4 April). "With the move towards higher quality meat products in the UK, meat is hung for longer here. The EU rules will put pressure on the way we produce mince."

The BMPA said that Brussels and the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) are in agreement that a degree of flexibility is required and that this issue needs revisiting.

However, until Brussels re-examines the regulations the BMPA said that enforcement of the ruling could damage the UK's meat processing industry.

"It could potentially have a serious and detrimental impact for industry and consumers. The quality of British mince could suffer if this cultural change is imposed," the industry body said.

The BMPA is working with other meat industry groups and the FSA to resolve the problem.

Industry and consumer groups are scheduling a meeting with MEPs to try and push the issue to the fore, the BMPA added.