Beef and veal labelling: what happens if you don't comply

What happens if an inspector finds you are breaking regulations on compulsory beef labelling.

Applies to England and Wales

If you do not follow the rules of the Compulsory Beef Labelling Scheme you must remove your beef or veal from sale until it is labelled correctly.

If you cannot adequately label the meat because there is not enough information to trace it, it must be removed from the market and cannot return until it has been either relabelled (if possible) or processed into a product falling outside the BLS regulations. Beef under enforcement cannot be sold and then processed (as this would see it returning to the market and breaching the Enforcement Notice.

It is the operator’s responsibility to send the beef ‘directly for processing’. If you do not have facilities to process the beef yourself you must send (not sell) ‘direct’ to a processing site and the beef remains the responsibility of the operator who owns it throughout this process.

If an operator is unable to process beef under enforcement themselves, they are not permitted to sell this beef until after it has been processed into a product falling outside BLS.

You may also have to take further steps to correct your breach of the rules.

If you don’t comply with the necessary beef labelling rules you could be subject to enforcement action by the Rural Payments Agency or your local authority.

Possible consequences of non-compliance include:

  • verbal advice
  • warning letters
  • enforcement notices
  • criminal prosecution
Published 1 April 2014
Last updated 6 May 2016 + show all updates
  1. Information on this page about not being able to adequately label the meat because there is not enough information to trace it have been updated.

  2. First published.