East Devon District Council

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Guide Farmers' market stalls

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4. Meat and meat product sales

There are a number of rules and regulations which apply to the sale of meat and meat products.

In all cases, the slaughtering of animals must take place in a licensed slaughterhouse.

Fresh meat and raw fresh meat products such as sausages

If your premises is registered and inspected and meets hygiene requirements, you may cut and prepare meat on the farm. You may sell that meat from the farm gate to the 'final consumer', or via telephone, mail order and the Internet. (The ‘final consumer’ means anyone who is going to buy the product and use it themselves. It does not mean people buying it and selling it on, such as Retail or Catering operations.) You may not sell it to Retail or Catering businesses. You can sell up to 25 per cent of the meat away from the farm premises (for instance, in a farmers market).

If your premises is approved by the Food Standards Agency as ‘Cutting Premises’, there are no restrictions on selling your meat.

If you get someone else to cut your meat, their premises must be approved by the Food Standards Agency as ‘Cutting Premises’. You may sell that meat from the farm gate to the 'final consumer', or via telephone, mail order and the Internet. You can sell up to 25 per cent of the meat away from the farm premises (for instance, in a farmers market) or to other retail or catering establishments. You should leave the original packaging from the cutting plant on the meat.

You can ask a local butcher to cut your meat. However the butcher is not allowed to supply more than 25 per cent of their own weekly production to outside businesses in this way, otherwise they must apply to become an Approved premises.

A local butcher can only cut your meat provided you sell 75 per cent of it from the farm gate to the final consumer. (Sales can include those via telephone, mail order and the Internet).

For details of approved slaughterhouses and cutting plants you should contact the Food Standards Agency 

Fresh poultry

If you have a farm holding and are rearing and slaughtering less than 10,000 poultry and farmed game birds each year on your farm, you do not require approval. However, you will need to meet general food hygiene regulations.

You can sell your poultry direct to the final consumer and to local retailers, (local is defined as within Devon and the neighbouring counties and would include farmers markets in those boundaries). In the two weeks before Christmas and Easter, sales are not restricted and allowed throughout the United Kingdom.

For information for farmers dealing with more than 10,000 birds a year please contact the Food Standards Agency.

High-risk items such as meat, dairy and fish products (products of animal origin)

These are high-risk foods because they support the growth of harmful bacteria and are often sold ready to eat without further cooking. A mistake in their preparation and handling can make people ill. Often these products are of animal origin and include hams, pates, ice cream, cheeses, yoghurts and prepared foods such as pasties, meat pies, lasagne and fish products

Sales of products of animal origin

Farm premises that are approved by the council, or in some circumstances by the Food Standards Agency, do not have restrictions on the sale of their food.

Farmers can produce foods containing products of animal origin on their farm premises and sell them from the farm gate to the 'final consumer'. Such sales can include those via telephone, mail order and the Internet.

Farmers may also sell up to 25 per cent of these foods away from the farm premises (for instance, in a farmers market) or to other retail establishments. To sell more than this to retail outlets or caterers, the farmer must apply to us for approval.