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Supreme Court Decision on Mechanically Separated Meat

2nd May 2019 RIAMS

The latest digest by Tim Everett on the Legal and Enforcement community, R (on the application of Newby Foods Ltd) v Food Standards Agency [2019] UKSC 18, focuses on a case considering mechanically separated meat (MSM). This case also involved a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and highlights the interplay between the national and European courts on food safety issues.

This Supreme Court decision provides a definite answer.

It was held that the pork and chicken products made by Newby Food Ltd were MSM for the purposes of the relevant EU regulation, and the Court of Appeal had been right to apply the ruling of the CJEU to the facts of this case, contrary to the findings of the trial judge.

To clarify, MSM is any meat product which is derived from either bones from which the intact muscles have been detached, or from poultry carcases, to which meat is attached. Mechanical separation must have been used to recover the attached meat, resulting in the loss or modification of muscle fibre. This last criterion excludes products where the only modification arises from the cutting of intact muscle.

The Court of Appeal’s judgement was upheld and the appeal by Newby Food Ltd dismissed.

Read the full digest here.