Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Selling meat legally?  (Read 8477 times)


  • Joined Feb 2011
Selling meat legally?
« on: May 17, 2015, 09:47:20 am »
Hi all- I am about to send some sheep (Castlemilk Moorits) to slaughter and have been asked by friends if they can buy some meat. My butcher does 'kill and cut' with everything popped in one bag. Normally I take this home and package up the bits into separate freezer bags before popping in the freezer. I would like to sell the meat legally with the minimum of hassle. As I understand it I would have to be 'registered' if I packaged the meat as described and sold it but not if my friends collected the meat directly from the butcher and packaged it themselves? Some clarification would really help as to my best way forward. Thanks.


  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Anglezarke, Lancashire
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2015, 09:55:02 am »
good question. I would also like to sell lamb to friends so looking forward to the replies you get
Is it time to retire yet?


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2015, 10:05:16 am »
Is your butcher working from registered premises ?


  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 10:13:59 am »
That's what I do, friends have to collect from the butcher themselves.  Works well - less driving about from me, I know everything is above board and they can discuss exactly how they want it cut with the butcher. 


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2015, 10:14:25 am »
Can the butcher not vac pac meat separately? It will be more expensive but then everything would be ready to go. My abattoir vac packs and labels
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Joined May 2015
  • Kirkbride, Wigton, Cumbria
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2015, 10:23:45 am »
About 5 years ago we started keeping rare breed pigs and when we had the first one slaughtered, the butcher who jointed it supplied the meat in large plastic bags without weighing joints separately.  We were new to this and took the bags home in a cool car and then, in a previously, thoroughly-cleaned kitchen, we weighed, bagged and labelled each joint/pack of meat.

They were kept in a freezer prior to taking them to a 'taster' evening at a friend's restaurant two days later, where a large shoulder was slow roasted.  We sold all of it to those present and all were delighted with the quality and flavour. 

Since then we've changed our butcher, who now cuts up, weighs, bags and labels according to our requirements.

Both butchers are registered and are extremely well-thought of locally.  They collect the meat from the abattoir, so we had no problems in this area.

I think you'd be OK to sell to friends but it would be worth seeing if you can find a butcher to do this work for you.


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Peak District
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2015, 12:30:40 pm »
When i have enough orders for lambs or half lambs i will take them to the abatoir/butchers and get them killed, hung, cut, vac packed and labelled.

I think to be legal the end user (your customer) needs to then collect direct from butcher unless you have a refrigerator of some sort which meets the trading standards requirements.

In the real world, i am usually collecting some of the lambs for ourselves so i will pick up and drop off directly to friends and famiy who have ordered some (as an unofficial favour).

This also enables me to put one of my stickers on the box and some eblex leaflets with recipes and also a bill in the box!
In time i will also produce a newsletter with info on the sheep,  the way they are farmed and other info.
Pedigree Ryelands, Charolais cross Mules


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2015, 01:29:33 pm »
Whether you are selling to friends, family or the public you need to meet a raft of health and hygiene criteria, storage, labelling and packaging requirements. There is no distinction.

You are correct that actually to protect yourself any friends and family you sell to should, unless you are registered and meet all the requirements, collect direct from the butcher. Then should there be a public health problem with the meat the butcher would be investigated. Once you collect the meat and distribute it becomes your problem.

In the real world most smallholders do exactly what you do collect and drop off.


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2015, 03:44:58 pm »
Ideally get friends to collect direct from butcher.  You can collect in 'sacks' and deliver ... keeping records of temp of meat before during and after delivery .... any touching of meat by you to package differently would be illegal whoever it went to. All this applies whether money changes hands or not.

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
Nantygroes  facebook page


  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Anglezarke, Lancashire
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2015, 05:58:58 pm »
crumbs! what a nightmare.
Looks like I need a Plan B!
Is it time to retire yet?

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2015, 07:07:08 pm »
We have a meat preparations room which has vermin-proof construction, commercial type freezer, power, lighting, hot water supply, separate sink for hand-washing, scrubbable floor and preparation surface, sign saying "Do Not Smoke" .......


  • Joined Dec 2014
  • here, there and everywhere but mainly Scotland
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2015, 07:32:50 pm »
I have just bumped my food grade sink back to the top will send photos to any body that is interesting


  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 09:56:12 pm »
OK- thanks all. I'll get my friends to collect direct from the butcher. Better safe than sorry I guess!



  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 10:57:09 pm »
Food hygiene is actually very easy. Ring EHO and get the Safer Food Better business pack, EHO are really helpful they are there to guide you so if you are not sure about anything just ask. Just make sure you have products liability insurance, which usually comes with your small holder policy.
 I have large fishermen cool boxes for transporting food, they will keep food frozen for 5 days so are really well insulated. All you need is a thermometer, and record the temperatures. If you pay the butcher to pack and label the cuts so you have minimal handling, just make sure you have plan B, a descent chest freezer with temperature log if the customers do not arrive as planned.


  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Selling meat legally?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2015, 09:33:48 pm »
I've been told I can collect and deliver or friends collect from me if the meat is cut and bagged and boxed  by the butcher but I mustn't sell seperate joints unless I get certified scales to weigh the bagged joints and I definately mustn't cut and repackage anything. No mention of temp control.
We've now agreed I'll get my friends to check the weights on their scales to make sure I'm not cheating them.  They just laugh at the idea.


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