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Animal By-Products

If you are a food retailer, distributor or manufacturer, or a caterer then these regulations may affect you.


Purpose of the Regulations
The 2003 Regulations, will be replaced on 4 March 2011 by Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011. They lay down rules for the collection, handling, transport, storage and disposal of animal by-products which include catering waste and former foodstuffs and other animal waste. They aim to control the risks, including disease, to both animals and the public.
Now some products must not be disposed of through the normal waste collection service, and there are rules on:

  • who can collect the waste from you and how they can destroy it,
  • keeping records of the waste produced, and
  • cleaning and disinfection


Catering waste
Catering waste means all waste food (including used cooking oils) originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including domestic kitchens. The disposal of catering waste is only controlled by the Regulations if you are sending it:

  • for animal consumption, or
  • for use in a biogas plant or for composting


All other catering waste can continue to be disposed of to landfill in the normal way. However, you must ensure that the waste is stored in covered leak proof containers to which wild animals & birds cannot gain access.

Waste Food originating from retailers, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers.

The following two categories of food products fall into the lowest category of animal by-product waste, which is Category 3, and so must be disposed of in accordance with the above Regulations. These products must be collected by a licensed carrier and disposed of in an approved manner, e.g. by rendering, incineration, or disposal at an approved biogas or composting plant.

  • Raw meat and fish – includes meat and fish off-cuts, products that require cooking before consumption, e.g scampi, fish fingers, raw sausages, chicken kiev, bacon.
  • Former foodstuffs that is, food of animal origin or that contains animal origin ingredients and is no longer intended for human consumption (for example due to commercial reasons, or manufacturing/packaging defects, and also out of date foods). This includes, for example, sliced meats, cooked sausages, pies and pasties, smoked salmon, Parma ham, ready meals with meat or fish, tinned Pasta Bolognese, dried Chicken Noodles or eggs.


What must I do with waste food that cannot go to landfill?

  • Store all waste raw meat and fish separately from other waste.
    (From 1st January 2006 this will also include all former foodstuffs.)
  • Waste Containers: Animal by-product waste must be stored in a clean, lidded leak proof container and must be labelled ‘Category 3 material’ and ‘Not intended for Human Consumption’.
    Storage should not pose a risk of contamination to other foodstuffs, nor be left exposed to animals or wild birds. 


Collection must be by a Licensed Carrier (see below for how to find one) and be taken to an approved premise for the correct method of disposal. You may want to work with other local retailers to establish a workable collection route by the same collector. The Licensed Carrier must give you a Commercial Document.

  • Records As a consignor of animal by-product waste you must additionally keep a record showing (a) (b) (e) & (f) above. Both the Commercial Documents and Records are required to be kept for two years and must be available for inspection by an authorised inspector.


Where can I get a list of Approved Carriers?

Details of Licensed Carriers and Approved Premises to transport and dispose of animal by-product is available on ww2.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/byproducts/,   or by contacting Defra on 0116 278 7451. 

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