Meat boxes

laura

Member
Location
Scotland
Hi everybody,

I would like to start selling lambs direct. (Scotland)
I would drive them to the slaughter house, get the butcher to pick it up, cut it, bag it.
Then what are the regulations if I want to pick it up at the butcher, label it properly and get the costumers to pick it up at the farmer, or deliver it to the costumer or send it by post (I have heard of someone doing it).
Also, if I get burgers and that, what do I need if I want to cook them and sell them at the farm during an event or something?

I have called the council but the persons I got on the phone didn't seem to know

Thank you for your answer
 

egbert

Member
Hi everybody,

I would like to start selling lambs direct. (Scotland)
I would drive them to the slaughter house, get the butcher to pick it up, cut it, bag it.
Then what are the regulations if I want to pick it up at the butcher, label it properly and get the costumers to pick it up at the farmer, or deliver it to the costumer or send it by post (I have heard of someone doing it).
Also, if I get burgers and that, what do I need if I want to cook them and sell them at the farm during an event or something?

I have called the council but the persons I got on the phone didn't seem to know

Thank you for your answer
I'm not the one to quote specific regulation, but pwn experience suggests...

If your butcher has presented product packed to you ready for retail, you only need keep it cool, in easily cleaned cool box etc, and quick local distribution doesn't present too many problems.
We originally found big cool boxes via a camper outlet, but t'internet will be your friend nowadays.
We aim to be out of product within a few hours, but temperature control is king.
Longer than a few hours, and you're into refrigeration, which carries some more rules.
Freezing requires different labelling to selling fresh.

'Posting' boxes is another kettle of fish, as you've far less control on timing.
Not my bag really.

Cooking for resale is a whole other ballgame, and you'll almost certainly become acquainted with your local authority. A lot more research.....
 

Wooly

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Romney Marsh
Basically if you follow every rule, you will soon decide it is not worth the hassle !!

If you are sensible, just pick the boxes up from your butcher in the back of the car and deliver them as soon as possible.
Cold meat in a box in a car, at this time of year, is going to stay chilled for quite a while.

Now as for cooking it and selling it............. that is a whole new can of worms that isn't worth going through !
 

SteveHants

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
Hi everybody,

I would like to start selling lambs direct. (Scotland)
I would drive them to the slaughter house, get the butcher to pick it up, cut it, bag it.
Then what are the regulations if I want to pick it up at the butcher, label it properly and get the costumers to pick it up at the farmer, or deliver it to the costumer or send it by post (I have heard of someone doing it).
Also, if I get burgers and that, what do I need if I want to cook them and sell them at the farm during an event or something?

I have called the council but the persons I got on the phone didn't seem to know

Thank you for your answer
The council are rubbish - it's trading standards you want.
You'll have to keep the lamb chilled and provide temp records (both for transit and on-farm storage).
If you are preparing food you will need cleaning/temperature records and suitable operating procedures with critical control points for whatever it is you are doing.
The FSA has a booklet if I recall correctly.
 

SteveHants

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
Basically if you follow every rule, you will soon decide it is not worth the hassle !!

If you are sensible, just pick the boxes up from your butcher in the back of the car and deliver them as soon as possible.
Cold meat in a box in a car, at this time of year, is going to stay chilled for quite a while.

Now as for cooking it and selling it............. that is a whole new can of worms that isn't worth going through !
It's easy enough if you are set up for it/used to doing it.
 

delilah

Member
Straight from the abattoir, cut and boxed, to the customer. Don't touch the meat yourself.
If you can, use an abattoir that vac packs, the customers find that a big plus.
Only do it when there is an r in the month.

Do that for at least a year before you think about taking the next steps into processing, cooking etc.
 

SteveHants

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
Straight from the abattoir, cut and boxed, to the customer. Don't touch the meat yourself.
If you can, use an abattoir that vac packs, the customers find that a big plus.
Only do it when there is an r in the month.

Do that for at least a year before you think about taking the next steps into processing, cooking etc.
I did it the other way round - worked for a company that produced food/products for retail and did a bit of hot food on occasion. It was relatively easy then when I did the odd boxed lamb when I became self-employed.
 

britt

Member
You need to register as a "food producing business" with the "Environmental health department" or you local council, not "trading standards" as posted above. This is free and they cannot refuse your registration. They will want to inspect your facilities and advise on any aspects that they think relevant. Their job is to help you do yours as well as possible and protect public health, not try to trip you up. If you have them onside and have taken their advice that will be your best defence if you are accused of selling bad meat or making someone ill.
There is a lot more common sense involved than suggested above. They will tell you what you need.
You need somewhere clean and cleanable to store and work with the meat. If it is already bagged and you are not opening the bags then the requirements are far less than if you handling the meat directly, or cooking it. Requirements are relevant to activities.
Hand washing facilities are a major issue for them. They just need to be available and suitable, not OTT.
Refrigeration will be necessary if you are keeping it for any amount of time.
If your facilities are poor you will just get a low "Food hygiene rating" as you will have seen in shops and restaurants. A 5 is a good sales point.

We do Christmas poultry, and I was very nervous at their visit as there are so many things to consider, I can only say that there was nothing to worry about and they were most helpful.
 
Its very easy if your just direct selling and the butcher is doing it. You need to keep fridge temp records and thats it. You need to sell a lot for the time and hassle. The margin isnt great time you price in your time, fuel, phone calls and dramas. Been there done that. If you have a lot of customers thats where you win. Only do lambs for own freezer now.
 

egbert

Member
A lot of talk about fridges... we don't use one, just cool boxes.
S'far as i know we're all legal eagle.

And as for margin...well that depends on how you pitch your price.
Remember to account for your time and effort organising and distributing.
customers would generally expect you to be making a margin, but balance that against having to take a larger quantity.

On beef, we punt it cheap rather than struggle to sell it, and we're generally putting £300-400 on a beast compared to what the thieving toerags would give us for it elsewhere, after ALL costs including time.
If we run one older, and into more mainstream weights, the mark up can be a lot -doubling his net value-, although doing a bigger beastie in an afternoon takes some doing.
 

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