STORAGE AND HANDLING
QUALITY AND FOOD SAFETY
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
STORAGE AND HANDLING
Larger frozen cuts will keep better and longer with less flavour change, than smaller frozen cuts. As a general rule, no longer than 6 months, although raw mince should be eaten within 2 months. Cooked meat can be frozen for 1-2 months.
Once the meat is thawed, providing the fridge is operating between 2-4ºC, meat can be kept refrigerated for 3-5 days, with raw minced meat and sausages for 1-2 days.
For more information on the best way to thaw meat and other tips, Click here
Fresh primal and sub-primal cuts may be kept up to 10 days if packaged correctly and kept at low temperatures (below 4ºC). Check the use by date on the packaging to guide you.
QUALITY AND FOOD SAFETY
No. The Quality Mark standard guarantees the high quality of beef and lamb within New Zealand, which is equal to that exported and eaten overseas.
for more information and to search for your nearest Quality Mark retailer.
Beef and lamb cuts sold as fresh cuts, cannot have anything injected. If any meat is injected with brine or marinade, it must be clearly labelled and is no longer classed as fresh meat. For example, if a lamb steak is injected with brine it would then become a manufactured meat (Standard 2.2.1 of the Food Standards Code), and it must be labelled accordingly, i.e. the name of the product would need to be clear that the product is no longer just a lamb steak and hence different from fresh meat and has ingredients added.
Lean muscle fibres in meat are made up of 50-75% water. This natural moisture in meat contributes to its juiciness. Some water is driven out of meat during cooking therefore the longer the cooking, the more water is lost. If cooked too long, very lean cuts can lose much of their moisture, resulting in very dry meat.
The use of hormones in New Zealand is extremely low. New Zealanders have the protection of the New Zealand Beef and Lamb Quality Mark programme, which specifically prohibits HGPs and further, is a guarantee the product is grown and processed in New Zealand. For more information about the Quality Mark, click here.
It is illegal to use preservative on fresh meat. You can be rest assured all reputable Quality Mark retailers will be following the food regulation laws.
In the early days of meat retailing, before efficient refrigeration and packaging, the preservative sulphite was used to maintain the freshness of meat. With the advent of refrigeration this practice became unnecessary and subsequently the practice was made illegal due to potential health concerns for those with asthma.
Therefore, these days, preservative is not used at all on fresh beef and lamb product. It can still be used in some processed meats and this is a safe practice used worldwide. For more information from the Ministry for Primary Industries, click here.
You might have heard Mycoplasma Bovis (or Mp. Bovis) being spoken about in the media over the past few months. We thought it was worth answering a few questions in case you had any concerns around the impact of Mp. Bovis.
Is it ok to still eat meat that is part of the Mp. Bovis cull?
Yes, it is absolutely ok to eat beef that has Mp. Bovis as there are no risks whatsoever to humans. In saying that, no animal will be processed for us to eat if it is sick,but more on that below. In fact, many countries are affected by Mp. Bovis and do you know what, this beef will still have the same delicious taste and nutritional benefits like iron, protein, vitamin B12 and zinc. If you’re still not sure, have a listen to this guy
– Professor Richard Laven, Associate Professor of Veterinary Science at Massey University who knows a thing or two about Mp. Bovis. He says that he’d “be happy to eat meat from mycoplasma infected animals." If he’s ok with eating beef then so are we.
You are what you eat, right? So surely, it’s not good to eat diseased meat?
Whilst we repeat there is no concern over the safety of eating beef affected by Mp. Bovis, because of New Zealand’s strict food safety laws, any animal that is put forward for processing for human consumption – i.e. eaten by us – undergoes an assessment by vets. Before leaving the farm, as well as on arrival at the processing plant, all animals have a thorough examination by Ministry of Primary Industires (MPI) vets. If any animal shows signs of sickness, injury or still has medicine in its system it will not be processed for us to eat, it will be humanely destroyed and not consumed by humans. And just in case, the meat is also checked over once it has been processed just to really make sure it is good enough for us to eat.
So why is this cull happening if there is no danger to the meat?
This is all happening for animal welfare reasons and not every animal that is being processed as part of the cull will necessarily have Mp. Bovis. The disease is not nice and can have some really nasty implications for the cattle – mastitis, arthritis, ear infections, pneumonia – basically it’s pretty horrible. So, of course the government, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and all farmers really want to do their best to contain this disease and ensure their cows live happy, healthy lives. It makes sense, right?
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Any beef or lamb product complying with the Quality Mark standards is guaranteed to be from New Zealand. Look for the red, gold and black Quality Mark sticker on pack or ask your local butcher. Click here
for more information.
Please visit www.fianz.co.nz
for a directory of halal certified establishments.
Although a significant proportion of sheep and beef is slaughtered according to Halal requirements, only a much smaller percentage is actually Halal-certified and labelled. Halal audit, certification and labelling incur extra costs, so it is only done at the request of a customer or when it is a market access requirement overseas.
In the case of New Zealand supermarkets, the beef and lamb may be from animals that have been slaughtered in accordance with Halal requirements - but that product may subsequently be rendered non-Halal by the addition of non-Halal ingredients or proximity to non-Halal goods such as pork. It therefore cannot be labelled as Halal in supermarkets.
Cow pooling is when a group of the general public band together to buy an animal direct from a farmer, then have it butchered and split the meat between themselves. This is legal when done through a licensed abattoir.
If you are going through a homekill service be very aware that the meat will not be subject to the same food safety standards and inspections as that of a licensed abattoir. Also be aware of the laws in place for homekill as outlined by the Ministry for Primary Industries here.
Under the Animal Products Act:
It is illegal to trade (buy or sell) homekill meat. This includes “select and slaughter” activities, where a client selects an animal from a farmer and then immediately has the animal slaughtered – either by the farmer or a homekill and recreational catch service provider – before taking the meat away.
ANY CONSUMER WHO CHOOSES TO PARTAKE IN BUYING MEAT VIA THE SELECT AND SLAUGHTER METHOD FACES A MAXIMUM FINE OF $75,000 FOR AN INDIVIDUAL AND $300,000 FOR CORPORATIONS.
If you can't carry out homekill legally, you can buy an animal and send it to a registered licensed abattoir for slaughter and processing.
The basic policy for homekill activity is set out in section 67 of the Animal Products Act. For information to help you understand the rules of homekill in New Zealand, visit the MPI website here.
Those who can homekill are animal owners who are actively engaged in the day-to-day maintenance of the animal, or animals of the same kind, for a period of at least 28 days.
Such owners may kill and process the animal themselves on their own property (includes property leased, or where there is other legal right to occupy or use the property), or they may have the animal killed or processed by a listed homekill or recreational catch service provider on the service provider's premises or place or the animal owner's own property.
Homekill product is for the use or consumption of the animal owner including his or her family or household and must not be traded (includes barter, supply as part of a service, public prize or reward etc).
A farmer may supply homekill product to an employee of the farmer who is employed in an ongoing manner in the farmer's daily farming operations, for the use or consumption of that employee (including his or her family or household).
The parts of the homekill animal that are not for human or animal consumption (such as the hide, skin, horns, antlers) may be traded and waste material may be sold to a render.
It is also illegal for the farmer to provide the facilities and equipment for the client to slaughter the animal at the farmer’s place.
Homekill cannot be bartered, raffled or donated for use as a prize. It cannot be used by institutions such as boarding schools, universities, hospitals or prisons. Homekill cannot be served to paying customers.
- All HKRSPs must be listed with MPI. The penalty for operating without being listed is a maximum fine of $75,000 for providing it to an individual and $300,000 for providing it to a corporation.
- If a HKRSP knowingly slaughters and/or processes animals from an owner who hasn’t been involved in the day-today maintainence for at least 28 days prior to slaughter the fines are:
- For individuals – maximum fine of $100,000 and two years imprisonment
- For corporations – maximum fine of $500,000
Farmers know the environment is under pressure from urban and rural sources and that change is needed. They want to play their part in lifting environmental performance and being valued by all New Zealanders as custodians of the land.
The sheep and beef sector is focused on farming within the natural limits of the environment, enhancing water quality around farms, protecting and enhancing biodiversity, protecting soils, and further reducing their net greenhouse gas emissions.
Beef and lamb production in New Zealand is based around extensive, low intensity/low input systems. For example, clovers are used to provide natural sources of nitrogen, instead of applying fertilisers, for example.
Yes, sheep and beef farmers do have environmental challenges – sediment loss particularly from historic land development that cleared bush from the hills, and protecting remaining wetlands, but they are taking steps to address these through initiatives such as Land Environment Plans, that help farmers to work through the environmental risks and opportunities on their farm and make specific plans to address them.
Farmers have also made huge productivity gains even as the number of sheep and beef cattle have fallen significantly (from 70 million sheep at peak sheep on the 1980s to 27 million in 2016) and the value of our exports has more than doubled since 1990.
These productivity improvements over the last two decades have been achieved through a combination of new technologies, including advances in animal genetics and health, and improvements in farm practices, such as nutrient, pasture and animal management; while seeing a significant reduction in land under sheep and beef farming.
Since 1990, the total hectares in sheep and beef have decreased 28% from an estimated 12.5 to 9 million hectares in 2012.
Having said that, one third of New Zealand’s landmass still remains covered by sheep and beef farms. Thousands of hectares of bush on these farms have been set aside to protect and maintain biodiversity. 47% of QE II National Trust covenants are on sheep and beef farms.
The productivity gains made since the early 1990s translate into significant environmental gains including a 21% reduction in nitrate leaching per kg of saleable product and a 40% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions per kg of saleable product.
This is why New Zealand is one of the most environmentally efficient producers of beef and sheep in the world, but that does not mean that we should not try to be better.
The sector is committed to protecting and enhancing native biodiversity and habitats across our farms, including connecting these habitats and undertaking pest management.
A recent study by Canterbury and Auckland University, found that approximately 1/3 of sheep and beef farm land is under native vegetation.
Around 47% of QEII protected land occurs on sheep and beef farming properties and these have been created voluntarily by our farmers.
The sector, however is looking to build on this. B+LNZ is looking to enhance biodiversity protection and are promoting the creation of “biodiversity corridors” linking sheep and beef farms through farmers working together.
Sheep and beef pasture based farming systems in New Zealand are some of the lowest intensity systems in the world for GHG emissions.
The sector is currently sitting around 19% below 1990 carbon emissions levels, which exceeds NZ’s current Paris 2030 target (11% below 1990 levels).
We are working to reduce the sectors net emissions even further through on farm management improvements and research.
The sector is, for example, is investing millions in GHG mitigation research. The pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc) was set up with a key goal to develop strategies to reduce and mitigate the two greenhouse gases associated with livestock: methane and nitrous oxide.
Sheep and beef farming generally occurs on hill and high country landscapes and involves mixed land uses. Issues around water quality are mostly about sediment, phosphorus and pathogens travelling over land in heavy rainfall. Much of the sediment loss is a legacy of forest clearance on land that we now know is fragile
Sheep and beef farms generally have a lower nitrogen footprint that other pastoral land uses.
What the sector is focussed on is identifying and managing overland flow pathways through tailored individual farm specific environmental planning, understanding natural resources, and creating farming systems which match the landscapes.
We know that by applying this type of approach we can further reduce any impact we have on freshwater, ensuring that it is being managed sustainably for the future of all of us.
At Beef + Lamb New Zealand, our recommendations align with those of the Ministry of Health Eating and Activity Guidelines
which recognises red meat is a source of essential nutrients including vitamin B12, iron, zinc and protein, and can be enjoyed in moderate portions with plenty of vegetables, within a healthy eating and active lifestyle. The last New Zealand dietary population survey showed on average men eat 64g/day of beef and lamb and women 38g/day (Parnell et al, LINZ 2012). More recently, working estimates show each year, New Zealanders eat about 17kg beef, 5.4kg lamb and 0.9kg mutton. The global meat recommendation by the World Cancer Research Fund’s current personal recommendation is up to 500g cooked red meat per week, equivalent to 750g raw. Each of our recipes suggests around 150g raw red meat per person, equating to up to 5 meals per week containing red meat.
For those looking to do their part to help the environment and considering dropping their meat intake, you should first look at getting expert advice from a registered dietitian
or registered nutritionist
who will provide individualised guidance based on your requirements. Simply reducing the amount of a nutrient-dense food such as red meat, without prior assessment as to how much you are currently eating and which foods you will substitute it with, can put you at risk of falling short in some essential nutrients.
The New Zealand meat industry is proactively working to understand its impact on the environment and identify ways to improve. The industry is proud of its achievements in the environmental area to date, producing healthy, nutritious, sustainable meat, which plays an important role in the New Zealand diet
. Over the past two decades the sector has reduced its carbon footprint by 17% by producing the same amount of product with improved efficiency.
In New Zealand, as in virtually all other countries where carbon footprints have been measured for beef and lamb production, emissions on farm make up 80-85% of the footprint. This is mainly due to livestock emissions. To address this, a number of initiatives
are underway aiming to reduce the emissions associated with pastoral farming. These can be divided into ‘everyday’ efforts by farmers to improve efficiency through improved genetics, pasture management and fertiliser management; and much bigger research efforts into how to reduce the natural methane emissions from sheep and cows and nitrous oxide from agricultural soils.
For those that do enjoy to eat meat, and are looking at how they can do their bit to reduce their individual environmental impact, here are some factors to consider:
- Look at how much you are eating and whether this aligns with the Ministry of Health Eating and Activity Guidelines. Current recommendations include up to 500g cooked red per week (equivalent to about 700-750g raw), served alongside plenty of vegetables and wholegrains. Our recipes align with serving size guidance of about 150g per person, which equates to 3-4 dishes per week that includes beef or lamb.
- Are you a woman or an athlete, are you pregnant, have young children, or an older adult? Some of us have higher nutrient requirements at times of growth, development and repair, therefore essential nutrients provided by red meat play an important role in one’s dietary pattern.
- When you purchase food, does it all get eaten, or is some thrown out in the bin? Consider the amount of food wastage and look at cooking only the amount you need, or how it can be utilised in another meal.
- The impact of your overall eating and lifestyle patterns. Do you eat more than your body requires or consider how to get from one place to another? Look at the broader context of your every day habits if you are looking at making some positive changes to the environment.
All Quality Mark beef and lamb has been processed under the strictest animal welfare standards according to its audited industry standards. Farmers and processors have procedures and facilities in place to minimise stress and ensure the health and welfare needs of the animals are met, in line with New Zealand animal welfare regulations http://www.mpi.govt.nz/