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Meat is any part of a dead animal including any attached bone or bone marrow, connective tissue, fat, rind, nerves, blood or skin.
Meat must be sold by net weight, that is excluding the weight of any packaging, labels, wrapping or soaker pads. However meat that has had its character substantially changed is no longer considered meat for the purposes of the legislation and does not have to be sold by weight.
The following items are defined as meat and therefore must be sold by net weight: amphibians such as frogs, birds (including chicken, duck, emu, geese, guineafowl, ostrich, pheasant, quail, squab and turkey), buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, donkey, fish (but not shellfish – see below), goat, hare, horse, kangaroo and wallaby, offal (such as cheek, liver, spleen, tail, tongue and tripe – but not other offal, see below), pig, reptiles (including crocodile) and sheep.
Processed meat is still classed as meat and therefore must be sold by net weight. This includes meat processed by adding of preservatives, colourings or flavours, boning, cooking (except where it is sold to the customer on the premises where it is cooked), crumbing, curing, dicing, drying, forming, freezing, glazing, marinading, mincing, pickling, salting, seasoning, shredding, slicing, smoking and tenderising.
These items are not classed as meat by the trade measurement legislation so do not have to be sold by weight:
Meat that has been cooked on the premises where it is sold to the customer is exempt from sale by weight.
Meat subjected to some processes is considered to have had its character substantially changed and so is no longer meat. Meat subjected to the following does not have to be sold by weight:
For a complete list of items included and excluded from the definition of meat to be sold by weight, see regulation 1.5 of the National Trade Measurement Regulations.
If meat is measured and sold by weight in front of customers, then the customer must have the opportunity to see the measuring process including the readings on the measuring instruments.
When an order of meat other than that weighed while the customer is present is delivered to the customer, it must be accompanied by a clear, written statement of the weight of each cut on which the purchase price is based.
The statement of weight can be written on the outside of the package or on an invoice or label accompanying it.
Meat packed before it is offered for sale can be packed in bags, trays or any other kind of packaging.
All prepacked meat must be marked with the correct net weight and price per kilogram.
The marked weight cannot include the weight of any packaging.
NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. The role of inspectors is:
Sellers should check the health and safety regulations in their state, territory or council area.
The main laws covering trade measurement are the National Measurement Act and the National Trade Measurement Regulations. See regulation 1.5 for classifications of various types of meat and how it must be sold.
For more information contact 1300 686 664, email@example.com or use our on-line form.
What is meat?
Meat that must be sold by weight
Meat that does not have to be sold by weight
Measuring meat in front of customers
Responsibilities of sellers
Regulating the sale of meat
Health and safety issues
For more information
What is trade measurement?
Average quantity system