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South African Meat Safety Standards: What Processors Need to Know

April 30, 2024

South African meat safety is no different from any other of the world’s major markets and exporters; quality is a must. To guarantee that the meat that is slaughtered to be sold down the chain to restaurants and households is of premium standard and not dangerous for consumers is a given. 

However, to someone stepping into the industry at a level and also to the consumer who will be reading this, it’s good to be informed as to what these standards are and what they entail.

Well, as always, we are here to inform and ensure you know what the industry adheres to.

Regulatory Bodies and Standards

Members of the South African Meat Processors Association (SAMPA) commit to providing the pinnacle of South African meat safety standards. 

  • SAMPA provides support and information to help processors navigate the complex regulatory framework.

Key Regulations

  • Regulations R2410 of 24 August 2022 on the classification, packing and labelling of certain raw processed products for sale in South Africa. 

These provisions apply to classes of raw processed meat products specified in Regulation 4 and in circumstances where a prohibition to sell raw processed meat products applies.

The requirements mentioned do not apply to canned meat products, processed meat products as defined in other specific regulations and meat analogue products. 

Standards for Processed Meat Products

  • Canned and processed meat products must conform to the South African National Standard (SANS) 885:2011.

Best Practices

  • BFAP – Ensure authoritative sources such as BFAP are followed about agriculture’s contribution to the GDP and inflation figures, among other things.
  • Insurance – It’s important to have contaminated product insurance and understand Listeria control measures.

Consumer Protection

SAMPA and its members produce safe, nutritious products of high value for money for the country’s consumers.

South African Meat Processors Association (SAMPA)

The organisation is voluntary. They work and represent various people/businesses and manufacturers in meat processing. 

It is a national sector representative organisation for the processed meat sector in South Africa, having been established in 1945, and is a founding member of the SA Meat Industry Chamber

SAMPA together with its members, formulate voluntary and statutory regulations from all spheres of government to ensure consumer protection, food safety and nutrition. 

SAMPA’s main objective is to streamline the complex regulatory framework and to ensure that members’ products are safe and nutritious, as well as to offer value for money to consumers.

Regulations R2410 of 24 August 2022

These South African meat safety standard regulations deal with the certification, packing or marking of particular raw processed meat products for sale in the republic. Raw processed meat products for human consumption (detail products). These regulations pertain to: 

  1. The certification and packing or marking of specified categories of raw processed meat products for sale to the public.
  1. The certification and packing or marking of specified categories of raw processed of Clause 49 of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act No. 40 of 2000).
  1. Detailed requirements for containers and outer containers, marking, the naming of the product, the naming of the batch, declaration of the origin of the product, and presentation for sale.
  1. Minced meat products. these regulations exclude certain specifications, such as canned meat products and processed meat products, under other regulations.
  1. Specification of a container, capacity, and ability to trace the product.

South African National Standard (SANS) 885:2011

SANS 885:2011 is the South African National Standard for processed meat products. 

It incorporates the requirements for the factory or processing facility, i.e.:

  • Construction Layout
  • Equipment and Hygienic Operating Requirements
  • The Requirements for the Employees
  • The Ingredients
  • The Compositional and Microbiological Standards for Products
  • Methods of Examination
  • Packing
  • Marking
  • Labelling and informative annexes on calculations for total meat protein equivalent quality verification of processed meat products are also included.

These regulations and specifications make sure that all the meat that is inspected and made available for sale in South Africa is based on recognised standards of wholesomeness and quality that protect the interests of industry and consumers. 

Hygiene Requirements 

HACCP (an acronym for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is an internationally recognised food safety risk management tool.

It is a food safety preventative including:

  • Biological
  • Chemical
  • And Physical Hazards…

In food production processes that don’t adhere to South African meat safety standards, unsafe finished products or food products that don’t meet quality demands can result. It involves identifying, evaluating, and controlling these hazards for the safety of the final product by designing measurements to reduce them to a safe level. 

Principles of HACCP

  • Perform a Hazard Analysis – Recognise the hazards that may arise in food production. List all possible hazards linked with the food-production process.
  • Establish CCPs – Critical Control Points (CCPs) are the identifying critical alarms/points that flag and identify hazards that can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to a safe level.
  • Critical Limits – Critical Limits are defined as the maximum or minimum values to which:
  • Chemical 
  • Biological
  • And Physical Parameters Must be Controlled…

That can ensure that a food safety hazard cannot occur, is effectively eliminated or is reduced to an acceptable level.

  • Implement Monitoring Procedures – Design and implement monitoring procedures to ensure that CCPs do not violate their critical limits at each and every CCP.
  • Define Corrective Actions – Decide what actions you’ll take when monitoring indicates that a CCP is not operating as it should.
  • Establish Verification Procedures – Use methods, procedures, tests and other examinations, in addition to monitoring, to ascertain HACCP is functioning and alerting accordingly to show the system works properly.
  • Recording of documentation – Record keeping is paramount to ensure the system works. With this, any trace to an issue is easily identified, and the route can be fixed quickly, essential in the industry. 


South African meat safety standards are some of the highest in the global economy as of 2024. One of the world’s most diverse providers of meats cannot afford to take its eye off the ball. Both consumers at home and abroad have peace of mind knowing that South Africa is one of the world’s most successful meat industries. That reputation doesn’t come overnight or by luck! It takes a long time to have the right equipment, training, workforce, and of course, policies in place.  Meat lovers who have produce from South Africa are in good hands!