THE British Poultry Council has warned that a new consultation opened by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over changes to the definition of wishbone meat could increase both food waste and the cost of chicken.

Estimates have suggested the change could result in an £80m cost to the poultry sector and up to 8,000t of food going to waste each year.

See also: Government brings in new Veterinary Medicines Regulations legislation

The FSA consultation seeks to change the long-standing definition of wishbone meat from “Meat Preparation” to “Mechanically Separate Meat” (MSM).

Poultry processors use a low-pressure method to remove flesh from wishbones on carcases with the recovered meat, currently defined as a Meat Preparation, used in further processed products.


The FSA said it was launching the consultation based on a series of court cases and subsequent judgements “that clarify how the definition of MSM in Annex I to the Regulations should be interpreted and applied”.

A spokesperson for the BPC said: “BPC members are determined to continue providing quality and affordable food, maintain value in the supply chain, reduce food waste, and ensure productive supply chains that feed people and tackle the inequalities that define a changing climate.

“Therefore, we believe the FSA’s position since 2012 – that wishbone meat is a meat prep – is the correct one.”

The consultation and more details are available on the FSA’s website.