Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
4/11/2021

Chapter 590. Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Tolerances and Prohibitions Applicable to Ground Beef

2VAC5-590-10. Ground beef.

A. Chopped beef, ground beef, hamburger shall consist of chopped fresh or frozen beef, with or without seasoning, and with or without the addition of beef fat as such. It shall contain no more than 30% fat, and shall not contain added water, binders, or extenders. When beef cheek meat (trimmed beef cheeks) is used in the preparation of chopped or ground beef, the amount of cheek meat shall be limited to 25%. If in excess of natural proportions, its presence shall be declared on the label.

B. Beef patties shall consist of chopped fresh or frozen beef, with or without the addition of beef fat as such or seasonings. Binders or extenders or partially defatted beef fatty tissue may be used, without added water or with added water, only in amounts such that the product's characteristics are essentially that of a meat patty. When seasoning, water, binders, or extenders or partially defatted beef fatty tissue are used, their presence shall be declared on the label by their common or usual name in descending order of predominance. Beef patties shall contain no more than 30% fat.

C. Fabricated beef steaks, veal steaks, beef and veal steaks, or veal and beef steaks, and similar products such as those labeled "beef steak, chopped, shaped, frozen," "minute steak, formed, wafer sliced, frozen," "veal steaks, beef added, chopped-molded-cubed-frozen, hydrolized plant protein, and flavoring" shall be prepared by comminuting and forming the product from fresh or frozen meat, with or without added fat, of the species indicated on the label. These products shall contain no more than 30% fat, and shall not contain added water, binders, or extenders. Beef cheek meat (trimmed beef cheeks) may be used in the preparation of fabricated beef steaks only in accordance with the conditions prescribed in subsection A of 2VAC5-590-20.

Statutory Authority

§§ 3.2-5101 and 3.2-5121 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR115-05-12 § 1, eff. January 7, 1987.

2VAC5-590-20. Labeling and fat declaration requirements.

A. Qualifying terms. No qualifying terms pertaining to product names, quality, or fat content of ground beef, other than those permitted by this chapter or applicable federal regulations, shall be used in the advertisement or labeling of ground beef products, unless a placard is displayed in reasonable proximity to the display which clearly states:

1. The name of the product;

2. Clarification of any qualifying term which is not self-evident; and

3. A statement of the maximum fat content of the product. Terms such as "lean," "extra lean," "super lean" and "premium" are examples of "qualifying terms".

B. Primal cuts. Ground beef sold or offered for sale by the name of a primal cut such as "ground chuck," "ground round," "chopped sirloin" or similar terms, shall be composed of meat exclusively from that part of the animal carcass.

C. Display placard. The display placard shall contain the name of the product and the statement "Does Not Exceed . . . . Per Cent Fat," the blank being filled in with the maximum per cent of fat by weight. The placard statement shall be in block letters no less than one-half inch in size. However, placard labeling shall not be required when the package label includes the information specified in this chapter.

D. Use of terms optional. This chapter shall not be interpreted to require any processor or retailer to use any term other than "chopped beef," "ground beef," or "hamburger". If a processor or retailer elects to use qualifying terms, he shall determine and declare by label or placard the maximum percentage of fat in the product which can be maintained by customary operating procedure. The processing margin between the intended fat content and the declared maximum fat content of the product shall be determined by the processor or retailer.

E. Samples and analyses. Upon analysis by official AOAC methods of random samples collected by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services from display, a variation of not more than 3.0% in excess of the declared maximum shall be considered as meeting the declared maximum. Random samples shall consist of one package from display for each 10 packages or fractions thereof on display.

Statutory Authority

§§ 3.2-5101 and 3.2-5121 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR115-05-12 § 2, eff. January 7, 1987.

FORMS (2VAC5-590).

Inspection Report, Form VDACS-06017.

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