Quality Standard Lamb

 

Qualifying criteria for QSM lambIn order to carry the Quality Standard Mark all beef and lamb must be produced and processed through a fully assured and independently audited supply chain. Details of which can be found in our Scheme Operating Guide. Additionally the following requirements which directly affect eating quality are applied.


There are currently no legal requirements limiting the age of sheep slaughtered for human consumption. The Quality Standard Mark Scheme for lamb, however, limits the age and status of the animals allowed into the scheme, and places additional requirements on the processing of lamb during certain times of the year. Again, as in the case of beef, these requirements reflect current scientific knowledge, particularly the role that age at slaughter and seasonality play in the eating quality of lamb.

The current standards are:
  • Females must have no permanent incisors and neither have been used for breeding or pregnant, ie, nulliparous and not pregnant.
  • Castrated and entire males must have no permanent incisors.
  • Carcases must have a fat class of between 2–3H and have a conformation of between E–O. An equivalent to classification is acceptable for plants not grading lamb.
  • Carcases of any acceptable animal slaughtered during the period from 1 January through to 30 April of any year and born before 1 October of the previous year must be subjected to a minimum of 7 days maturation (and ideally 10 days) from slaughter to the final consumer. Alternatively one of the post-slaughter processes to enhance tenderness as outlined in ‘AHDB Beef and Lamb Guidance to Meat Quality’ can be used, ie, Aitch bone suspension or electrical stimulation.

By specifying Quality Standard Mark lamb, retailers/caterers can be confident they will be provided with a more consistent quality product with the potential for improved and more consistent eating quality.

Read our Scheme Operating Guide.


Quality Standard Beef

Quality Standard Beef


Read the standards relating to beef >>
Quality Standard Veal

Quality Standard Veal


Read the standards relating to veal >>
Join the QSM Scheme

Join the QSM Scheme

Find out how to become a member of the Quality Standard Mark Scheme and what the benefits are for your business >>