Category Laws

The manufacture and productions standards of certain food types and products are regulated by South African law. Please follow the link to see the exact requirements.

1. Biltong

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for:

Subclass 3.1 being “Whole muscle uncured, no or partial heat treated and air dried products (less than 21 days)” (e.g.) uncured biltong; and Subclass 5.1 being “Whole muscle cured, no or partial heat treated and air dried products” (e.g.) cured biltong - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 100 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 50 % actual lean meat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 50 % fat (analyzed)

2. Boerewors

In South Africa, as per regulation 3 of GNR 2718/1990 [in terms of section 15(1) of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972)] governing the composition of raw boerewors, a sausage may only be classified and labelled as a “Boerewors”, if it conforms to the following criteria:

  • Raw boerewors shall be manufactured from the meat of an animal of the bovine, ovine, porcine or caprine species or from a mixture of two or more thereof.
  • It shall be contained in an edible casing.
  • It shall contain a minimum of 90% total meat content and not more than 30% fat content (by calculation the lean meat content shall be minimum 63%).
  • It shall contain no offal except where such offal is to be used solely as the casing of the raw boerewors.
  • It shall contain no mechanically recovered meat (MRM) or mechanically deboned meat (MDM).
  • No ingredients shall be added except cereal products or starch, vinegar, spices, herbs, salt, other harmless flavourants, permitted food additives (as per the Act) and water.
  • This means a boerewors shall not contain any artificial colourants or soya protein (including textured soya protein), milk protein, egg albumin or other ingredient with a protein content greater than 15%.
If a fresh sausage does not meet the above criteria (nor the criteria for fresh species sausages) it must instead be labelled as “Braaiwors”, “Fries”, “Grillers” or “Bangers”.

3. Braaiwors

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 7.1 or 10.1 [ subclass 7.1 being “Comminuted, uncured, no or partial heat treated products”  (e.g.) raw braaiwors, and subclass 10.1 being “Comminuted, uncured and heat treated products” (e.g.) blanched or fully cooked braaiwors] - braaiwors sausages must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin

4. Brines & Tumble Mixes

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for: 

Subclass 1.1 being “Whole muscle, wet cured, heat treated products” (liquid curing brine used) [e.g. gammons, pastrami, cooked silverside, roast beef (cured), country ham, edible whole muscle offal (i.e.) pickled tongue] - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

Subclass 2.1 being “Whole muscle, uncured, heat treated or partial heat


treated products” [e.g. uncured roast pork, roast beef or carpaccio] - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

Subclass 4.2 being “Whole muscle, wet cured, no or partial heat treated


products” (liquid curing brine used) [e.g. kasseler, bacon] - these products must legally conform to the following criteria: 

  • Minimum 90 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 70 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 50 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed).
  • No rinds, gelatine or defeathered chicken skin may be added. 
  • Minimum 90 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 80 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 60 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed). 
  • No rinds, gelatine or defeathered chicken skin may be added. 
  • Minimum 90 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 80 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 30 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 50 % fat (analyzed).
  • No rinds, gelatine or defeathered chicken skin may be added.

5. Burgers

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 7.1 or 10.1 [ subclass 7.1 being “Comminuted, uncured, no or partial heat treated products” (e.g.) raw burger patties; and  subclass 10.1 being “Comminuted, uncured and heat treated products” (e.g.) blanched or fully cooked burgers] - burger patties must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin.

6. Cooked Salami, Russians & Smokies 

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 6.1 being “Comminuted, cured, heat treated products”, these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin.

7. Droewors

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 8.1 being “Comminuted, uncured, no or partial heat treated and dried products” (e.g.) Dried wors, biltong wheels or discs - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 80 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 55 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 50 % fat (analyzed). 
  • No rinds, gelatine or defeathered chicken skin may be added

8. French, Polonies & Emulsified Loaves

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 6.1 being “Comminuted, cured, heat treated products” (e.g.) emulsion products (polonies etc.) - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin

9. Fresh sausages

In South Africa, as per regulation 4 of GNR 2718/1990 [in terms of section 15(1) of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972)] governing the composition of raw species sausage and raw mixed-species sausage, a sausage may only be classified, labelled and sold under a name in which the names of the species or the different species and the word “sausage” appear, either by themselves or in combination with any other word or expression, if it conforms to the following criteria

  • A raw species sausage shall be manufactured predominantly from the meat of a specific animal or bird species, and shall contain a
  • A raw mixed-species sausage shall be manufactured from any mixture of the meat of two or more species and shall contain a minimum
  • For both raw species sausage and raw mixed-species sausage:
  • It shall contain not more than a 30% fat content (by calculation the lean meat content shall be minimum 52.5%). 
  • It shall be contained in an edible casing.
  • It shall contain no offal except where such offal is to be used solely as the casing of the raw sausage.
  • It shall contain no mechanically recovered meat (MRM) or mechanically deboned meat (MDM).
  • No ingredients shall be added except cereal products or starch, vinegar, spices, herbs, salt, permitted food additives (as per the Act) and water.  
  • This means a species or mixed species sausage shall not contain any artificial colourants or soya soya protein (including textured soya protein), milk protein, egg albumin or other ingredient with a protein content greater than 15%

 If a fresh sausage does not meet the above criteria (nor the criteria for a boerewors) it must instead be labelled as “Braaiwors”, “Fries”, “Grillers” or “Bangers”.

 10. Grillers / Bangers over 70% meat content

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 7.1 or 10.1 [subclass 7.1 being “Comminuted, uncured, no or partial heat treated products” (e.g.) raw bangers or grillers and subclass 10.1 being “Comminuted, uncured and heat treated products” (e.g.) blanched or fully cooked bangers or grillers - grillers and bangers must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin.

11. Grillers / Bangers less than 70% meat content

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 7.1 or 10.1 [subclass 7.1 being “Comminuted, uncured, no or partial heat treated products” (e.g.) raw bangers or grillers and subclass 10.1 being “Comminuted, uncured and heat treated products” (e.g.) blanched or fully cooked bangers or grillers - grillers and bangers must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin.

12. Salamies, Cold Smoked Cured Sausages

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 9.1 being “Comminuted, cured, no or partial heat treated, dried and fermented products” (e.g.) salami, cervelat, cold smoked cabanossi - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 90 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 80 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 30 % actual lean meat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 40 % fat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 10 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 10 % added defeathered chicken skin.

13. Tumbled Pressed Loaves

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 12.1 and 12.2  being “Reformed, cured, heat treated from single species (12.1) or from mixed species (12.2) products” (e.g.) reformed hams, chicken, turkey rolls - these products must legally conform to the following criteria

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 33 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 20 % actual lean meat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 20 % fat (analyzed).
  • Maximum 10 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 10 % added defeathered chicken skin.

14. Viennas, Frankfurters & Cheese Grillers

In South Africa as per SANS 885:2011 Processed meat products regulation for Subclass 6.1 being “Comminuted, cured, heat treated products” (e.g.) emulsion products (viennas etc.) - these products must legally conform to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 60 % total meat protein equivalent (calculated).
  • Minimum 25 % actual total meat content (analyzed).
  • Minimum 15 % actual lean meat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 30 % fat (analyzed). 
  • Maximum 15 % rinds added.
  • No gelatine may be added.
  • Maximum 40 % added defeathered chicken skin.