• The agriculture department on Friday published a first draft of new rules for processed raw meat, including burger patties.
  • Under the rules anything called a  "burger patty" will have to be at least 70% meat – and "ground burgers" will have to be very nearly entirely meat.
  • But call it a "budget hamburger patty" or "econo burger", and 55% meat will be good enough.

Under proposed new government rules South Africa will have "ground" hamburger patties that are very meaty indeed, plain "burger patties" that are mostly meat – and "budget hamburger" patties that can be nearly half cereal or soya, and nearly a third fat.

And what little meat is left in "econo burgers" can be mechanically recovered, the draft rules say, unlike their fancier counterparts.

The rules, formally Regulations Regarding the Classification, Packaging and Marking of Certain Raw Processed Meat Products Intended for Sale in the Republic of South Africa, are due to apply to any raw, processed meat sold in South Africa.

They are open for public comment for the next 30 days.

South Africa has long regulated the likes of boerewors, and the difference between that and braaiwors, and the new draft rules only slightly tweak those requirements. In terms of the draft anything called "boerewors" will have to be at least 90% meat and no more than 30% fat, while "braaiwors" need be only 55% meat.

In terms of existing standards, "braaiwors" can contain up to 40% soya.

The regulations establish three different types of hamburger patties: the premium "ground burger" or "ground patty"; the regular "burger" or "patty" – and an economy version that can go by any name similar that qualifies the words "burger" or "patty" with "budget", "economy", or "econo".

Sub-categories of premium and regular hamburger patties are defined by their fat content, which determine if they are allowed to be marketed as "extra lean" or just "lean". But a "ground burger" must always contain at least 99.6% meat, and a regular burger at least 70%.

The "economy" burgers have no sub-categories based on fat content, but must only be 55% meat with 30% or less fat to qualify for the name. They may contain water, vegetable protein and mechanically recovered meat. 

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: