Approved establishment identification mark

Approved establishment identification mark

UK meat product label with oval identification mark

An approved establishment identification mark indicates that a product of animal origin has been produced in an approved establishment in accordance with legal requirements.

Products of Animal Origin

Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin: This includes requirements for businesses producing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) that apply in addition to those set out in Regulation 852/2004, including the requirement for establishments to be approved.

A POAO means:

  • Food of animal origin, including honey and blood;
  • Live bivalve molluscs, live echinoderms, live tunicates and live marine gastropods intended for human consumption; and
  • Other animals destined to be prepared with a view to being supplied live to the final consumer.

FSA guidance for approval of establishments is available at

Approval number/identification mark

Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 requires that POAOs handled in establishments subject to approval are not placed on the market unless they bear an identification mark (ID) or health mark, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 854/2004.

Annex II, Section I B of Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 requires that the mark must indicate the approval number of the establishment. The requirements for the form of the ID mark are as follows:

  • The mark must be legible and indelible, and the characters easily decipherable.
  • The mark must indicate the name of the country in which the establishment is located – it may be written out in full or a two letter code used (UK for the United Kingdom)
  • The mark must indicate the approval number of the establishment (a unique 3 digit number). If an establishment manufactures both food to which this Regulation applies and food to which it does not, the food business operator may apply the same identification mark to both types of food.
  • When applied in an establishment located within the community, the mark must be oval in shape and include one of the permitted two letter abbreviations. In the UK this is EC.