Good carcase tag design means great traceability for raw meat processor

Good carcase tag design means great traceability for raw meat processor

‘Understanding the importance of traceability in abattoirs and raw meat processing environments is a prerequisite to good carcase tag design. Having a bespoke tag size for the carcase type, a robust tag material and great overprinting capability is really important. The right carcase tag design makes all the difference to the smooth running of the whole operation’.

Carcase tag


Our customer is a market leading meat processor. Working with farmers across the UK, they are constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their operation, whilst minimising the environmental impact of meat production.

Their vision is to be the best in their market sector; they are committed to quality, efficiency, traceability and sustainability. They invest in continuous improvement and efficiency enhancement in every area of the business, even down to the design of the humble carcase tag.


Carcase tags are a small, but vital part of the traceability process in abattoirs; ensuring that each cut of meat can be traced from its origins. Problems causing carcase tags to fail can be expensive, as well as jeopardising meat traceability.

At our customer’s site they process lamb carcasses and were experiencing a number of issues with the off-the-shelf carcase tags that formed part of their traceability process. Their existing tags did not clearly identify the days of the week, this meant carcasses which were due to be moved into the boning hall were being missed as it was difficult to identify the dates.  This unfortunately resulted in carcasses having to be disposed of as it was not clear which stock should be taken out of the chiller first.

As a supplier of carcase tags to other sites in the Group, we were called upon to find a solution to improve the efficiency of the current traceability process.


We discussed the issues fully with the operations manager on site to ascertain the exact nature of the problems

Since Piroto have years of experience in producing customised carcase tags we were able to suggest improvements to the process immediately.


We customised a carcase tag, suitable for lamb carcases, and manufactured it in our superior, tear resistant polypropylene material. As we use this material for many other abattoir customers we were confident that it would perform well, even in damp, chilled conditions. Plus, the tag material has ISEGA food contact approval and is BPA free.

To make the carcase tags easier for operatives to identify, we printed five versions, each with a different colour for the day of the week. Operatives taking carcases out of the chiller can now identify them at a glance, regardless of how much stock is in the chiller.

We also used an ink formulation that prevents the tags slipping in the printer. This, together with an area on the carcase tag specifically designed to accommodate the barcode, optimised the scanning process.


With technical knowledge and years of experience in the raw meat sector, the Piroto team were able to develop a carcase tag that resolved all the issues, and performed significantly better than existing tags. Specific benefits include:

  • easy to identify day carcase tags to help stock rotation and avoid carcase wastage
  • customised carcase tags that minimise wear on the print head and roller
  • improved traceability throughout the operation.