List of Beef Products

Beef and beef products include:

Beef meat:

eg fillet, stewing steak, silverside

Mechanically recovered meat (MRM):

Gristle, sinew, fat and scrap meal left clinging to the bones after the meat has been cut away are stripped away and used in pies, burgers, sausages and spreads and pates.


Depending on the make may include minced beef, offal and MRM

Skin, bones, ligaments and tendons:

Boiled to make GELATINE which is used as a gelling/thickening agent in many products including some (not all): yogurts, ice creams, cakes, biscuits, sweets, mints, licorice allsorts, jelly beans, wine gums, jelly, pies, sausages, aspic used in pork pies, coatings for vitamin pills.

 Beef suet

The fat from around the kidneys used eg in dumpling mix

Dairy products:

milk, cheese, butter, cream, yogurts etc.

Keratin (from hair, horns and hooves):

In some shampoos, conditioners, fertilisers

Oleoic Acid (from kidneys):

In some margarines

Butchers counter

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Easy Vegan Swaps for Meat

There are so many incredible vegan meat and dairy alternatives out there now and all the health food shops and supermarkets stock them. Here are some of our favourites.

Some Products which Contain Ingredients from Cows

While some products will have beef in the title and are therefore obvious, others contain gelatine and beef fat. It will state this on the label but it won’t necessarily say where these products are obtained from cattle – it will simply say ‘animal fat’ or ‘gelatine’. If you want to avoid these things then read labels carefully and avoid those about which you have doubts.

The following list is not exhaustive, but contains some brand names and familar products for which there are alternatives found in nearly every supermarket. Also check out your local health food shop for a whole range of veggie products such as dairy-free ice cream, veggie burgers, soya milks etc.

Biscuits: Some contain animal fat and/or gelatine – they will be listed on the label. Eg McVities Digestives and Milk Chocolate Homewheats contain animal fat (source not listed).

Alternatives: All Supermarkets and many familar brands will have biscuits that do not contain gelatine or animal fat, eg: Asda – Ginger Nuts, Ginger Thins, Rich Tea, Snowballs (and many others); Burton’s Biscuits – Rich Tea Biscuits; Co-op – Country Crunch, Digestive Wheatmeal, Ginger Nuts, Plain Chocolate Wheatmeal; Holland & Barrett – Digestive; Marks & Spencer – Digestives, Ginger Snap, Plain Chocolate Ginger; McVities – Plain Chocolate Ginger Nuts, Hobnobs, Penguin bars; Tunnocks – Teacakes; Foxes – Crinkle Crunch

Cakes: Some contain animal fat and/or gelatine eg Sara Lees Deep Filled Apple Pie and Sara Lees Lemon Meringue Pie- they will be listed on the label.

Alternatives: eg Mr Kipling -Almond Slices, Deep Filled Fruit Pies; and many others

Burgers: Beef burgers, hamburgers, etc.

Alternatives: Any vegetarian burgers sold in all supermarkets’ freezer section. You can also buy dry mixes (which you add water to) such as Burga Mix and VegeBurger in most supermarkets.

Breads: Some will contain animal fat

Alternatives: Many breads use vegetable fats instead so read the label or ask the baker. Eg: Rathbones, Warburtons, Kingsmill, Asda Granary and many other makes contain no animal products

Christmas Foods: Sweet mincemeat and Christmas cakes – many

Alternatives: Asda – Fresh Apple Mincemeat; Holland & Barrett – Mincemeat, Mince Pies, all Christmas puddings; Marks & Spencer – Luxury Mincemeat; Mr Kipling – 6 Mince Pies; Safeway – Mince Pies, Mincemeat: Standard, with Almonds & Brandy, with Cherries & Hazelnuts; Waitrose – Mincemeat: Special, Traditional

Milk, butter, cream etc. may be a risk. According to the government one third of dairy cows have mastitis, which means that white blood cells which may carry the BSE agent may be in the milk supply. However, this list of foods is not vegan (vegan = contains no animal products inc. dairy or eggs), this list is vegetarian (contains no meat or fish, but may contain dairy/eggs). IF YOU WANT TO AVOID DAIRY PRODUCTS, SEE THE L-PLATE VEGAN – FOR £1.30 FROM VIVA!. A few main alternatives are listed here:

Alternatives: Soya milk is available in most supermarkets under own brand names or look out for the Provamel range – they also make Soya Dream, a cream replacer. Snowcrest make a range of dairy-free foods including Cream whip. Soya yogurts are available from most health food shops, along with ‘cheese’ spreads made from soya and tofu (see ‘Cheese’ below). Margarines free from all animal products include Asda’s Soya, Sainsbury’s Soya, Co-op’s Soya Margarine, Safeway’s Baking, Salt Free Sunflower and Soya, Waitrose’s Soya Soft and Sunflower as well as the following brands: Granose, Granovita, Matthews Foods, Meridian, Rakusen’s, Snowcrest, Suma and Whole Earth.

Cheese: Apart from being a dairy product, some cheeses contain rennet which is an enzyme taken from the stomach of calves. To avoid it buy from the many alternatives. Vegetarian alternatives that are made from milk, but contain NO animal rennet: Look for ‘Suitable for Vegetarians’ or similar wording on packets of Cheddar, Cheshire and the other makes of hard cheeses. They use vegetable rennet instead and taste the same. Eg: Asda – Vegetarian Cheddar, Vegetarian Cheshire, Vegetarian Leicester, Cottage Cheese, Garlic and Herb Roule; Safeway – Cottage Cheese, Vegetarian Chedddar, Avanti Parmesan; Tesco – Vegetarian Cheddar, Vegetarian White Cheshire, Vegetarian Double Gloucester, Vegetarian Red Leicester, Vegetarian Edam, Full fat and reduced fat soft cheese, Italian Dolcelatte Potions Sainsbury’s – Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Marscapone, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Vegetarian Cheddar, Vegetarian Cheshire, Vegetarian Double Gloucester, Vegetarian Red Leicester

Vegan alternatives that are dairy-free and contain NO animal rennet: Scheese – is a dairy-free alternative to cheese which contains no animal products. It is available in eight varieties eg Cheddar, hickory smoked Cheddar, Edam, Stilton, Mozzarella. Also try Cheddar Cheezly by Redwood Wholefoods. Ask your health food shop to stock them. A great dairy-free soft cheese is called ‘Dairy Free Spread Range ‘Better than Cream Cheese’ from Tofutti, again available in health food shops.

Dairy Yogurts/fromage frais: a few contain gelatine (listed on the ingredients)

Alternatives: Ski – extra fruit; Shape – twinpot; Mullerlight; Yoplait – Petits Filous; Munch Bunch – Pot Shots; and many others

Dairy Icecreams: a few contain gelatine/animal fat eg Walls Too Good to be True, but many do not – again read the label

Alternatives: eg Haagen-Dazs Ice cream; Walls Blue Ribbon Choc Ices, Viennetta, Gino Ginelli; Heinz Weight Watchers Dairy Ice Cream

Jellies and Desserts: – many contain gelatine including Rowntrees, Nestle chilled desserts, Fruit Fool Desserts

Alternatives: Just Wholefoods – Vegetarian Jelly Crystals; Weikfield Jelly Crystals; Rowntree – Ready to Eat Jelly

Haggis: Grants canned haggis

Alternatives: MacSween – Vegetarian Haggis

Meat Pies: Such as: Cornish Pasties, Shepherds Pie, Fray Bentos meat pies, Pork Pies

Alternatives: Check out the freezer section of your local supermarket for veggie alternatives. Other brands: Brittons – Pasties: Curry, Jamaican, Vegetable; Linda McCartney Range – Deep Country Pies, Ploughmans Pasties, Supermarkets own brands vegetable pasties and pies.

Prepared Foods: Such as Chilli Con Carne, Spaghetti Bolognese, etc

Alternatives: Most supermarkets have veggie alternatives to these types of meat based dishes including: Asda – World Bistro Vegetable Chilli, Longlife Ready Meals – World Bistro Vegetable Chilli with White & Wild Rice; Safeway – Chilled Ready Meals Vegetable Chilli, Frozen Ready Meals Vegetable Chilli; Holland & Barrett – Bolognese, Chilli

Sausages: All types may contain beef such as: Birds Eye frozen sausages and mash, Pork sausages – almost all, Frankfurters – some including Kwik Save

Alternatives: Brittons – Soya Sos Rolls; Holland & Barrett – Vegetable Mix Burger, Sausage; Linda McCartney – Farmhouse Sausages, Sausage Rolls, South Fried Grills, Traditional Sausages; Realeat – Vegebanger, Vegeburger, some supermarkets own brands; Tivall frankfurters – check for ‘suitable for vegetarians’ on the label

Soup: eg Campbell’s Oxtail Soup, Heinz soups – many.

Alternatives: Asda – Thick Country Vegetable, Vegetable; Baxters – Carrot, Onion & Chick Pea; Campbells – Bumper Harvest: Vegetable; Condensed: Lentil, Tomato & Onion with Garlic, Vegetable; Co-op – Canned Mexican, Thick Farmhouse Vegetable; Goodlife: Farmhouse, Lentil & Sweetcorn, Tomato & Lentil, Packet: Minestrone, Spring Vegetable; Cross & Blackwell – Box Soups: Country Tomato, Minestrone, Spring Vegetable; Heinz – Ready to Serve: Vegetable, Wholesoups Ready to Serve: Country Vegetable, Lentil, Tomato and Lentil, Winter Vegetable, Weight Watchers: Country Vegetable, Lentil & Carrot, Wholesome Winter Vegetable; Safeway – Canned: Country Vegetable, Gazpacho, Dried: French Onion, Minestrone, Instant: Minestrone, Slim Soup Tomato; Waitrose – French Onion, Soupe Au Pistoou, Vegetable

Stock Cubes & Gravy: Many contain beef bone, beef fat and beef stock – read the label. Beef products are in eg: Oxo meat cubes (the red ones), Oxo chicken gravy granules, Knorr Stir fry seasoning cubes, Knorr lamb stock cubes, Knorr chicken-flavour stock powder, Goldenfry onion gravy granules, Sainsbury’s gravy granules; Bisto original granules; Goldenfry Rich in Meaty Original Gravy Granules;

Alternatives: Bisto Original Gravy Powder (in brown packet); Bisto Best Onion Gravy Granules and Bisto Beef in Beer (yes it really contains no beef!); Co-op – Gravy Browning , Rich Brown Gravy Mix; Crosse & Blackwell – Gravy Browning; Safeway – Vegetable Stock Cubes; Oxo Vegetable Stock Cubes; Oxo Herbs and Spices -Italy and Indian stock cubes; Waitrose – Vegetable Stock. THESE ALTERNATIVES CONTAIN NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS

Stuffing: May contain beef products such as beef suet eg Paxo garlic and mushroom stuffing and Paxo Sage and Onion Stuffing, Safeway parsley and Thyme stuffing

Alternatives: eg Safeway – Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix; Chiltern House – Country and Sage & Onion Stuffing; Co-op – Stuffing mixes: Country Herbs, Chestnut, Garlic & Herbs; Farm Stores – Sage and Onion Stuffing; Asda’s Sage and Onion stuffing. These use VEGETABLE SUET instead of beef suet.

Suet: Solid fat from around cattle and sheep kidneys.

Alternatives: Broadland – Vegetable Suet; Waitrose – Vegetable Suet and other supermarket own brands

Sweets: Eg Bassett Liquorice Allsorts, Fruit pastilles and gums, Callard & Bowsers nougat and many others contain gelatine

Alternatives: Trebor Bassett – American Hard Gums, Assorted Fruit Jellies; Waitrose – American Hard Gums, Clear Fruits, Clear Mints, Mint *Imperials; Marks & Spencer – After Dinner Mints, Assorted Fruit Rocks, Pear Drops; Safeway – Clear Mints, Jelly Babies, Jelly Drops; Thorntons – Acid Lemon Slices, After Dinner Mints, Fruit Selections, Fruit Jellies

Tinned Foods: Princes canned ravioli

Alternatives: Heinz – Weight Watchers Italiana Vegetable Ravioli; Supermarkets own brand of vegetarian Ravioli.

Vitamins and Supplements: Many brands contain animal products or use a gelatine case.

Alternatives: Solgar – Many types of vitamins and supplements are free from animal products and gelatine – look for ‘Vegan Formula’ on the packaging. Seven Seas – Multi Vitamins Plus Minerals for Vegetarians and Vegans.

Gelatine: If you’re using gelatine as an ingredient in savouries or sweets, you can buy vegetarian alternatives eg Vege-Gel made by Supercook (sold in supermarkets).

Other Products that contain beef products:

Tesco seafood cocktail, Iced buns and Frozen cakes – many, Heinz Sandwich Fillers – bacon and tomato, Goldenfry dumpling mix, Safeway chicken stew with dumplings, Tesco Chicken Wings with marinade, Wilsons chicken casserole, McIntosh chicken, bacon and mushroom roll.


PLEASE NOTE: Viva! strongly advises the public to NOT use fertilisers that contain bonemeal, meat or blood from cattle. These fertilisers have been banned for commercial use because they can contain BSE. However, they are still on sale for home use. Alternative fertilisers are available at garden centres. Also, avoid handling cattle manure as it can also contain BSE.

This is not a comprehensive list but merely a selection to show that the use of beef products is fairly widespread. Label reading is a must! But before you feel it’s hopeless – you’ll find when you check labels that there are vegetarian alternatives for almost everything these days. In fact the vast majority of products in supermarkets are vegetarian. It just takes time to get used to which products to buy. Once you know, shopping becomes simple, safe and cruelty-free.

Glossary of terms

When you start reading labels, you’ll come across various “hidden” ingredients. Here is a list of some of them.

  • agar agar – made from the seaweed kelp and used to thicken products eg jellies and in sweets instead of gelatine
  • casein – protein of milk
  • cochineal (E120) – a dye used as a red food/drink colourant made from the dried bodies of insects
  • collagen – part of connective tissue used to make gelatine and used in sausage skins and some cosmetics
  • elastin – protein uniting muscle fibres in meat, used in some moisturisers in cosmetics
  • fatty acids – may be from animal or vegetable sources
  • gelatine – Skin, bones, ligaments and tendons boiled and used as a gelling/thickening agent
  • glycerin/glycerol (E422) – clear liquid which may be obtained from animal fats, or may be made from petrol or the fermentation of sugars
  • guar gum – from beans, used as a thickener instead of gelatine
  • lactic acid (E270) – usually from the fermentation of bacteria with sugar, but also from milk sugar, the fermentation of pickles, cocoa and tobacco
  • lanolin – fat from sheep’s wool
  • lard – fat from around cow, sheep and pig’s stomach and kidneys
  • lecithin – usually obtained from eggs or soya beans, peanuts or corn
  • pectin– from fruits and used to set jams, fruit spreads and in some cakes etc
  • rennet – used in hard cheeses – from stomachs of calves (vegetable rennet is used in cheeses marked ‘vegetarian’)
  • shellac (E904) – from insects used as glazing agent eg in some sweets
  • whey – residue from milk after the removal of the casein and most the fat, used in margarines, biscuits and crisps
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