In the times of industrial food production, regional and traditional food articles provide an attractive alternative for people looking for unforgettable sensory impressions. Regional or traditional food, commonly recognized as palatable and healthy, is also, for many consumers, a unique, sentimental journey back to tastes from childhood times. A gradual increase of demand for this type of food articles as well as relatively high prices of these products may generate among unscrupulous food manufacturers a number of improper production practices, e.g. replacement of a more expensive meat by a less expensive alternative. Species composition of meat products can be verified using chromatographic, immunological, electrophoretic, or genetic methods. One of the genetic methods applied in examining the authenticity of food composition, including meat and its products, is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This paper presents the most important techniques utilizing this technology to identify the origin of specific meat components constituting part of regional or traditional food articles. It was demonstrated that PCR techniques, in combination with species-specific primers, PCR-RFLP, PCR-SSCP and real-time PCR, allow identification of meat species occurring independently or in mixtures with other meat species as well as meat subjected to thermal treatment or other technological processes in the course of industrial production. The only exception is the PCR-RAPD method that fails to identify meat species in the case of strong DNA degradation or in complex meat mixtures.