Module 3 Bacon & Gammon
9 Analytical Standards
Last Updated: 17 Jul 2023.
9.1 Sampling & testing plan for analytical standards
9.1.1 The site shall have a sampling plan and testing regime in place for the routine monitoring of the analytical compliance of all finished products listed on the sites BMPA Quality Assured Bacon and Gammon certificate of conformity. and assessed against the requirements of this module and the product specification agreed with the customer.
9.1.2 Bacon/gammon products shall be assessed against the analytical standards detailed below in Clauses 9.2 to 9.5.
9.1.3 Analytical testing frequency: The analytical testing of the meat, added water, salt, nitrite and nitrate content of the bacon/gammon shall be carried out at least once per month.
9.1.4 Where out of specification results occur, there shall be evidence that this is subject to investigation, trend analysis or other specific corrective actions.
Occasional out of specification analytical results is not uncommon and is not, in isolation, a non-conformance.
Non-conformance would occur where product is repeatedly reported as out of specification or where the average of results within a stipulated period fall outside of the specification.
Where occasional out of specification occurs, there shall be no non-conformance if there is evidence that this has been alerted, investigated, and, where deemed necessary, action taken – it is possible for this to develop into non-conformance over time if it is apparent that the corrective action has failed.
Sampling plans aligned to the scope of approved products. Examples of analytical result, trending, and out of specification investigations and action reports.
9.2 Salt content
Uncooked bacon/gammon, including that to be used for cooked product, shall fall within the range of 1.8 % – 3.8% of the product weight.
Where Potassium Chloride (KCl) or Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) is used as a partial replacement for common salt (NaCl) the combined weights of both salts shall fall within the above range.
Where the bacon/gammon is produced and labelled as reduced salt or lower salt or contains added ingredients such as glaze or decorations, the salt level may fall below the above targets provided there is satisfactory validation to support shelf-life and food safety.
9.3 Nitrates and nitrites content & nitrite replacements
Nitrates and nitrites content shall be compliant with the requirements of The Miscellaneous Food Additive Regulations 1995 (NOTE: maximum amounts are stipulated as either “that added during manufacture” or the “residual amount in product” – the application of these requirements is specified on a product by product basis and takes into account product type and process)
The standard allows the use of nitrite replacements, however this does not apply to the use in Wiltshire Cured products. You are required by legislation to ensure that the replacement that you choose to use performs in much the same way e.g. colour, taste/flavour, texture, and a level of food safety that you normally get when using nitrite. It is your responsibility to ensure that any food when placed on the market is safe.
9.4 Added water content
Added water content shall not exceed 10% of the uncooked weight of injection cured product.
9.5 Meat content
Meat content shall comply with that stated on the retail pack or within the product specification agreed with the customer.