Module 3 Bacon & Gammon
6 Heating and cooking
Last Updated: 23 Dec 2021.
6.1 Heating for heat set bacon/gammon
6.1.1 Standard operating procedures, work instructions and process records shall be documented and maintained for the heating process.
6.1.2 The cabinet operating temperature, heating time and core temperature shall be clearly specified, and recorded checks documented for each batch of product processed.
6.1.3 Where the intention is to heat set the bacon/gammon the maximum core temperature necessary to achieve the desired product appearance/texture shall be clearly specified and monitored.
Heating profiles shall take into account the potential temperature ranges within the heating cabinet (hot and cold spots) and the design/capability of the equipment. It is advisable when heating batches, to select product from within a narrow a weight band as is practically possible. Cabinets invariably have continuous recording of the heating programme appropriate to the product being heat set.
Review procedures, work instructions and examples off heating process records since the last audit.
6.2 Cooking of bacon/gammon
6.2.1 Standard operating procedures, work instructions and process records shall be documented and maintained for the cooking process.
6.2.2 The cooking process shall be such that the time/temperature achieved at the core is equivalent to a minimum of 2 minutes at +70°C.
6.2.3 Where static cooking chambers are used, the core and chamber temperature of the product shall be measured and recorded throughout the cooking period.
6.2.4 Where other forms of cooking equipment are used (travelling ovens), the validation of the process shall be based on specified time/temperature requirements.
6.2.5 Where bacon/gammon joints are being cooked, then prior to release from the cooking chamber, the core temperature of the product shall be measured and recorded either by cooker probe and/or manually at the top, middle and bottom of each rack. All product temperature readings shall be equal to or greater than the minimum core temperature specified within the standard operating procedure and work instruction shall cross-reference to the sites HACCP plan.
6.2.6 Where the bacon is comprised of individual slices and cooked using microwave or other forms of in-line cooking e.g. grilling, the site shall have validated the cooking process to a documented protocol which shall be detailed within the sites HACCP plan.
6.2.7 Where infra-red monitoring equipment is used to verify the cooked temperature of the product, the frequency of recording shall be aligned to the documented protocol detailed within the sites HACCP plan.
Refer to corresponding subclauses above
6.2.2 Cooking profiles shall be in place to demonstrate the controls necessary for product safety. It is recognised that there are a range of different types of cooking systems e.g. traditional cooking chamber, travelling ovens or cooking by microwave. Whichever system is used, the equipment shall have been validated to a documented protocol. It is expected that protocol shall have been verified at the time of the BRC audit.
Various factors influence the rate at which micro-organisms are killed during the cooking and how many survive this process:
- the time/temperature relationship
- the concentration of salt and of curing salts in the product
- the initial microbial load on the bacon when cooked.
The initial microbial load on the uncooked bacon shall also fall within the limits set out when determining the shelf life of the final product. These requirements shall have been fully laid out when the durability of the cooked cured pork is determined and shall be available for evaluation.
Regular monitoring of finished product standards shall be in place.
6.2.4 Heating/cooking profiles shall take into account the potential temperature ranges within the cooker (hot and cold spots) and the design/capability of the cooking equipment. It is advisable when cooking batches, to select product from within a narrow a weight band as is practically possible. Accurate records of cooking shall be held. Cookers invariably have continuous recording of the cooking programme appropriate to the product being cooked.
6.2.7 This shall form part of the cooking profiles and routine monitoring of the cooking programme. This shall be supported by in-situ temperature monitoring probes (where applicable).
Refer to corresponding subclauses above
6.2.2 Review procedures, work instructions and examples off cooking process records since the last audit.
6.2.4 Review cooking profiles and examples of cooking records.
6.2.7 Review cooking profiles and examples of cooking records. (Note: verification of the temperature monitoring equipment shall be covered at the time of the BRC GFS audit and HACCP shall be reviewed).
6.3 Cooling of smoked, heat set or cooked product
6.3.1 Standard operating procedures, work instructions and process records shall be documented and maintained for the cooling process.
6.3.2 Product shall be cooled rapidly after completing the specified heating/cooking process to ensure that the safety and quality of the product is not compromised.
6.3.3 All product shall cool to <5°C before further processing
6.3.4 Bacon/gammon heat set/cooked in sealed containers/casings/bags may be cooled in chilled air or by a combination of cold water showering followed by chilled air or brine to <5°C and may be held in these containers until required for further processing or packing.
6.3.5 To allow traceability of the heating/cooking process each batch of heat set/cooked product shall be clearly identified with date and time of heating/cooking and details of cooker and product temperature achieved.
Documented procedures shall be in place to ensure product safety/product quality is not compromised. This shall be supported by evidence of temperature monitoring and recording.
If the product is more than 5kg, it shall achieve a core temperature of +5°C or lower in accordance with Campden BRI Guidelines (Review 8) on ‘Identification and Prevention of Hazards associated with Slow Cooling of Hams and Other Large Cooked Meats and Meat Products’. If the product is less than 5kg, 4 hours shall be the maximum time permitted to reach less than +5°C.
This shall be supported by accurate record keeping including traceability of product.
Review documented procedures, work instructions and examples of cooling process records since the last audit.
Cooking records since the last audit.
6.4 Post-cook handling of heat set/cooked bacon/gammon
6.4.1 The site shall have standard operating procedures, work instructions and process records in place to ensure product safety and quality is not compromised during post heat/cook handling.
6.4.2 Subsequent processing operations shall be performed with no detriment to the product safety/quality.
6.4.3 Product containing exposed bone shall be adequately protected to ensure pack integrity.
6.4.4 Finished chilled product shall be held at a temperature no higher than +5°C, before despatch.
6.4.5 Where finished product is to be frozen prior to despatch it shall be stored at -18°C or less.
Review procedures, work instructions and cooling process records
Visual inspection of finished product.
Examples of temperature control records (air and product) since the last audit.