Module 3 Bacon & Gammon

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2 Sourcing and receiving raw materials

Last Updated: 31 Dec 2021.

2.1 Sourcing, traceability and proving assurance

2.1.1 Pork raw material to be used in the manufacture of BMPA Quality Assured Bacon shall be sourced from supplying sites that are certified against the BMPA Quality Assured Pork module (BQAP). Refer to the Charter Rules.

2.1.2 To maintain traceability all pork raw material purchased by the Charter participant shall be accompanied by clearly marked delivery documentation and labelling which confirms its assured status and country of birth, rearing and slaughter or statement of pigs’ origin. Where pigs are born, reared and slaughtered in one country, a single statement of origin is sufficient for the traceability declaration.


The site shall hold copies of all assured pork suppliers’ BMPA Quality Pork Charter certification.

It is not sufficient for a single header/logo to be the sole indicator of assured status on the delivery document. Where there is doubt regarding the status of the supply chain, verification shall be sought. 


Copies of suppliers’ certificates of conformity against the BMPA pork module shall be held by the site and these shall be valid for the period under review. For each consignment of BQAP material delivered there shall be a warranty that clearly confirms the materials’ assured status and origin information of the pork.

2.2 Sourcing bacon

Bacon, gammon or sausage feedstock brought in from a different site shall be sourced from a participant of the BMPA Quality Assured Bacon and Gammon or BMPA Quality Assured Pork Sausage module and the product shall be certified against that module. Refer to the Charter Rules.


Where the site is only slicing and packing bacon/gammon, or is only assembling component packs e.g. pigs in blankets, and the pre-requisites of the site being BRC GFS certified (minimum Grade B), compliant with BMPA Quality Pork Charter Rules, and that each product type being packed are certified against one of the relevant Charter modules and traceable to an approved participating site, then only the clauses contained within BMPA Quality Assured Bacon and Gammon module appropriate to the process being undertaken shall apply e.g. slicing and packing bacon packs or packing pigs in blankets.


Copy of supplier’s certificate of conformity against the BMPA Bacon and Gammon or BMPA Quality Assured Pork Sausage module. 

2.3 Transporting raw materials

2.3.1 The site shall have standard operating procedures and inspection records for the reception, assessment, temperature monitoring, and the action to be taken if requirements are not meet for all pork and bacon deliveries to the site.

2.3.2 When placed in the transport vehicles, pork and bacon raw material shall be either hung on clean well-maintained stands/hooks or supplied in covered, clean, intact containers, cartons or trays that pose no risk of contamination to the contents.

2.3.3 Each consignment of pork and bacon raw material shall be examined on arrival to ensure that it is compliant with specification, free from contamination and indications of spoilage.


If incoming pork or bacon material is not being received at the time of the audit, verification shall be sought by talking to key personnel to confirm the system for the transport of product. Verification of the cleanliness and temperature compliance may be taken by sampling/examining the most recent deliveries in the intake chill or associated areas.

Packaging shall be appropriate to the product being delivered. E.g. naked product delivered in dolavs/shrouded (liners). Vacuum packed product in boxes or containers. 


Documented procedure. Visual inspection of the incoming material. Checks on the integrity of packaging. Examples of intake records.

2.4 Temperature during transport

2.4.1 During transportation and on arrival at the receiving site the temperature of the chilled pork or bacon raw material shall not fall outside of the range of -2°C to +5°C.

2.4.2 Unless bacon is received in a tempered form ready for slicing (typically -8°C), the target temperature of frozen pork raw material shall be -18°C or less during transport and it shall not exceed -12°C at intake.


Verification is invariably undertaken whilst the product is on the delivery vehicle and at different points within the storage unit of the transporter.

Further verification may be sought by checking the temperature recording instrument of the vehicle.


Examples of intake records since the last audit.

2.5 Labelling for pork & bacon received

Each batch of pork raw material and bacon shall be marked or labelled with the following as a minimum requirement on intake:

  • Site identification code (health mark)
  • Product description – e.g. rindless bellies
  • Weight – The number of units may also be indicated
  • Traceability batch code – In most cases the traceability batch code is the kill date however, where a production date is used, the information shall be able to trace the product backwards to a kill date. Slaughter code may be in ‘Julian’ calendar format or the actual kill date may be shown
  • Confirmation of assured status – The lettering BQAP may be used to confirm the products’ assured status to relate to the product within the container/box. Non-eligible material shall not be packed within the same dolav, container or box
  • Country of birth, rearing and slaughter or statement of pigs’ origin – Where pigs are born, reared and slaughtered in one country, a single statement of origin is sufficient for the traceability declaration
  • Date of freezing on all frozen raw material
  • Process-by date or (best before on frozen material) – Use by date is optional
  • Kill date (where applicable)


Whether the material is being transported in dolav, rigid container or as boxed, the labelling information shall remain attached to the unit.


Verification of labelling or markings.

2.6 Microbiological sampling and testing

2.6.1 The site shall have a standard operating procedure and testing schedule that details the frequency, scope and action limits for the microbiological testing of all incoming pork, bacon and/or gammon raw material.

2.6.2 The Charter participant shall have undertaken a risk assessment to justify the frequency of microbiological sampling.

2.6.3 The microbiological condition of the incoming raw pork material shall meet the following standard:

TargetUpper Limit
Aerobic colony count (ACC)<1 x 104 cfu/g1 x 106 cfu/g

2.6.4 The microbiological condition of incoming bacon and gammon shall meet the microbiological standards set out in clause 11.7 of this module.

2.6.5 Where microbiological results above these targets are found, there shall be evidence that these are subject to trend analysis and that where ongoing issues are highlighted that root cause has been established and corrective action has taken place.


The testing schedule shall relate to the number of suppliers and the volume of material and the range of cuts being processed. 

Incoming material as internal transfer from co-located sites is exempt from incoming microbiological testing but must be tested as finished product. The exemption does not apply to intra-company transfer between different sites.



  • 2.6.1  Testing schedule. 
  • 2.6.2  Copy of risk assessment. 
  • 2.6.3  Examples of microbiological reports since the last audit.
  • 2.6.4  Check micro standards for compliance with clause 11.7
  • 2.6.5  Trend analysis and where applicable root cause and corrective action reports.