Module 4 Ham & Cooked Pork

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10 Analytical standards

Last Updated: 17 Jul 2023.

10.1 Sampling & testing plan for analytical standards

10.1.1 The site shall have a sampling plan and testing regime in place for the routine monitoring of the analytical compliance of the finished products listed on the sites BMPA Quality Assured Ham & Cooked Pork certificate of conformity and assessed against the requirements of this module and the product specification agreed with the customer.

10.1.2 Added water, meat, salt and for cured products – nitrite content shall be tested analytically at least once per month against the following meat/added water limits and the salt/nitrite limits specified by product type in section 10.1 of this module:

Category Minimum %
Meat Content
Maximum %
Added Water
477 *approx20
Cooked Pork
677 *approx20

10.1.3 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 results occur, 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.

10.2 Salt content

Salt content (sodium chloride) shall be limited to the following levels:

10.2.1 For BMPA Quality Assured Ham the salt content shall average no greater than 1.63%. Traditional hams in categories 1 and 2 are exempt from the FSA salt targets.

10.2.2 For BMPA Quality Assured Cooked Pork the salt content shall average 0.68 % in line with the FSA guidelines

10.2.3 Where the product is produced and labelled as reduced salt or lower salt or contains added ingredients mustard, honey, syrups, glazes, sauces and purees, the salt level may fall below the above targets provided there is satisfactory validation to support shelf-life and food safety.

10.3 Nitrates and nitrites content

For BMPA Quality Assured Cooked Hams 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.

10.4 Phosphates & polyphosphates content

Added phosphates/polyphosphates shall be limited to the following levels:

10.4.1 For BMPA Quality Assured Ham, categories 1, 3 & 4 shall be limited to 0.3% max. For category 2, none is permitted.

10.4.2 For BMPA Quality Assured Cooked Pork, categories 5 &6 shall be limited to 0.3% max.