Module 4 Ham & Cooked Pork

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9 Finished product specifications & quality standards

Last Updated: 7 Jan 2022.

9.1 Product specifications

9.1.1 The following general standards shall apply to all BMPA Quality Assured Ham and Cooked Pork products:

  • The surface of the product shall be clean and free from extraneous matter including tar.
  • Rind, if present shall be free hair, stubble and bruising.
  • The fat shall be firm and white and no evidence of bruising, separation, softness, or discolouration.
  • The lean shall be free of bruising and bone fragments with minimal blood spots. 
  • The flavour of the product shall be free from off flavours.
  • The texture of the product shall be firm but not tough and not give any evidence of excessive moisture in the tissues. 
  • The product shall be free as reasonably possible of gristle and tough connective tissue.
  • For bone-in product, all bone shall be splinter free. 
  • All garnishes and glazes including added strips of fat and rind shall adhere to the surface of the product.
  • The amount of internal fat shall be specified within the QAS and not exceed 20mm in diameter.
  • Holes are usually a natural part of the process however, tolerances for these cavities shall be documented in relevant process documentation.

9.1.2 Permitted subcutaneous fat levels (with or without rind) for BMPA Quality Assured Ham are:

Category Sub-fat (max)Sub-fat & Rind (max)
 15mm 22mm
 10mm 15mm
 10mm 17mm
 10mm 17mm

Category 4 ham may contain visible fat particles but not exceeding 5mm in diameter. The analytical fat content shall not exceed 7.5%.

9.1.3 Permitted subcutaneous fat levels (with or without rind) for BMPA Quality Assured Pork are:

Category Sub-fat (max)Sub-fat & Rind (max)
 10mm 17mm
 10mm 17mm


Visual inspection of product and align to QAS. Examples of analysis reports since the last audit.

9.2 Quality Attribute Specification (QAS) monitoring

9.2.1 The charter participant shall monitor the quality attributes of each product type certified by this BMPA module against a documented quality attribute specification (QAS) that has been formally agreed by the charter participant and their customer. All products shall achieve the standards set by the BMPA Quality Assured Ham and Cooked Pork module.

9.2.2 Where there is evidence of attribute failure, the site shall investigate the root cause and implement corrective action to minimise/prevent the issue from re-occurring.


Where unnecessary cuts have occurred, there is the potential that after cooking and subsequent slicing the structure of the cooked product may disintegrate. 


Reviewexamples offormally agreed QAS and that these are aligned to the approved products listed on the certificate of conformity. Review the ‘mini specification’ and verify that the quality attributes are aligned to those detailed in the BMPA Quality Assured Ham and Cooked Pork module. Visual inspection of finished product standards. Review examples of records of QAS verification checks since the last audit. 

9.3 Organoleptic testing

9.3.1 A standard operating procedure for organoleptic testing shall be in place and be conducted by a member of staff who is trained against the procedure.

9.3.2 An organoleptic sampling schedule shall be established for finished product certified by the BMPA Quality Assured Pork module at an appropriate frequency and as a minimum once per week to demonstrate compliance against the documented QAS. The product assessment shall include tenderness, succulence, flavour and visual appearance.

9.3.3 Records of assessment shall be retained. Where there is evidence of attribute failure, the site shall investigate root cause and implement corrective action. 


Review of organoleptic testing procedure, sampling schedule, assessment and training records.