Module 4 Ham & Cooked Pork

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2 Sourcing & receiving raw materials

Last Updated: 5 Jan 2022.

2.1 Sourcing, traceability and proving assurance

2.1.1 All pork raw material including rind and back fat to be used in the manufacture of BMPA Quality Assured Ham and Cooked Porkshall 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 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.

2.1.3 Ham and cooked pork feedstock brought in from a different site shall be sourced from a participant of the BMPA Quality Assured Ham and Cooked Pork module and the product shall be certified against that module, refer to charter rules.


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. 

Where the site is only slicing and packing ham or cooked pork and the pre-requisites of the site being BRC GFS certified (minimum Grade B), compliant with BMPA Quality Pork Charter Rules, and that the products being packed are certified against module 4, and traceable to an approved participating site, then only the clauses contained within BMPA Quality Assured Ham and Cooked Pork module appropriate to the process being undertaken shall apply.


Copies of suppliers’ certificates of conformity against the BMPA pork module and/or the Ham and Cooked Pork Module shall be held by the site and these shall be valid for the period under review. The certificate 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.

2.2 Transporting raw materials

2.2.1 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 met for all raw pork and cooked ham/pork deliveries to the site. 

2.2.2 When placed in the transport vehicles, raw pork 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. 

2.2.3 Raw pork material and cooked ham/pork feedstock supplied to the site shall be transported on clean, well-maintained temperature-controlled vehicles that pose no risk of product contamination. Where it is relevant, the vehicle shall be temperature controlled.

2.2.4 Each consignment of raw pork material and cooked ham/pork feedstock shall be examined on arrival to ensure that it is compliant with specification, free from contamination and indications of spoilage. The BQAP assured status and traceability back to BMPA approved source shall be maintained.


If incoming raw pork material or cooked ham/pork feedstock 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. Cooked feedstock should be in fully sealed packaging/casings and not come into contact with raw pork material.


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

2.3 Temperature during transport

2.3.1 During transportation and on arrival at the receiving site the temperature of chilled raw pork or cooked ham/pork feedstock shallnot fall outside of the range of -2°C to +5°C. 

2.3.2 The target temperature of frozen raw pork material or cooked ham/pork feedstock 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.

It is normal practise that for cooked feedstock the “between product temperature” is checked at intake as the internal probing of product would compromise food safety.


Examples of intake records since the last audit.

2.4 Labelling for ham, pork and cooked pork 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.

2.5 Microbiological sampling and testing

2.5.1 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 raw pork and cooked ham/pork feedstock.

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

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

TargetUpper Limit
ACC<1 x 104cfu/g1 x 106cfu/g

2.5.4 The microbiological condition of incoming cooked ham/pork feedstock shall meet the microbiological standards set out in clause 11 of this module.

2.5.5 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 (including those transferred between sites of the same company) and the volume of material and the range of cuts being processed. 


Review the following:

  • 2.5.1 Testing schedule. 
  • 2.5.2 Copy of risk assessment. 
  • 2.5.3 Examples of microbiological reports since the last audit.
  • 2.5.4 Check micro standards for compliance with clause 11
  • 2.5.5 Trend analysis and where applicable root cause and corrective action reports.