Module 5 Quality Assured Pork Sausages

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2 Sourcing and receiving raw materials

Last Updated: 6 Jan 2022.

2.1 Sourcing, traceability and proving assurance

2.1.1 With the exception of natural casings, pork raw material, including dehydrated rind, shall be certified as BQAP and sourced from suppliers who are accredited against BMPA Quality Pork Charter Module 2 (BQAP) – natural casings are excluded from this requirement.” Also sow raw material shall not be used for BQAP unless it is intended for the manufacture of processed pork meat products approved within Modules 3 (Bacon & Gammon), Module 4 (Ham & Cooked Pork) and/or Module 5 (Pork Sausage) of the BMPA Quality Pork Charter. For clarification of raw materials please refer to the charter rules for accredited supply. 

2.1.2 To maintain traceability all pork raw material purchased by the charter participant shall be accompanied by clearly marked delivery documentation which confirms the 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 requirements of this module apply to raw sausages, sausage meat, sausage meat-based stuffing where pork is the principal ingredient. Also, bacon used for the assembly of pigs in blankets (i.e. sausages with bacon wrapped around them usually produced seasonally for the Christmas period). Cooked sausages are not in the scope of this module.

For all assured raw material, the site shall hold copies of their supplier’s BMPA Quality Pork Charter certificates. 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 and bacon 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 raw material brought in from a different site shall be sourced from a participant of the BMPA Quality Assured Bacon and Gammon and the product shall be certified against that module.


Any additional pork ingredients (e.g. bacon) must be sourced from, or produced to, the relevant BMPA Quality Module, and approved (and certificated). 

This conformity applies, regardless of whether they are produced on the same site, or from within a group. 

Where the site is assembling component packs e.g. pigs in blankets, only the clauses contained within BMPA Quality Assured Pork Sausage module appropriate to the process being undertaken shall apply.


Copy of suppliers’ certificate of conformity against the BMPA Quality Assured Bacon and Gammon 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 (not required for ambient stable raw materials like dehydrated rind or salt preserved natural casings), and the action to be taken if requirements are not meet for all pork (including fat) 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 All raw material supplied to the site shall be transported on clean, well-maintained vehicles that pose no risk of product contamination. Where it is relevant, the vehicle shall be temperature controlled.

2.3.4 Each consignment of raw material shall be examined on arrival to ensure that it is compliant with specification, free from contamination and indications of spoilage. The assured status and traceability back to source shall be been maintained.


If incoming pork 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. 


Review of documented procedure. Visual inspection of the incoming material. Completed intake records. Checks on the integrity of packaging (where applicable) and assured nature of the raw material being used.

2.4 Temperature during transport

2.4.1 Where temperature sensitive raw materials are being delivered, the doors of the delivery vehicle shall remain closed up to the point when the raw material temperature is being checked.

2.4.2 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 and brought into the preparation room progressively as needed.

2.4.3 Unless bacon is received in a tempered form ready for slicing (typically -8°C), 

the target temperature of frozen pork or bacon raw material shall be -18°C or less during transport and it shall not exceed -12°C at intake.

2.4.4 Dehydrated rind and salt preserved natural casings shall be delivered in the conditions stated in the raw material specifications held by the site.


Verification is normally 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 completed raw material inspection records, temperature records, and raw material specification for handling/storage conditions for dehydrated rind and natural casings.

2.5 Labelling for pork raw material received

Each batch of pork raw material 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 or a use by date is optional. FSA guidance on Use By/Best Before coding + guidance on date coding associated with C Bot control.
  • Kill date (where applicable)


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


Verification of labelling or markings.

2.6 Microbiological 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 raw material, including fat, bacon, dehydrated rind and natural casings. 

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 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, dehydrated rind and natural casings shall meet the standards specified in the raw material specification held by the site.

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


Review the following:

  • 2.6.1 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 raw material specifications
  • 2.6.5 Trend analysis and where applicable root cause and corrective action reports.