Module 5 Quality Assured Pork Sausages

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3 Temperature control and storage

Last Updated: 18 Jun 2024.

3.1 Temperature during storage

3.1.1 The storage area shall, under maximum load, maintain product temperatures within specification

3.1.2 The temperature of other perishable raw materials e.g. vegetables, herbs etc shall be maintained at the storage temperature stated in their raw material specifications

3.1.3 The temperature of chilled meat based raw materials e.g. pork, fat and bacon etc shall be maintained at -2°C to +5°C. 

3.1.4 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.

3.1.5 The temperature of the frozen pork raw material during storage shall be -18°C or colder.

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


The storage area may be equipped with auto door closure, air or strip curtains to minimise ingress of warm air during stock transfers.

Dependent on the process e.g. cold storage or tempering the refrigeration temperature may be set to a target temperature to allow for temperature fluctuations caused by defrost cycles, doors opening during stock transfer etc. 

It may be acceptable for the air temperatures to be exceeded for short periods during defrost cycles/stock transfer etc. providing the product temperature remains within specification.


Examples of temperature control records since the last audit.

3.2 Length of storage and shelf life (chilled)

3.2.1 Pork raw material shall be processed within kill+4 days, however if the raw material is held in chill rooms which are not disturbed, and the pork raw material is not intended to be used in a meat preparation, the storage period may be extended by up to 3 days. Where pork raw material is vacuum packed, gas flushed or deep chilled and subject to the requirements of Clause 3.2.3, additional storage life beyond these limits may be permitted

3.2.2 Any extension of shelf life greater than kill+4 days, shall be subject to satisfactory documented shelf life verification (sensory and microbiological evaluation) that shows that the extension of life does not, under worst case conditions, adversely affect product safety or quality. The microbiological limits shall not exceed the levels in clause 2.6.3.

3.2.3 Chill temperature, traceability and shelf life records shall be maintained.


For a co-located site where the pork has been slaughtered, cut and processed on the same site, extension of life beyond kill+4 days can be verified through the review of chill temperature monitoring records, without the requirement to package or deep chill the raw material. For standalone sausage manufacturing plants with no slaughter/deboning facility there shall be no extension to kill+4 days on air packed raw material. An extension to shelf life of such raw material can only be achieved if vacuum packed, MAP or deep chilled for which shelf life validation shall be conducted under worst case scenario conditions.

Consideration should also be given to the FSA guidance on the control of Clostridium Botulinum for products that exceed 10 days life. 


Examples of temperature monitoring records since the last audit. Review kill dates aligned to storage period, including verification of sensory and microbiological to ensure shelf life extensions. In relation to vacuum packed, gas flushed or deep chilled raw material, additional supporting evidence e.g. shelf life records.

3.3 Length of storage and shelf life (frozen)

Length of storage and shelf life (frozen)

3.3.1  Pork raw material shall be labelled with a date of kill and it shall not exceed kill+4 days at the point of freezing, unless the requirements of 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 have been met. 

3.3.2 The pork material shall be in good condition at the time of freezing and shall be effectively packaged to prevent contamination and degradation of quality.

3.3.3 Pork raw material to be frozen shall be placed into a freezer immediately following receipt. If this is not possible, it must be demonstrated that the quality and safety are not impaired due to any delay

3.3.4 Frozen pork shall be labelled with the date of freezing and a durability date that does not exceed 24 months.

3.3.5 Where frozen product is to be defrosted (tempered), the surface temperature shall not exceed +7C and it shall be carried out to a documented and validated procedure in line with the charter participants processing specification

3.3.6 Stock control and defrost records shall be maintained. 


Review examples of stock control and defrost records since the last audit. Visual inspection of storage area to include product labelling and date coding. Review the documented procedure for the defrosting of frozen product process aligned to the charter participants processing specification. Review of records to ensure the sensory and microbiological of extended shelf life products.

3.4 Durability dates

All raw materials shall be used within their stated durability date.


FSA guidance on Use By/Best Before coding + guidance on date coding associated with C Bot control.


Examples shelf life records since the last audit. Verification of maximum period of storage.