Module 2 Quality Assured Pork

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2 Sourcing and receiving raw materials

Last Updated: 7 Jan 2022.

2.1 Sourcing, traceability and proving assurance

2.1.1 All pork raw material to be used for the manufacture of BMPA Quality Assured Pork (BQAP) shall be sourced from supplying sites that are certified against the BMPA Pig Welfare, Slaughter and Biosecurity module or equivalent recognised standard e.g. QMS.

2.1.2 To maintain traceability all pork carcases and raw material shall be accompanied by clearly marked delivery documentation and labelling which confirms the assured status and country of birth, rearing and slaughter or statement of pigs’ origin.

2.1.3 Where pigs are born, reared and slaughtered in one country, a single statement of origin shall be sufficient for the traceability declaration.

2.1.4 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.

2.1.5 The site shall have standard operating procedures for the identification, handling and processing of sow meat.


Heart, lungs and liver obtained from assured pigs may be categorised as BQAP.

Pork raw material may be supplied from several sources:

  • internally (integrated site)
  • intra-company (‘sister site’)
  • externally

The site shall hold copies of all 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.


Copies of suppliers’ certificates of conformity against the BMPA pork 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.

Review traceability systems for the segregation and identification of sow meat. Challenge a single product date where sow meat was processed to include relevant production records.

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 meet for all pork deliveries to the site. 

2.2.2 When placed in the transport vehicles, pork 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. 

2.2.3 All raw material supplied to the site shall be transported on clean, well-maintained temperature-controlled vehicles that pose no risk of product contamination. 

2.2.4 Each consignment of pork raw material 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 source shall be 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. Consideration shall be given to the type of product and protection of any exposed bone for bone-in materials using a secondary layer of packaging.


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

2.3 Temperature during transport

2.3.1 During transportation and on arrival at the receiving site the temperature of the chilled pork raw material shall not fall outside of the range of -2°C to +5°C. 

2.3.2 The target temperature of frozen pork raw material 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. Whether a ‘between pack’ or ‘product core’ temperature is recorded this shall be determined by the product type, e.g. unwrapped, overwrapped or packed. 

The site need to ensure compliance with FSA guidance on “use by” and “best before” coding and the safety and shelf-life of vacuum and modified atmosphere packed chilled foods and raw materials with respect to the control of non-proteolytic C. Botulinum

Further verification may be sought by checking the temperature recording instrument of the vehicle.


Examples of intake records since the last audit.

2.4 Labelling for pork 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
  • Kill date


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.

2.5 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 pork raw material. 

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 incoming pork shall be monitored with respect to the following criteria:

TargetUpper Action Limit
Aerobic colony count (ACC)<1 x 104cfu/g1 x 106cfu/g

2.5.4 Where microbiological results above this limit are found, there shall be evidence that these are subject to trend analysis and, where ongoing issues are highlighted, that root cause 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 of the following:

2.5.1 Testing schedule. 

2.5.2 Copy of risk assessment. 

2.5.4 Examples of microbiological reports since the last audit and trend analysis and where applicable root cause and corrective action reports.