Annex A: Curing - Approved Curing Methods to Ensure the Destruction of Trichinella in Sausages and Other Meat Products Containing Striated Pork Muscle Tissues

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WARNING: The curing methods described in this annex are designed only to ensure that viable Trichinella are destroyed in sausages and meat products containing striated pork muscle tissues. These methods do not guarantee the safety of product in terms of other pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, E. coli and L. monocytogenes, etc. When any of these methods are used in the production of ready-to-eat meat products, it is the operator's responsibility to undertake all other additional manufacturing procedures required to ensure product safety.

A.1. Sausages

Sausage may be stuffed in animal casings, hydrocellulose casings, or cloth bags. Except as specified in method # 5, casings are not to be coated with paraffin or a like substance at any stage during the Trichinella destruction process, nor shall they be washed during any prescribed period of drying. Several curing methods are acceptable. They are:

A.1.1. Method # 1 (Cured and Dried Sausages)

Meat shall be ground or chopped into pieces of no more than 1.9 cm (¾ inch) maximum in diameter. A minimum of 3.33% of salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material shall be mixed thoroughly with the ground or chopped meat.

  • Pepperoni sausages stuffed into casings of 3.5 cm (1 3/8 inches) diameter or less as measured at the time of stuffing shall be held in a drying room for a minimum of 15 days at a temperature not lower than 7.3°C. In no case however, shall the sausage be released from the drying room less than 20 days from the time the curing materials are added.
  • Sausage having a diameter not exceeding 8.8 cm (3½ inches) measured at the time of stuffing shall be held in a drying room for a minimum of 20 days at a minimum temperature of 7.3°C. In no case, however, shall the sausage be released from the drying room less than 25 days from the time the curing materials are added.
  • Sausage in casings exceeding 8.8 cm (3½ inches) but not exceeding 10.2 cm (4 inches) in diameter at the time of stuffing shall be held in a drying room for a minimum of 35 days at a minimum temperature of 7.3°C. In no case shall the sausage be released from the drying room less than 40 days from the time the curing materials are added to the meat.

A.1.2. Method # 2 (Cured, Smoked and Dried Sausages)

Meat shall be ground into pieces of 1.9 cm (¾ inch) maximum diameter or less. A dry-curing mixture containing a minimum of 3.33% of salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material shall be mixed thoroughly with the ground or chopped meat. After stuffing, sausage shall be smoked a minimum of 40 hours at a temperature not lower than 26.7°C.

After smoking, sausage having a diameter not exceeding 8.8 cm (3½ inches), measured at the time of stuffing, shall be held in a drying room for a minimum of 10 days at a minimum temperature of 7.3°C. In no case, however, shall the sausage be released from the drying room less than 18 days from the time curing materials are added to the meat.

After smoking, sausage in casings exceeding 8.8 cm (3½ inches) but not exceeding 10.2 cm (4 inches) in diameter at the time of stuffing shall be held in a drying room for a minimum of 25 days at a minimum temperature of 7.3°C. In no case shall the sausage be released from the drying room less than 33 days from the time the curing materials are added to the meat.

A.1.3. Method # 3 (Cured and Smoked Sausages)

Meat shall be ground or chopped into pieces of 1.9 cm (¾ inch) maximum diameter or less. A dry-curing mixture containing a minimum of 3.33% of salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material shall be mixed thoroughly with the ground or chopped meat.

Total curing time shall be no less than six days; this six-day period must include:

  • a minimum 36-hour holding period before stuffing of casings (calculated from the admixture of salt and curing material), where the mixture is held at a temperature not lower than 1.2°C;
  • an additional period of time, after stuffing, sufficient to attain the minimum curing period of six days. During this period, sausages shall either be held at a temperature not lower than 1.5°C OR placed in a pickle-curing medium of a minimum strength of 50° (salimeter reading) at a minimum temperature of 6.7°C.

Smoking of sausages is mandatory in this process:

  • Sausages having a diameter of 8.8 cm (3½ inches) or less, measured at the time of stuffing, shall be smoked after the prescribed curing, for a minimum period of 12 hours during which time:
    • the temperature shall be maintained at 32.3°C minimum; and
    • the temperature shall be gradually raised (over a period of no less than four hours) and maintained for at least four consecutive hours at a minimum temperature of 53.4°C.
  • Sausage in casings exceeding 8.8 cm (3½ inches) but not exceeding 10.2 cm (4 inches) in diameter, measured at the time of stuffing, shall be smoked, following the prescribed curing, for a minimal period of 15 hours during which time:
    • the temperature shall be maintained above a minimum of 32.3°C; and
    • the temperature shall be gradually raised (over a period of no less than four hours) and maintained for at least seven consecutive hours at a minimum temperature of 53.4°C.

A.1.4. Method # 4 (Cured and Dried Sausages with Optional Cooking or Smoking)

Meat shall be ground or chopped into pieces of 0.6 cm (¼ inch) maximum diameter. A dry-curing mixture containing a minimum of 2.5% of salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material shall be mixed thoroughly with the ground or chopped meat.

After admixture with the curing salts and before stuffing, the ground or chopped meat shall be held as a compact mass of a depth of 15.2 cm (6 inches) or less at a minimum temperature of 2.3°C for a minimum of ten days. At the end of this holding period, the sausage shall be stuffed in casings or cloth bags not to exceed a maximum diameter of 8.5 cm (3 1/3 inches), as measured at the time of stuffing.

At any time after stuffing, if the operator so wishes, the product may be heated in a water bath for a period not to exceed three hours at a temperature no lower than 29.5°C, or may be smoked at a minimum temperature of 26.7°C during a period not to exceed three hours, or may be both heated and smoked as specified.

After stuffing, the sausage shall be held in a drying room at a minimum temperature of 7.3°C for the remainder of a 35-day period, measured from the time curing materials were added to the meat. The time spent smoking or heating the sausage shall not be included in the 35 day holding/drying period calculation.

A.1.5. Method # 5 (Sausages with Coated Casings or Coverings)

Meat shall be ground or chopped into pieces of 1.9 cm (¾ inch) maximum diameter. A dry-curing mixture containing a minimum of 3.33% of salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material shall be mixed thoroughly with the ground or chopped meat.

After stuffing, the sausage shall be held in a drying room at a temperature no lower than 7.3°C for a minimum period of 65 days.

The casings or coverings for sausages prepared according to this method may be coated, before or during the drying period, with paraffin or other substance listed in the "Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products".

A.1.6. Method # 6 (Dry Cured Sausage; Optional Cooking or Smoking; Optional Reduced Salt Formulation)

A.1.6.1. General Requirements:

Meat shall be ground or chopped into pieces of 1.9 cm (¾ inch) maximum diameter. A dry-curing mixture containing a minimum of 3.33% salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material, excluding the weight of dry ingredients, shall be mixed thoroughly with the ground or chopped meat. Salt concentration for this method is calculated with the following formula:

Salt concentration = [weight of salt in sausage formula ÷ (weight of sausage formula – weight of dry ingredients)] X 100

The result is rounded down to the next lowest 0.1%

Example:

Formula: 120 kg pork, 3.56 kg salt, 2 kg spice, 0.5 kg wine, 1 kg water and starter culture, 0.8 kg sugar, 0.012 kg sodium nitrite.

Salt concentration = [weight of salt at 3.56 kg ÷ (weight of formula at 127.872 kg – weight of dry ingredients at 6.372 kg)] X 100

= 0.0293 or 2.93%; (2.9%)

After mixing, the sausage shall be held for two time periods:

  • a minimum 48-hour holding period in a room maintained at a temperature of no lower than 1.7°C; and
  • a drying period, in a room maintained at a temperature no lower than 10.0°C, of a duration equal to, or greater than, the minimum number of drying days obtained by the following formula:

    Baseline value for minimum number of drying days for the type of sausage (ref. Table A.1.6.1.)

    - Number of days which can be reduced from the drying period because of a smoking or fermentation of the sausage during the holding period (ref. section A.1.6.2.)

    + Number of days which must be added to the drying period because of a sausage formulation which has a reduced salt content (ref. section A.1.6.3.)

    = Minimum number of drying days

    Note: The 48-hour holding period can take place entirely or partially before the beginning of the drying period; if the holding period is not completed before the beginning of the drying period, that part which remains must be completed either after the end of the drying period or as an extension of the drying period.

Table A.1.6.1. – Sausage Drying Times by Method # 6
(baseline table)
Maximum diameter
of casing at
time of stuffing Table Note 1
in cm (inches)
Minimum holding time
in drying room
(temperature≥1.7°C)
Minimum number
of days in
drying room
(Room temp. ≥10°C)
2.5 cm (1.0") 48 hours 14 days
3.8 cm (1.5") 48 hours 15 days
5.0 cm (2.0") 48 hours 16 days
6.3 cm (2.5") 48 hours 18 days
7.6 cm (3.0") 48 hours 20 days
8.8 cm (3.5") 48 hours 23 days
10.1 cm (4.0") 48 hours 25 days
11.4 cm (4.5") 48 hours 30 days
12.7 cm (5.0") 48 hours 35 days
13.4 cm (5.5") 48 hours 43 days
15.2 cm (6.0") 48 hours 50 days

Table Notes

Table Note 1

The drying time for flattened or oval sausages shall be calculated from a diameter derived by measuring the circumference and divided by 3.14 (pi).

Return to table note 1  referrer

A.1.6.2. Reduction in the number of Drying Days for sausages which are smoked or fermented during the holding period:

Sausages fabricated according to the methods outlined in sections A.1.6.1. and A.1.6.3. may be smoked or fermented between the time curing materials are added and the time drying commences. If the internal temperature of the product is increased to 21.1°C or higher during the 48 hours holding period and maintained according to one of the time/temperature combinations described in Table A.1.6.2. below, the drying time prescribed for the product may be reduced.

No interpolation of values is permissible.

Table A.1.6.2. – Sausages Manufactured According to Method # 6 Which are Smoked or Fermented During the Holding Period – Reduction (%) of the Drying Period According to the Temperature and the Duration of the Smoking or Fermentation Period
Minimum Number of Hours During Which the Sausage is Held at a Temperature No Lower Than:
Minimum
period
Internal Temperature of Product Table Note 2 (minimum)
21.1°C
70°F
23.9°C
75°F
26.7°C
80°F
29.5°C
85°F
32.2°C
90°F
35.0°C
95°F
37.9°C
100°F
40.6°C
105°F
43.3°C
110°F
48.9°C
120°F
24 hrs. 4% 5% 8% 10% 15% 23% 37% 57% 90% 100% Table Note 3
48 hrs. 9% 12% 18% 25% 35% 49% 88% 100% Table Note 3 100% Table Note 3 100%
72 hrs. 14% 19% 28% 39% 55% 74% 100% Table Note 3 100% 100% 100%
96 hrs. 19% 26% 38% 53% 75% 98% 100% Table Note 3 100% 100% 100%
120 hrs. 24% 33% 48% 67% 95% 100% Table Note 3 100% 100% 100% 100%

Table Notes

Table Note 2

Internal product temperature shall be used for all types of sausages with the exception of dry cured fermented sausages (e.g. sausages with a pH ≤ 5.3 at the end of the fermentation period and an aw of 0.90 or less at the end of drying); in these cases room temperature or product temperature shall be used.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Table note 3

Trichinella will be destroyed during fermentation or smoking at the temperature and length of time indicated. Therefore, no drying room period is required for Trichinella destruction for products so treated. However, the total holding period must last at least 48 hours.

Return to table note 3  referrer

How to use Table A.1.6.2:

  1. Determine how long and at which temperature the sausage will be fermented or smoked (Note: the heat treatment must take place during the holding period).
  2. Identify the appropriate row and column for these values in the table: when the time and/or temperature values used in the preparation of the product are not listed, select the next lowest value(s). (see following example).
  3. Find the % in reduction time using the table above.
  4. To obtain the number of days by which the minimum drying period can be reduced, multiply the % in reduction value by the baseline minimum number of drying days for the type of sausage (ref. Table A.1.6.1) and round this value to the next lower integer number of days.

Example:

A 7.6 cm (3 inches) diameter sausage fermented at 29°C for 60 hours.

  1. The exact temperature is not in the table; the next lowest value in the table is 26.7°C.
  2. The exact time is not in the table; the next lowest value in the table is 48 hours.
  3. The percentage of reduction found in the table with 26.7°C and 48 hours is 18%.
  4. According to Table A.1.6.1., the baseline number of minimum drying days for the type of sausage of 7.6 cm diameter, is 20 days. The number of days by which the minimum drying period can be reduced is:

    20 days X 18% = 3.6 days (round to 3 days (nearest lowest number))

    Therefore, a reduction of three days to the number of drying days is allowed; the minimum number of drying days for this type of sausages is 20 days – 3 days = 17 days.

    A.1.6.3. Reduced Salt Content: Increase in Drying Room Times

    Sausages prepared according to the general requirements in A.1.6.1. but with a recipe using less than 3.33% of salt per weight of unstuffed sausage material excluding the weight of dry ingredients (such as salts, sugars and spices) may be permitted provided the drying time is increased according to the schedule contained in Table A.1.6.3.

Table A.1.6.3.
Increase in Drying Room Times for Reduced Salt Content Sausages
Prepared according to Method # 6
Minimum % of Salt in Sausage Table Note 4 Increase in Drying Room Time (%)
3.3% 1%
3.2% 4%
3.1% 7%
3.0% 10%
2.9% 13%
2.8% 16%
2.7% 19%
2.6% 22%
2.5% 25%
2.4% 28%
2.3% 31%
2.2% 34%
2.1% 37%
2.0% 40%

Table Notes

Table Note 4

Calculated on the base of the weight of sausage materials excluding dry ingredients (see section A.1.6.1.)

Return to table note 4  referrer

How to use Table A.1.6.3:

  1. Calculate the percentage of salt in the sausage with the formula in section A.1.6.1.
  2. With Table A.1.6.3. above, find the percentage by which the drying period must be extended.
  3. To obtain the number of days by which the drying period must be extended, multiply the % by the baseline minimum number of drying days specified in Table A.1.6.1. for the type of sausage in question and round this value to the nearest greater integer.

Example:

A 5.0 cm (2 inches) diameter sausage with 2.0% salt requires a 40% increase in drying time according to Table A.1.6.3.

  1. According to Table A.1.6.3., an increase of 40% in the drying time is required for sausages containing 2.0% salt.
  2. Same as 1.
  3. The formula used: 40% X 16 days = 6.4 days i.e. (round to next highest integer) 7 days.
    (The baseline number of drying days for a 2 inch sausage (ref. Table A.1.6.1.) is 16 days).
    Therefore an extension to the drying period of 7 days is required; the minimum number of drying days for the sausage in this example is 16 days + 7 days = 23 days.

A.1.7. Method # 7 (Dry Sausages)

Meat shall be ground or chopped into pieces of a maximum 0.6 cm (¼ inch) diameter or less. A minimum of 2.7% of salt per weight of sausage meat shall be uniformly mixed with the ground or chopped meat.

Depending on the size of the sausages, the treatment shall be as follows:

A.1.7.1. Sausages with a diameter of 10.5 cm (4 1/8 inches) or less

Sausages with a diameter of 10.5 cm (4 1/8 inches) or less at the time of stuffing shall be subjected to the following 23 hour process schedule after stuffing.

Table A.1.7.1
Process Schedule for Heat Treated Dry Sausage of a Diameter of 10.5 cm (4 1/8 inches) or Less
Step Minimum Room temperature Minimum time (hours)
1 10.0°C / 50°F 12 hours
2 32.2°C / 90°F 1 hour
3 37.8°C / 100°F 1 hour
4 43.3°C / 110°F 1 hour
5 48.9°C / 120°F 1 hour
6 51.7°C / 125°F 7 hours

Total Time: 23 Hours

The sausages shall then be dried at a minimum temperature of 10°C for not less than 7 days.

A.1.7.2. Sausages with a diameter of 5.5 cm (2 1/8 inches) or less

Alternatively, sausages with a diameter of 5.5 cm (2 1/8 inches) or less at the time of stuffing, are to be subjected to the following 19-hour process schedule:

Table A.1.7.2.
Process Schedule for Heat Treated Dry Sausage of a Diameter of 5.5 cm (2 1/8 inches) or Less
Step Minimum Room temperature Minimum time (hours)
1 10.0°C / 50°F 12 hours
2 37.8°C / 100°F 1 hour
3 51.7°C / 125°F 6 hours

Total Time: 19 Hours

The sausages shall then be dried at a minimum temperature of 10°C for not less than 4 days.

Summary Table of Approved Curing Methods for Sausage to Ensure the Destruction of Trichinella in Sausage Containing Striated Pork Muscle
Method Maximum diameter of meat particles (cm) Minimum % of salt per weight of sausage material Diameter of sausage at time of stuffing (cm) Minimum curing time cure room temperature ≥ 3°C (days) Minimum smoking period – Time (hrs) Minimum smoking period – Initial
Smokehouse
temperature
C)
Minimum holding time in drying room temperature ≥7.3°C (days) Minimum time between addition of cure and release from the drying room (days)
1 1.9 3.33 < 3.5 Table Note 5 N/A N/A 15 20
1 1.9 3.33 < 8.8 N/A N/A 20 25
1 1.9 3.33 8.8 – 10.2 N/A N/A 35 40
2 1.9 3.33 < 8.8 N/A 40 ≥26.7°C 10 18
2 1.9 3.33 8.8 – 10.2 N/A 40 ≥26.7°C 25 33
3 1.9 3.33 < 8.8 6 Table Note 6 12 ≥32.3°C Table Note 7 N/A N/A
3 1.9 3.33 8.8 – 10.2 6 Table Note 6 15 ≥32.3°C Table Note 8 N/A N/A
4 0.6 2.5 < 8.5 10 Table Note 9 SEE Table Note 10 N/A 35 Table Note 10
5 Table Note 11 1.9 3.33 N/A N/A N/A N/A 65 N/A
6 1.9 SEE Table Note 12 2.5 – 15.0 Table Note 13 2 Table Note 14 SEE Table Note 15 SEE Table Note 16 N/A
7 0.6 SEE Table Note 17 < 10.5 N/A SEE Table Note 18 7 N/A
7 0.6 SEE Table Note 17 < 5.5 N/A SEE Table Note 19 4 N/A

Table Notes

Table Note 5

Sausages of the Pepperoni variety.

Return to table note 5  referrer

Table Note 6

This 6-day curing period includes a minimum 36-hour period, prior to stuffing, where the mixture shall be held at a temperature of 1.2°C or higher; sausage may either be held at 1.5°C or more OR placed in a pickle-cure of 50° (salimeter reading) or more at a temperature of 6.7°C or more for the remainder of the 6 days.

Return to table note 6  referrer

Table Note 7

During this 12-hour period, the smokehouse temperature shall be gradually raised (over a minimum period of 4 hours) and maintained (for a minimum of 4 additional hours) at 53.4°C or higher.

Return to table note 7  referrer

Table Note 8

During this 15-hour period, the smokehouse temperature shall be gradually raised (over a minimum period of 4 hours) and maintained (for a minimum of 7 additional hours) at 53.4°C or higher.

Return to table note 8  referrer

Table Note 9

This 10-day curing period must take place before stuffing; product must be stored at 2.3°C or more as a compact mass of a depth not to exceed 15.2cm.

Return to table note 9  referrer

Table Note 10

A maximum of 3 hours cooking in a 29.5°C water bath and/or maximum 3 hours smoking at 26.7°C is permitted; if either option is used, the drying time must be extended by a period of time equivalent to the time taken to cook and/or smoke the sausage.

Return to table note 10  referrer

Table Note 11

The coverings of these sausages may be coated with paraffin or other substance listed in the "Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products" before or during the drying period.

Return to table note 11  referrer

Table Note 12

Salt content (%) is calculated on the basis of the unstuffed sausage weight, exclusive of the weight of the dry ingredients. The baseline value of salt % is 3.33%. Salt content may be reduced; see section A.1.6.3.

Return to table note 12  referrer

Table Note 13

See section A.1.6.1 for specific information regarding this method.

Return to table note 13  referrer

Table Note 14

The 48 hour holding period at 1.7°C may be partly or entirely completed before the end of the drying period, if the holding period is not entirely completed before the drying period, the remainder can be completed after the end of drying, or as an extension of the drying process.

Return to table note 14  referrer

Table Note 15

Smoking of sausage is optional and may be used to lower the drying time; ref. section A.1.6.2.

Return to table note 15  referrer

Table Note 16

This value is to be determined in accordance to the exact process used; ref. section A.1.6.

Return to table note 16  referrer

Table Note 17

This percentage is calculated on the basis of the sausage meat only (2.7%).

Return to table note 17  referrer

Table Note 18

Sausage must be processed according to the method prescribed in Table A.1.7.1.

Return to table note 18  referrer

Table Note 19

Sausages must be processed according to the method prescribed in Table A.1.7.2.

Return to table note 19  referrer

N/A Not applicable OR no minimum standard specified.

A.2. Capicola (Capocollo Capacola) and Coppa

Capicola, Capocollo and Capacola are dry-cured smoked boneless pork shoulder butts.

Coppa is a dry-cured unsmoked boneless pork shoulder butt.

Boneless pork butts used for coppa or capicola (or Capocolo or Capacola) shall be dry-cured using a mixture containing a minimum 4.5 kg of salt per 100 kg of fresh meat (weight before curing). Product must be cured and dried according to the schedule set out in Table A.3.4. below.

If curing materials are applied by the "churning" process, a small amount of pickle may be added. During the curing period, butts may be overhauled, e.g. turned over for application of additional pickle or dry salt, during the process.

In addition, capicola, capocollo and capacola shall be smoked for a minimum temperature of 26.7°C for a minimum period of 30 hours.

Butts shall not be treated in any manner designed to remove salt from the meat during or after curing; superficial washing of the butts may however be permitted.

Table A.2.
Minimum treatments for ensuring the destruction of Trichinella in Coppa, Capicola, etc.
Type of Product Curing period at temperature not lower than 2.3°C (36°F) (days) Smoking time at temperature not lower than 26.7°C (80°F) (hours) Drying time at temperature not lower than 7.3°C (45°F) (days)
Capicola, Capocollo, Capacola 25 30 20
Coppa 18 N/A 35

A.3. Hams and Pork Shoulders Picnics

In the curing of hams and pork shoulder picnics, one of the following methods shall be used to destroy Trichinella.

A.3.1. Method #1

Hams and pork shoulder picnics shall be laid down in salt, in a ratio of at least 4.0 kg of salt for each 100 kg of fresh meat (before curing) for a minimum of 40 days in a room maintained at a temperature not lower than 2.3°C.

Salt is to be applied in a thorough manner to the lean meat of each item. When placed in cure, product may be pumped with pickle. At least once during the curing process, products are to be overhauled (turned over for application of additional cure) and additional salt applied, if required, to thoroughly cover the lean meat of each item.

At the end of the curing period, product may be soaked up to a maximum of 15 hours in water at a temperature not to exceed 21°C (70°F). The water may be changed only once during this 15 hour period. The product shall not be treated, except for superficial washing, in any other manner designed to remove salt from the meat.

Product shall finally be dried or smoked at a time and temperature as specified in Table A.3.4 which is at the end of this section.

A.3.2. Method # 2 [Reserved]

A.3.3. Method # 3

A.3.3.1. Traditional Dry Curing:

Hams and shoulders shall have all exposed muscle tissue covered and the hock region packed with a cure mixture containing a minimum of 70% salt (by weight of the curing mixture).

Curing shall consist of:

  • A mandatory cure contact time of a minimum 28 days but no less than 3.3 days/kg of uncured product (whichever period is longest) at a room temperature between 1.7°C and 7.3°C; and
  • An optional cure equalization time at a room temperature no lower than 1.7°C and no higher than 15.6°C to permit the cure mixture to penetrate deeply into the muscle tissues of the product.

The number of days obtained using days/kg, is calculated by multiplying the value of #days/kg by the weigh in kilograms of the heaviest piece of the lot (as weighed prior to the addition of cure materials).

The total curing time (between application of cure and entry into the drying room) shall be at least 40 days and in no case less than 4.4 days/kg of uncured ham or shoulder.

During the mandatory cure time, exposed muscle tissue must stay coated with the cure mixture. After this period, the operator may remove excess cure from the product's surface either mechanically or by a water rinse of a maximum duration of 60 seconds, and allow the product to rest in order to permit salt to permeate the product's inner tissues (equalization). Soaking of hams to remove cure is not permitted.

Product is to be dried in accordance with Table A.3.4.

A.3.3.2. Bag curing:

Hams and cure mixture are wrapped together in uncoated kraft paper and hung individually. Reapplication of salt is not necessary since the wrapping keeps the cure mixture in close contact with the product.

Exposed muscle tissue shall be rubbed and hocks packed with a cure mixture containing at least 6 kg of salt for each 100 kg of uncured meat (weighed before the addition of curing material), any remaining cure mixture shall be used in wrapping the product in the paper bag.

Product shall remain wrapped during a minimum curing period of at least 40 days but not less than 4.4 days/kg of uncured ham or shoulder (which ever period is longest) at a room temperature between 1.7°C and 7.3°C. It may be unwrapped during the drying period.

The number of days obtained using days/kg, is calculated by multiplying the value of #days/kg by the weigh in kilograms of the heaviest piece of the lot (as weighed prior to the addition of cure materials).

Product is to be dried in accordance with Table A.3.4.

A.3.4 Method # 4

Hams and shoulders shall be cured with a cure mixture containing a minimum of 71.5% salt by weight. The operator may substitute potassium chloride (KCl) for up to half of the required salt on an equal weight basis.

Cure shall be applied at a minimum rate of 5.72 kg of cure for each 100 kg of fresh meat (weighed before addition of the curing materials). The hock region is to be packed and all exposed muscle tissue covered. The cure shall be applied in either three or four approximately equal amounts (three or four overhauls) at separate times during the first 14 days of curing.

The product shall be kept in contact with the cure mixture at a minimum temperature of 1.7°C for a minimum period of 4.4 days/kg of uncured product but for at least 30 days, whichever period is longest.

The number of days obtained using days/kg, is calculated by multiplying the value of #days/kg by the weigh in kilograms of the heaviest piece of the lot (as weighed prior to the addition of cure materials).

At the end of the cure contact period, excess cure mixture may be removed either by rinsing for a maximum of 60 seconds with water or by mechanically removing the excess from the products surface; soaking is not allowed.

After the cure contact period has ended and the excess cure has been removed, an additional period of a minimum 2.2 days/kg of uncured product but at least 14 days, whichever period is longest, shall be provided to allow the cure to permeate the deeper muscle masses. Additional cure contact days may be substituted for an equal number of equalization days.

Drying cannot begin until the end of the equalization period. Drying is to be performed according to one of the methods described in Table A.3.4.

Table A.3.4.
Minimum Drying Time/Temperature Combinations to Ensure the Destruction of Trichinella in Dry Cured Hams
Minimum
Drying
Temperature
F)
Minimum
Drying
Temperature
C)
Minimum Days at Drying Temperature Fractional Period/
Drying Day
≥130 ≥54.4 1.5 0.67
≥125 ≥51.7 2 0.50
≥120 ≥48.9 3 0.33
≥115 ≥46.1 4 0.25
≥110 ≥43.3 5 0.20
≥105 ≥40.6 6 0.17
≥100 ≥37.8 7 0.14
≥95 ≥35.0 9 0.11
≥90 ≥32.2 11 0.091
≥85 ≥29.4 18 0.056
≥80 ≥26.7 25 0.040
≥75 ≥23.9 35 0.029

How to use Table A.3.4:

  • Drying at a single constant temperature:
    • Determine the lowest temperature attained/which will be attained during the drying period. Using the table, select the appropriate row (if the drying room temperature is not in the table, select the row with the next lowest temperature value) and determine the "Minimum Days at drying temperature" in column 3.
  • Drying at two or more different temperatures:
    • Using the drying schedule, determine, for each day of drying, the lowest temperature reached/which will be reached. With the table, determine the fractional period contributed by each drying day using the lowest drying temperature for each day. In order for the process to be acceptable, the sum of these fractions must be greater than 1.5.

Interpolation of these times or temperatures is not acceptable.

A.4. Boneless Pork Loins And Loin Ends

In lieu of heat or cold treatment, curing may be used to ensure the destruction of Trichinella in boneless loins.

Loins are cured for a minimum period of 25 days at a temperature not lower than of 2.3°C using one of the following methods:

  • Application of a dry-salt curing mixture containing a minimum of 5 kg of salt per 100 kg of fresh meat (weighed prior to the addition of curing materials).
  • Application of a pickle solution (minimum 80° strength on the salimeter) at a ratio of 60 kg of pickle for each 100 kg of fresh meat (weighed prior to the addition of curing materials).
  • Application of a pickle solution added to the dry-salt cure prescribed in the first point above, provided the pickle solution is not less than 80° strength (salimeter).

Loins may be soaked in maximum 21°C temperature water for a maximum duration of one hour, or washed under a spray. Product shall not be subjected, during or after curing, to any other treatment designed to remove salt.

Loins shall be smoked for a minimum of 12 hours. The smokehouse temperature shall be maintained above a minimum temperature of 37.8°C during the entire smoking process. In addition, within the 12 hours smoking period, the smokehouse temperature shall be maintained at a minimum temperature of 51.7°C for at least four consecutive hours.

Smoked product shall then be held in a drying room maintained at a temperature of not less than 7.3°C for a minimum period of 12 days.

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