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Key – Those standards which have greater significance (all other standards are normal)

Recommendation – Those which do not affect certification

New – A completely new standard which the member must now adhere to

Revised – A standard that has changed and requires the member to take some different or additional action to before

Upgraded – The standard has been upgraded to a Key standard or from a Recommendation to a full standard

Appendix – Referenced in ‘How you will be measured’. Indicates that additional information is provided in the Appendices, which are available at the end of each section.

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Where to find help – at the end of each section we have indicated where you can get extra guidance if you need it.

Aim:

PORK QUALITY

AB.PQ.a

Standards

Assured pork must only derive from eligible pigs

How you will be measured

  • Assured pork derives from Red Tractor assured pigs (or equivalent)
  • Meat from assured sows is not used for assured pork, but may be used for sausages and other comminuted products

AB.PQ.b

Standards

Assured pork derives from carcases meeting the required quality attributes

How you will be measured

  • The carcase is clean and free from extraneous matter
  • The carcase is free from blemish, bruising, hair, cuts and loose skin
  • Rind-on cuts derived from carcases:
    • free from hair, cuts and loose skin
    • with a maximum rind side blemish score of 2 on the AHDBs 5 point scale
  • The P2 measurement does not exceed 16mm or the combined P1+P2 does not exceed 32mm; or scanned carcases have a measured lean of 52% or more
  • The carcase cold weight does not exceed 105kg, except in the case of gilt carcases used for sausage and other comminuted products

AB.PQ.b.1

Standards

Assured offal derives from carcases meeting the required quality attributes, with the exception of weight

How you will be measured

  • The specification in PQ.2 is met, with the exception of carcase weight

AB.PQ.b.2

Standards

Assured pork derives from pork meeting the required quality attributes

How you will be measured

  • The fat is firm and white
  • The muscle is firm and of good colour
  • The muscle and fat show no sign of bruising and blood splash
  • Pork is clean, free of stickiness and any off-odour or other indication of poor quality (including PSE and DFD)
  • Primals and cuts are separated by clean cuts and are free from unnecessary cuts
  • Primals and cuts are free from loose glands such as lymphatic nodes, loose skin and other extraneous matter

AB.PQ.c

Standards

Quality specifications must be agreed with the site’s customers, documented and followed

How you will be measured

  • Specifications in place for pork primals, foodservice and retail packs of pork
  • Specifications outline the parameters to be achieved including, as a minimum, the scheme criteria
  • Specification formally agreed between the supplier and customer

Specifications

AB.PQ.d

Standards

Assured pork must meet the required microbial specification

How you will be measured

Target Upper Limit
Aerobic colony count (ACC) <1 x 104 cfu/ g 1 x 106 cfu/ g

AB.PQ.e

Standards

The site must have systems in place to monitor carcases and pork products against specifications and the scheme’s quality requirements

How you will be measured

  • System includes a visual inspection:
    • of a sample of bought-in product at intake (including inter-company transfers)
    • of all bought in product before cutting and further processing
    • of all products at specified points on the production line
    • of finished products
  • System includes microbiological testing to a risk assessed schedule:
    • frequency is dependent on risks (e.g. frequency of deliveries, microbial results and previous performance)
  • System includes organoleptic sampling of pork primals, food service and retail packs of pork against customers specifications, for tenderness, succulence, flavour and visual appearance
  • The system is documented and trained staff deliver its requirements

Schedules and results

AB.PQ.e.1

Standards

Carcases and pork products not meeting the quality attributes must not be used in the production of assured pork products, unless specific exemptions apply

How you will be measured

  • Exemptions include:
    • overweight gilt carcases being suitable for the production of assured sausages and other comminuted products
    • the offal of overweight carcases being suitable for being described as assured offal
  • Other, non-conforming products are handled in accordance with documented procedures and where applicable a root cause analysis undertaken and corrective action implemented

AB.PQ.f

Standards

Carcases must be scalded, de-haired (singed and/ or scraped as required), to produce a firm, clean and undamaged rind

AB.PQ.g

Standards

Pork and trim products must be labelled with kill date

How you will be measured

  • Primals packed in modified atmosphere packaging or vacuum packed are labelled as such, with a durability date or code
  • Pork mince may carry multiple kill dates

AB.PQ.g.1

Standards

Chilled fresh pork must be processed within kill +7 days unless specific exemptions apply

How you will be measured

  • Vacuum packed, gas flushed or deep chilled products may be processed after 7 days, provided the temperature does not exceed 3 degrees and given satisfactory documentary support that quality is not compromised
  • If the product temperature has been disturbed and exceeded 5C, the pork is processed within 4 days
  • Kill dates (as labelled on the product) is used to establish durability dates

AB.PQ.h

Standards

Any meat to be frozen before processing must be in good condition, effectively packaged and placed into a freezer within 4 days of slaughter

How you will be measured

  • Date of freezing applied
  • Where frozen, the meat is in good condition and effectively packaged at the time of freezing
  • Vacuum packed or gas flushed or deep chilled products may be processed after 4 days, provided the temperature does not exceed 3 degrees and there is satisfactory documentary support that quality is not compromised

AB.PQ.h.1

Standards

Systems must be in place to ensure that frozen pork and trim is used within 12 months of freezing

How you will be measured

  • System includes applying a date of freezing to each unit and a durability date, and having an effective stock control system

AB.PQ.i

Standards

Carcases must be transferred to temperature controlled environments without delay

AB.PQ.j

Standards

Carcases in chillers must be managed in such a way to encourage cooling and reduce condensation

How you will be measured

  • Carcase sides are spaced to allow airflow around the carcases
  • Carcase bunching is avoided
  • Hot and completely chilled carcases are not stored in the same chiller, unless hot carcases have passed through an in-line blast chill or there is evidence that the process is not compromising the safety and quality of meat already chilled

AB.PQ.j.1

Standards

Carcases and products are chilled to required temperatures, in accordance with planned chilling regimes

How you will be measured

  • The chilling regime is designed to ensure that the deep muscle temperature (when measured within the leg), does not fall below 10°C during the first 3 hours from the commencement of the cooling cycle
  • Within 24 hours of cooling to 10°C, or before the pork is cut or processed, the deep musculature is reduced to between -2˚C and +5˚C. All pork products (including finished product) are held between -2˚C and +5˚C

AB.PQ.k

Standards

Pork products (including finished product) and trim must be stored at between -2°C and +5°C for fresh product and at -12°C or below for frozen products

How you will be measured

  • The operational capability of the temperature control system is such that the required temperatures are achieved under maximum load
  • Systems are in place to minimise the ingress of warm air e.g. strip curtains

AB.PQ.l

Standards

The defrosting of frozen pork and trim must be managed to ensure the outer surface does not exceed +7°C during the defrosting period

How you will be measured

  • Defrosting undertaken in a controlled manner
  • Records of the defrosting dates, times and product temperatures are kept

Defrosting records

AB.PQ.m

Standards

Temperatures must be regularly monitored in accordance with documented procedures

How you will be measured

  • Temperatures of both chill stores and products monitored in accordance with a risk assessed schedule
  • Incoming product temperatures are checked before accepting the delivery (i.e. on the delivery vehicle). Checks are undertaken at different points within the storage unit, both between packs for packed product and product core temperatures on other products
  • Carcase temperatures measured using a probe into the deep musculature of the hindquarter and/ or forequarter
  • Records of temperature monitoring kept

Schedule, monitoring records

AB.PQ.m.1

Standards

Where temperature monitoring identifies non-conforming products, the root cause is identified and the product dealt with appropriately

How you will be measured

  • Corrective actions are implemented where appropriate
  • A record of the root cause and corrective actions is kept

Corrective actions