Fresh Canadian Pork is renowned for its high standards and quality assurance. In order to assure food service operatives that this quality is passed on to and appreciated by their customers we offer the following guidelines on the handling of fresh Pork.
|• Verify that your delivery corresponds to what was ordered.
• If vacuum packed, check the integrity of the packaging; there should be no tears or holes in the plastic. Check for excess purge.
|• Delivered pork should have a fresh appearance and smell, without blood clots or other blemishes. Surfaces should be moist, but not sticky or slimy. Fat should be white, not creamy or yellowing.
|• Loin and leg cuts should be pale and tinged with pink. Shoulder cuts are darker and more coarsely grained.
|• Check that pork is correctly packaged and chilled to a temperature of between 32° to 40°F (0° to 4°C).
|• Fresh pork is virtually odourless. If a suspicious odour is detected, check box-code dates and relay your concern to your supplier immediately. Do not use unless product quality is completely assured.
• Refrigerate on delivery, off the floor on a shelf below and separate from cooked items and other produce. Use a metal or plastic tray
to contain leakage.
• Cover well and label for easy identification.
• Calibrate refrigerators and freezers regularly. Maintain refrigerators at 32° to 40°F (0° to 4°C), freezers at or below -18°C (0°F).
• Processed, fully-cooked pork items (hams, smoked sausages, etc) are best hung in a cool environment with ample air circulation or leave
them vacuum sealed if received that way.
• Pork is not aged and will not improve with aging; it should therefore be used as soon as possible.
In a well-managed kitchen, deliveries of fresh pork should meet the needs of three days’ business at most. This will eliminate the need to
freeze pork in almost all cases. Like all proteins, there is always some quality loss as a result of freezing and thawing. To minimize texture
and taste losses, follow these guidelines when freezing:
• Inspect items to be frozen to ensure that they are in their optimal state of freshness.
• The fat in pork tends to degrade after 6 months. Do not exceed this time period.
• Freeze items as quickly as possible. Smaller items and lower temperatures both accelerate the process. The faster an item is frozen, the smaller the ice crystals formed in the protein matrix, which lessens moisture loss on thawing.
• Ensure that items are well wrapped. Spaces will promote freezer burn.
• Identify frozen items with the following information: date frozen, cut identity. It is easy to lose track of unlabelled meat items.
• Pay strict attention to stock rotation.
• Avoid freezing ham products wherever possible. Ham loses both taste and texture quality when frozen and thawed.
• Thaw at refrigerator temperature. Pork is ready for cooking when the internal temperature reaches 3°C (38°F) in the deepest part
of the meat.
• Place items to be thawed on a solid tray, on the lowest shelf.
• Pork may also be thawed in cold water, if kept in a waterproof wrapping, or in the microwave. Neither method is preferable
to refrigerator thawing.
• Once thawed, cook pork immediately.
• Never re-freeze in uncooked state.
• Portion-controlled pork is often delivered frozen; always follow correct handling and thawing procedures.
All foods have the potential to cause food-borne illness – even water. Protein foods, or foods containing protein in any amount, carry a particularly elevated risk owing to its liability to become contaminated by a range of hazardous infectious agents – pathogens. Pathogens are microorganisms that cause disease. We share our environment with a large, diverse population of microorganisms. It requires constant vigilance to exclude, or minimize, pathogenic microorganisms from our food. There are a few rules and recommended practices that, if stringently enforced, will ensure safe and sanitary food production. An outbreak of food-borne illness is uncomfortable, possibly dangerous, and even fatal for guests. An outbreak can also result in bad publicity that can ultimately doom a business.
Cross contamination is the most common cause of food-borne illness. It occurs when disease-causing elements are transferred from one contaminated surface to another. Not only bacteria, but chemicals, for example, can be equally hazardous. Avoiding cross contamination can only be achieved by a thorough knowledge of safe food practices. An inclusive guide is beyond the scope of this manual. Enrolling staff in an accredited food safety course is strongly recommended.