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Curing and Sausage Making Safe Food Principles. Retail Meat & Poultry Processing Training Modules. Produced under a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Developed by: Minnesota Department of Agriculture,

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Curing and Sausage Making Safe Food Principles

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curing and sausage making safe food principles

Curing and Sausage MakingSafe Food Principles

Retail Meat & Poultry Processing

Training Modules

Produced under a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Developed by:

Minnesota Department of Agriculture,

Dairy and Food Inspection Division

Hennepin County Environmental Health

Minnesota Department of Health

University of Minnesota Extension Service

September 2004


Sausage definition

Types of sausage

Role of ingredients

Function of cure

Cure rates

Casing label requirements


Critical control points

Steps in processing

Cooking temperatures

Cooling guidelines


Labeling requirement

Storage and display


learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • List 3 types of sausage.
  • Name 4 main ingredients and their purpose.
  • Explain the function of cure and acceptable cure rates.
  • Identify the critical control points of a HACCP plan in sausage making.
  • Recite the cooling requirements for sausage.
  • List 4 items that are required on a sausage label.
sausage history
Sausage History
  • Sausage production is one of the earliest forms of food preservation
  • The word sausage is derived from the Latin word “Salsus” which means salted meat
role of salt
Role of Salt
  • Salt plays a more limited role in sausage preservation today
  • Present day salt levels provide less of a preservative effect than the higher levels of the past
  • Most sausage recipes contain 1-3% salt
  • Salt levels are usually adjusted for taste
sausage definition
Sausage Definition:

A mixture of ground or chopped meats combined with spices and other ingredients and usually formed or shaped in casings of various sizes

primary sausage types
Primary Sausage Types
  • Fresh Sausages
  • Cooked Sausages
  • Fermented Sausages
  • Meat Loaves and Jellied Products
fresh sausages
Fresh Sausages
  • Raw/uncooked meat product
  • Does not contain the “curing” ingredient nitrite or nitrate
  • Examples are: fresh pork sausage, fresh bratwurst, and fresh Italian sausage
cooked sausage
Cooked Sausage
  • Fully cooked ready-to-eat sausages
  • Most are also smoked but may be water or steam cooked as well
  • May be eaten without reheating
  • Examples include: wieners, smoked sausages, bologna, cooked bratwurst
fermented sausages
Fermented Sausages
  • Have a characteristic “tangy” flavor
  • Produced through fermentation by lactic acid producing bacteria or the direct addition of encapsulated acids
  • These sausages can be shelf-stable with the proper amount of drying and acidification
  • Semi-dry: summer sausage and snack sticks
  • Dry: pepperoni, hard salami
meat loaves and jellied products
Meat loaves and Jellied Products
  • Loaves: Mixtures of chopped meat that are usually “formed” and cooked in pans or metal molds
    • Examples: pickle and pimento loaf and honey loaf
  • Jellied products: consist of a cooked mixture of meat chunks placed in gelatin
    • Examples: jellied roast beef and head cheese

Head Cheese

sausage ingredients
Sausage Ingredients:
  • Meat
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Cure
  • Reducing Agents
  • Binders and Extenders
  • Water
  • Casings

Use only fresh

meat in good

condition and

from an



  • Maintain all meats at a temperature of 41°F or less during storage and production prior to cooking.
  • Salt is a necessary ingredient for flavor
  • It aids in preserving some sausages
  • It is essential for extracting the “soluble” meat protein that is responsible for binding the sausage together when the sausage is heated
  • Most sausages contain 1-3 % salt
  • All spices and seasoning should be fresh to achieve maximum and consistent flavors
  • Store seasonings at 55°F or below in air tight containers to maintain freshness
meat curing ingredients
Meat Curing Ingredients
  • Nitrates and nitrites are the common “curing” ingredients used in the production of sausage
  • Nitrite is the compound that distinguishes fresh products from cured products
  • Nitrate is converted to nitrite during the fermentation and cooking process
function of cure
Functionof Cure
  • provides protection against the growth of botulism
  • extends shelf life
  • stabilizes the flavor of the cured meat
  • used to achieve the characteristic flavor and color
cure caution
Cure: Caution !!
  • Too much: can be toxic to humans!
  • Too little: can result in the growth of harmful bacteria!
  • Federal regulations:
    • maximum of 2.75 ounces of sodium or potassium nitrateper 100 pounds of chopped meat, or
    • 0.25 ounces of sodium or potassium nitriteper 100 pounds of chopped meat
cure rates are critical
Cure Rates are Critical!
  • Most cures are added in the form of commercial premixes
  • Use the cure premixes according to labeled directions only
  • Any use other than according to labeled directions will produce an unsafe and illegal product
addition of cure ingredients
Addition of Cure Ingredients
  • Today we use injection, tumbling and direct mixing of cure ingredients
  • Tumbling forces the cure into the muscle under vacuum
  • Other methods include:
    • Dry rubbing
    • Artery pumping
    • Soaking in brine containing cure
curing accelerators
Curing Accelerators
  • Speed up the curing process, reduce the holding time
  • Examples are ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or sodium erythorbate (isoascorbic acid)
  • Must be used according to labeled directions
binders and extenders
Binders and Extenders

Binders -

  • Help to improve flavor and retain natural juices.

Extenders -

  • Can reduce the cost of sausage formulation.
  • Examples: nonfat dry milk, cereal flours, and soy protein products
  • Added torehydratethe nonfat dry milk and toreplace the expected moisture lossduring smoking and cooking
  • Up to10 percent by weight of watermay be added to most sausages
  • No water is added to sausages that will be dried
  • Casings are either natural or synthetic
  • Natural casings are from sheep, hog, or cattle intestines or manufactured from collagen (an animal protein)
  • Synthetic casings are usually made from cellulose
casing label requirements
Casing Label Requirements
  • Beginning Sept. 5, 2001 FSIS regulations require sausage manufacturers to label the source of natural sausage casings if they are derived from a different type of meat or poultry than the meat or poultry encased in the sausage.
  • Sausage products encased in regenerated collagen casings will have to have a statement on the label disclosing the use of regenerated collagen. (The processing of regenerated collagen casings renders the detection of the species proteins impossible).
product identity and standards
Product Identity and Standards
  • Processor must be familiar with the Standard of Identity for the products produced.
  • Federal regulations are very specific in limiting the fat content, the amount of water added, the presence of extenders and variety meats in sausages.
haccp plan
  • A proper HACCP plan should be followed for the safe production of meat products.
  • A HACCP plan provides a careful analysis of the hazards and describes critical control points in the process to control these hazards.
steps in processing
Steps in Processing
  • Particle Size Reduction:
    • Grind; Chop; Mince; Shred; Chunk
  • Mixing:
    • Mixers; Massager; Tumblers: Chopper: Emulsifier
  • Stuffing
  • Linking/Tying
  • Fermenting (optional)
  • Smoking/Cooking
  • Chilling
  • Peeling/Packaging
cooking ccp
Cooking (CCP)
  • All meat products must be cooked to the required temperature to kill pathogens
  • 158°F is considered adequate for pork and beef
  • 160°F is considered adequate for poultry
  • Internal cook temperature and cook times must be carefully monitored and recorded
  • FSIS Compliance Guidelines recommend that cooked meat products be cooled to below 80°F in less than 1.5 hours and below 40°F in less than 5 hours
  • Care must be taken to prevent cross contamination of cooked meats prior to packaging
  • Specific procedures must be followed if cooked meat products are vacuum packaged
  • When packaging ready-to-eat foods, limit bare hand contact
  • Utensils, tissues or gloves must be used

All prepackaged meat products must be properly labeled to include the following:

  • Product name
  • Ingredient statement containing a complete list of ingredients.
  • Handling/perishability statement-“Keep Refrigerated” or “Keep Frozen” must be provided on all products that are not shelf stable. Safe handling instructions must be provided on prepackaged raw meats.
  • Statement of net weight
  • Name and addressof the manufacturer/ distributor
storage and display
Storage and Display
  • All meat products must be held at a temperature of 41°F or below while in storage or display
  • Raw meats must be stored below and away from cooked meats
  • Meat cut into thin strips and then dried to preserve it
  • It can be flavored or treated during the drying process to improve flavor or nutritional content
  • Made from beef, venison, moose, elk, antelope and other game animals
  • Trim all of the fat and membrane that you can as you cut up the meat
  • Cut the meat into thin strips across the grain of the meat
  • The thinner the strips are, the quicker it will dry
drying jerky
Drying Jerky
  • Lay out strips on a sheet in a single layer
  • Lay the meat slices on a grill or grate that allows air to reach all parts of the slice
  • Store in a cool dry area in a sealed container after it is well cooled
  • Jerky meat withcure can be cold smoked or dried at lower temperatures
  • Jerky meat without cure must be cooked or processed at temperatures greater than 160ºF

Properly prepared sausage and

meat products:

  • add to consumer convenience
  • enhance color and flavor
  • upgrade the value of raw materials
  • increase the shelf life
  • add to the safety of the product
wrap up
  • Do you have any questions?
  • What information was new?
  • How will you apply what you learned today?
  • Posttest