5.1 Minimum Requirements
The minimum requirements for Serrano ham as defined in this specifications sheet are as follows:
Minimum green (blood-in) weight as established in section 2.1.
Minimum fat thickness as established in section 2.1.
Maximum temperature of 3º C in the interior of the cut when received and salted.
Minimum curing time of 210 days from the beginning of salting.
Minimum reduction of 33% of green (blood-in) weight.
Drying index and maximum salt content as established in sections 4.1.2 and 4.1.3.
Organoleptic properties as expressed in section 4.2.
5.2 Certification Bodies
These elements shall be controlled by the Certification Agencies listed below, as well as by any other authorized body which complies with the EN-45011 standard in the agri-food industry, and which has been authorized by the relevant authority.
AENOR, Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification
ECAL-E, Spanish Food Certification Body
Which comply with the EN-45011 standard, which own or hire laboratories complying with the EN-45011 standard, and which posses the necessary means to certify products in accordance with the registered Technical Specifications.
5.3 Control Procedures
It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that the Technical Specifications are fully complied
with. Manufacturers must therefore have written guidance describing the control procedures carried out using statistical criteria, both during the production process and on the finished product. They must also register and maintain all documentation verifying that such controls have been performed, and must present it to certification agencies and the relevant authorities when required.
Certification agencies are responsible for auditing the manufacturer's control system and the properties of the final product.
The results of the control procedures are then submitted to a certifying committee comprising all interested parties. The committee will assess the results contained in the reports in such a way that the companies being evaluated remain anonymous.
As an additional, basic element of verification, the certification bodies must also determine the number of pieces sold by the certified companies using the registered Serrano Ham designation.
These bodies shall provide numbered labels in accordance with requests received from certified companies or, where relevant, shall create a reliable control system for the numeration established by the manufacturer. Such numbering is used to ensure that the number of hams sold by each company under the Serrano Ham designation coincides with the number of hams that have been produced and checked in accordance with the Technical Specifications contained in the documentation related to each batch.
This control system is applicable for all commercial formats of Serrano ham.
5.3.1 Granting the Certificate of Approval
Certification bodies shall carry out an initial certification of manufacturing companies interested in producing Serrano ham. Interested companies must request said certification in writing from an authorized certification body, thereby committing themselves to fulfilling all requirements contained in the specifications sheet and carrying out the relevant controls to ensure compliance.
The interested party must also provide documentation justifying fulfillment of applicable legal and technical and health regulations, as well as the adaptation of their work and control system procedures to fit the requirements contained in the specifications sheet.
Once it has been determined that all documentation is in order, the certification body will designate a team of auditors and the certification audit, where the veracity of the information provided will be checked, as well as all documentation, controls carried out by the manufacturer and the properties of the final product.
The auditors will then provide an Audit Report. This report, together with the analytic and organoleptic results, will be evaluated by the certification committee, who will assess the interested parties anonymously.
The Certificate of Approval will be granted by the committee if the report is favorable, together with the "Traditional Speciality Guaranteed" designation and the European Community symbol. If the report is unfavorable, the interested party must rectify any deficiencies detected before a new request for certification may be made.
5.3.2 Maintaining the Certificate of Approval
Once the Certificate of Approval has been obtained from the certification bodies, periodic monitoring and validation audits shall be carried out, depending on the production volume of the company. During these follow-up audits, compliance with the specifications sheet shall be verified through an audit of the manufacturer's control system and examination of documentation provided by the company; random controls on the various phases of production and on the traceability of different batches; statistical tests on the finished product, both in the factory and in the market.
SERRANO HAM PRESENTATIONS