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1.This document is AS-12, one of a series of the Department of Animal Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institut e of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date First Printed: August 1981, Date Reviewed: April 1999. Please visit the FAIRS Web site at http://hammock.ifas.ufl.edu .The Institute of Food and A g ricultural Sciences is an equal opportunit y /affirmative action emplo y er authorized to provide research, educational information and other services onl y to individuals and institutions that function without re g ard to race, color, sex, a g e, handicap, or national ori g in. For information on obtainin g other extension publications, contact y our count y Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and A g ricultural Sciences / Universit y of Florida / Christine Ta y lor Waddill, Dean2.R. L. Reddish,Former Professor, Extension Meats Specialist, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultura l Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.AS-12Facts About Ham1 R. L. Reddish2There are many kinds, shapes and styles of hams onpicnic," "pork shoulder butt," or similar products, except the market. Many of these hams are produced for specialsuch products prepared for canning, shall not ex ceed the uses, such as quantity f ood service operations, banquets,weight of the fresh uncured article. and uses where almost exact portions are desired. Some price variations in cured smoked hams are duecuring than it did in the fresh, raw state. to the following: 1) Amount of shrinkage, including cu tting and cooking losses. 2) Kind and amount of cure. 3) Size of portion purchased, such as slices, portions, halves or whole hams. 4) Ease of preparation, cooking, carving and serving. 5) Processing temperature for the particular kind of ham. 6) Shape and style of packaging which varies with different packer brands.I. What are the different k inds of h ams?The Federal Register Volume 35, Number 193, partsimilar pr oducts, shall not increase in weight more than II, 1970, contains the descriptions of cured and smoked8% over the weight of the fresh, uncured article. pork items. A. Smoked products the weight of any smoked product such as "ham," "pork shoulder," "pork shoulder In brief a smoked ham cannot weigh any more after B. Cured, water-added products cured, smoked pork products resembling ham, shoulder, or other pork products which contain no more moisture (water added) than 10% of the weight of the fresh uncured product. Products of this type which have been pumped prior to curing and smoking may be sold as "Water Added" if the gain in weight (due to water added) is no more than 10% of the fresh weight. In other words, if a batch of hams weighed 400 lbs. fresh they could weigh up to 440 lbs. after smoking and pass inspection if they were labeled "Water Added" provided the increase in water added was no more than 40 lbs (Figure 1). C. Imitation Hams cured, smoked hams which weigh more than 10% of their fresh, uncured weight after smoking must be labeled imitation" (Figure 2). D. Canned Products The preparation of any canned products such as "ham," "pork shoulder picnic," or
Facts About Ham Pa g e 2April 1999 Figure 1 Hams pumped, cured, smoked wei g ht increases due to water added below 440 lbs. Figure 2 Hams pumped, cured, smoked wei g ht increases due to water added above 440 lbs.The canned ham might not be as advantageous as you think if you consider the following: 1. They can yield up to 8% more of the fresh weight without being labeled Water Added." 2. The ham and the gelatin are considered net weight. Actually everything except the can is included in net weight. 3. Many canned hams "should be" stored under refrigeration.II. How are cured, smoked hams, cured smoked picnics, cured smoked pork loins, cured smoked bacon and smoked sausage treated to prevent infestat ions of trichinae?Two methods are used primarily in the meat industry. Heat treatment these pork products are heated to a temperature of at least 137 ( F. for thirty minutes. Freezing treatment required periods of freezing at the following temperatures: Temperature F.Group 1 (days)Group 2 (days) 52030 -101020 -20612 Group 1 comprises products in separate pi eces not exceeding six inches in thickne ss, or arranged on separate racks with the layers not exceeding six inches in depth, or stored in crates or boxes not exceeding six inches in depth, or stored as solidly frozen blocks not exceeding six inches in thickness. Group 2 comprises products in pi eces, layers or within containers, the thickness of which exceects six inches but is less than 27 inches; and products in containers including tierces, barrels, kegs and cartons having a thickness not exceeding 27 inches.III. What is the di fference in a w hole ham,a half ham, and a portion or end of the ham?Figure 3 shows the different ham parts. IV. Which is the best ham buy w hole ham, half ham, or a portion?Usually the whole ham is the best buy because you get all the ham including the center slices.V. How should cured and smoked h ams and canned hams be stored?
Facts About Ham Pa g e 3April 1999 Figure 3 .Usually cured and smoked hams and canned hams should be stored under refrigeration. Country cured hams usually will not spoil if held at room temperature but open air storage increases rancidity and damages from parasites which cause infestation at room temperature. Most canned hams should be stored under refrigeration as usually stated on the can.VI. Is it wise to store cured smoked hams at feezer temperatures (0 ( ( F. or below)?No. Cured smoked meats lose flavor and dehydrate some during freezer storage. USDA Home and Garden Bulletin 174, "Meat and Poultry Care Tips for You," recommends the following storage periods:PRODUCT STORAGEMAINTAINS PERIODQUALITY refri g eratorfreezer 35-40 ( F, da y s0 ( F, months Ham, ( whole ) 7 1 to 2 Ham, ( half ) 3 to 5 1 to 2 Ham, ( slices ) 3 1 to 2KNOW THE HAM YOU BUY Ham Labeling Explanation 1. Cured Smoked Ham Amount of Cure or Pumping.Hams labeled as smoked hams can contain no more cure or extra weight than the raw ham or green weight ham. Processing or smokehouse treatment: The ham must be heated to an internal temperature of 137 ( F.2. Smoked Cured Ham Water AddedHams labeled "Water Added" can contain up to 10% more cure or additional weight than the raw or green weight ham. Processing or smokehouse treatment: The ham must be heated to an internal temperature of 137 ( F.3. Smoked Cured Ham Water Added Fully Cooked.The "Water Added" ham as described in number 2 should be smoked and processed as follows: Cured and smoked pork products labeled Cooked, Thoroughly Cooked, Ready to Eat, Ready to Serve, or Fully Cooked are heated to an internal temperature of 148 ( F.4. Imitation Cured Smoked HamHams labeled as "Imitation" can contain over 10% more cure or additional weight than the raw or green weight ham. Processing or smokehouse treatment: The ham must be heated to an internal temperature of 137 ( F.