HACCP Plan Approved!

Sugar Mountain Farm Butcher Shop HACCP Plan

Today I received approval for the last part of our HACCP Plan: Raw Ground. This means we’ll be able to make sausages and ground pork! Our initial HACCP Plan for Raw Non-Ground was approved last week and we got our license to cut but I really wanted to get our ground license too since much of what is good about a pig is ground be it for hamburger or sausages. The HACCP system is setup to separate the raw intact from the raw ground as two separate processes so we needed to get a separate plan for each.

I have in the works a Grand Unification Theory of Raw Processing which I will present to the inspectors at a later date that will hopefully bring all of this together in a simpler, more elegant HACCP Plan. A project for another day.

Ground and Initial Sausage Labels Approved

On Wednesday we’ll be meeting with one of the inspectors to go over last details on labels. I already have approval for Intact Cuts (e.g., pork chops), Ground, Hot Italian, Sweet Italian and Chorizo. Once we have those going smoothly I’ll start adding other flavors of sausages.

On Thursday we will do our first day of inspected cutting – opening day of our butcher shop. We’ll soft start with a single pig for the day. We have previously done three half pigs under Custom Exempt as we worked out the details of the HACCP Plan, SSOPs, SOPs and GMPs.[1, 2, 3]

Also see:
HACCP Plan Meeting
HACCP & Friends Submitted

Outdoors: 71°F/46°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/61°F

Daily Spark: One of the interesting things about getting a book in the mail, especially a used book, is that I learn a lot about the person who read it last as it carries their scent and sometimes notes like a well loved bone.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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11 Responses to HACCP Plan Approved!

  1. aminthepm says:

    Congratulations !

  2. eggyknap says:

    You’ve written previously about what happens to bones and offal when you butcher the occasional family pig. How does that change now? What about later, when you have slaughter on-farm as well?

    • I carefully wrote into our HACCP that we will continue to be able to feed the dogs, the chickens and compost. It is a new thing but the state likes this. Times are a changing, changing, changing back to the old ways of waste not want not.

      • Farmerbob1 says:

        Hrm. You’ve certainly considered this, but I’d like to hear more about it.

        Once you start doing all your own slaughter, are you going to be able to compost all the wastes? You don’t have a huge operation, but you do process a lot of animals. It takes time to compost.

        I know you have a lot of land that you don’t use for the pigs. Are you going to develop a new section of your land for rotational composting and put permanent chicken pens on it for insect control? With all the pig bits going into composting piles, are you concerned about attracting more predators?

        • Yes, composting all the ‘wastes’ is a very desirable thing and our goal. That keeps the nutrients here on the farm. The volume is not all that great. We already do composting such as if a pig dies here on the farm so we’re very familiar with how it works. The time to compost isn’t a person time thing but a passage of time and it does not take much land. I suspect you’re thinking that it is a far bigger deal than it really is. The dogs already control predators and the composting doesn’t generate large amounts of insects. See some of the compost articles. It’s really quite easy and not at all time consuming for us.

          • Farmerbob1 says:

            Never done a large composting effort, and certainly never done butchering. My interest was because the numbers between a hanging pig and a live pig indicate a decent chunk of mass per pig will be going to compost. The dogs will certainly want a lot of the organ meat and bones. The chickens will surely eat a lot too. I’m sure that you will restrict pigs from eating pig, for several reasons.

            That’s still going to leave a lot of mass when you go into full production, isn’t it? How much area are you going to have to set aside for composting for the butcher shop?

          • Most of that mass is the gut contents: manure. There is also some organ meat like lungs, spleen and such. Other organs are sold such as liver, heart, tongue, kidney, some skin, some bones. Any of those that aren’t sold go down the line to our table, the dogs, the chickens and finally the compost pile in that pecking order. We already feed that sort of good animal food to the chickens and dogs which is why we don’t have to buy chicken food. Pigs don’t get any although they would dearly love it. They have no compunction about cannibalism – we just don’t offer it to them. Instead it and pasture goes through the chickens and comes out as fresh eggs which we cook to double the available protein and tend towards the younger weaner pigs.

            The compost area for the butcher shop isn’t all that large at about 30’x30′. It is only about 60,000 lbs a year which comes out to be around 72 cubic yards a year – much less once it has finished composting. The yield will be more like 25 cu-yd a year of rich soil amendment. The 60,000 lbs sounds like a lot but realize that most of that is water. After composting it is much smaller.

  3. Farmerbob1 says:

    Everything seems to be coming together quickly now!

  4. John L says:

    Congratulations to you all. This is wonderful. The fruits of all your labour. May all your sausages be tasty!

  5. terry says:

    Such exciting things going on at “Sugar Mountain Farm”! I love the fact I have been reading and following this for some time now and your families dreams are coming true. Keep up the good work and I hope the on farm butchering creates some free time since Holly will not be making the trip every week with live pigs. Take care and keep me posted to the west in Wisconsin!

  6. Linda says:

    Whoo hoooo congrats congrats !!!

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