U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 24, 2023
(a) “Country Ham,” “Country Style Ham,” or “Dry Cured Ham,” and “Country Pork Shoulder,” “Country Style Pork Shoulder,” or “Dry Cured Pork Shoulder.” are the uncooked, cured, dried, smoked or unsmoked meat food products made respectively from a single piece of meat conforming to the definition of “ham,” as specified in § 317.8(b)(13) of this subchapter, or from a single piece of meat from a pork shoulder. They are prepared in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section by the dry application of salt (NaCl), or by the dry application of salt (NaCl) and one or more of the optional ingredients as specified in paragraph (d) of this section. They may not be injected with curing solutions nor placed in curing solutions.
(b)(1) The entire exterior of the ham or pork shoulder shall be coated by the dry application of salt or by the dry application of salt combined with other ingredients as permitted in paragraph (d) of this section.
(2) Additional salt, or salt mixed with other permitted ingredients, may be reapplied to the product as necessary to insure complete penetration.
(3) When sodium or potassium nitrate, or sodium or potassium nitrite, or a combination thereof, is used, the application of salt shall be in sufficient quantity to insure that the finished product has an internal salt content of at least 4 percent.
(4) When no sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, sodium nitrite, potassium nitrite or a combination thereof is used, the application of salt shall be in sufficient quantity to insure that the finished product has a brine concentration of not less than 10 percent or a water activity of not more than 0.92.
(7) The weight of the finished hams and pork shoulders covered in this section shall be at least 18 percent less than the fresh uncured weight of the article.
(c) The optional ingredients for products covered in this section are:
(1) Nutritive sweeteners, spices, seasonings and flavorings.
(2) Sodium or potassium nitrate and sodium or potassium nitrite if used as prescribed in this section and in accordance with a regulation permitting that use in this subchapter or 9 CFR Chapter III, Subchapter E, or in 21 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter A or Subchapter B.