b. Cause of Iridescence. Areas of iridescence are frequently found on the cut
surface of cured, smoked meats. This color is not due to the curing agents but to the
breaking up of white light by the highly fibrous character of the surface and the fat film
on these fibers. It does not affect the flavor or quality of the meat and has no sanitary
significance. Uncured or improperly cured areas will normally be light in color and have
a fresh meat appearance.
Section III. SAUSAGE
Sausage is a natural product of the meat industry because it makes use of meat
trimmings in combination with cuts of meat to produce a marketable product. In this
way, the trimmings are not wasted but used to return a profit. Sausage is meat which
has been comminuted and further processed. Further processing includes chopping,
flavoring, stuffing, linking, curing, cooking, smoking, drying, or any combination of these
processes. For our purposes here, sausage will be classified as domestic and dry.
6-17. DOMESTIC SAUSAGE
Within this classification, there are five categories of sausage. With the
exception of fresh pork sausage, most sausage is smoked, cooked, and cured with
nitrates and/or nitrites.
a. Fresh Pork Sausage. This sausage, as the name implies, is prepared with
chopped pork and spices. It is not cured, smoked, or cooked. Only enough water is
added to facilitate chopping. The sausage is stuffed into casings, and molded into links
or prepared in patty form. It requires refrigeration and must be cooked before serving.
The shelf life of this product is very short.
b. Smoked Pork Sausage. Smoked pork sausage is an all-pork product with
spices and curing agents added to the chopped pork. Unlike fresh pork sausage, the
stuffed link is subjected to a hardwood smoke and has the appearance and flavor of a
smoked product. Smoked sausage must be kept under adequate refrigeration and
cooked before serving. Examples of smoked sausage are smoked sausage links and
c. Smoked and Cooked Sausage. This sausage is composed of beef and
pork; the percentages of each are determined by the desired end item. The meat
components are ground through a conventional meat grinder, processed in a silent
cutter, vacuumized, stuffed into casings, smoked, and cooked. This process increases
the shelf life substantially. These are ready-to-serve sausages. Examples of smoked
and cooked sausages are frankfurters, bologna, and Vienna sausage.