PORK. The pre-eminent position occupied by Chicago in the pork trade is acknowledged universally, therefore, it may be de sirable, in dealing with this subject, to give the regulations en forced there in the curing, packing and branding of this article.
A number of inspectors are appointed by the Board of Trade, the payment of these inspectors depending on the buyer or seller. If, on examination, the article offered for sale does not pass the standards as mentioned below, the cost of inspection is paid by the seller ; but if it passes, the cost is borne by the purchaser. The rules and regulations of the inspection are as follows : It shall be the duty of the inspector, as requested by the owner, either at any packing-house, warehouse, or in yards provided by the inspector, to inspect according to the classification and quality authorized for standard packing ; two hundred pounds of meat, with abundance of salt, to be re-packed into each barrel; cooper age to be put in good order ; each barrel of provisions that is sound, sweet, and free from every defect to have grade and date of inspection branded thereon ; and any portion that is defective to be branded, in like manner, "rusty," "sour," or "tainted," as the case may be, across the regular inspection brand Mess Pork shall be packed from sides of well-fatted hogs, cut in strips not exceeding six and one half inches wide and flanked according to diagram as nearly as possible, and not back-stripped, 196 pounds of green meat, numbering not over sixteen pieces, including only the regular portion of flank and shoulder cuts ; four layers to be packed in each barrel, with not less than forty pounds of Turk's Island, St. ITtes, or Trepanne', or 45 pounds of other good qualities of foreign or domestic coarse salt and clear brine as strong as the salt will make it (see Plate No. 1).
Clear Pork shall be packed from sides of extra heavy, well—fatted hogs, cut, selected and packed in the same manner as Mess Pork, the backbone and half the rib next it to be taken out.
Extra Clear Pork. Same as clear, except that all the ribs and backbone &hall be taken out.
Mess Ordinary, or Thin. Mess. Of hogs reasonably well-fatted too light for Mess Pork, cut, selected, and packed in the same manner as Mess, no restriction whatever as to the number of pieces to the barrel.
Rump Pork. Rumps should be trimmed with only enough taken off to make them neat and smooth, the tail cut off close; each barrel to contain 200 pounds of green meat, packed with the same quantity and quality of salt as Mess Pork.
Prime Pork shall be packed with a header of side cuts, the regular width, 3i heads. It may have three rumps, with the bal ance shoulder cuts. The shoulders should have the rib in them and cut into three pieces each, according to the diagram, the foot to be cut oft' above the knee and the shank cracked near the shoulder. Head to be split through the brain, and tongue, snout, and ears cut off and brains removed ; each barrel to contain 200 pounds of green meat, and to be packed with the same quantity and quality of salt as Mess Pork, heads to be soaked before being packed.
Extra Prime Pork shall be made from heavy, untrimmed shoul_ ders, cut into three pieces, according to diagram, the leg to be cut close to the breast ; to be packed 200 pounds of green meat in each barrel, with the same quantity and quality of salt as Mess Pork.
Prime mess Pork shall be made of shoulders and sides of nice, smooth, hnd fat hogs, weighing from 120 to 170 net, regularly cut into square pieces, as near 4 pounds each as possi ble, the shank to be cut off close to the breast ; each barrel to contain 200 pounds of green meat, in the proportion of 20 pieces of shoulder and 30 pieces of side cuts, and to be packed with the same quality and quantity of salt as Mess Pork, with the addition of 4 ounces of saltpetre. The prime pieces shall be cut free of blade bone. The shoulder pieces not to exceed 90 pounds in each barrel. When re-salted, the brine shall be drawn off and new brine added (see Cut No. 2).
Pickled Hams and Shoulders. The number of pieces and green weight meat must be branded on the head of each tierce.
Long, short, clear and back are packed in the months of June, July, August, and September by some houses, 200 pounds in the barrel, and will not gain in weight unless put in the ice-house and then goes back when exposed to a warm temperature ; 180 pounds, packed in cool weather, when thoroughly salted, will weigh out 200 pounds, and often overrun from 5 to 10 pounds; 180 pounds is the quantity of fresh pork put in barrels in cool weather by all the leading packers. It is known that some pack 190 pounds to the barrel after the pork has been salted on the premises of the packer ; hence, there is no gain, and the retailer is loser. It is best to buy of the principal packers whose reputations are fixed.