Many Portuguese sausages, especially in the Trás-os-Montes region, are prepared by smoking for weeks or even months. Examples include chouriço, salpicão, paio, etc. I don't seem to be able to find Portuguese sausages in this heavily smoked style in the United States.

Do USDA regulations allow the production and sale this type of sausage?

  • 1
    I am not familiar with the specific products you ask about, but there are other items such as Virginia or Country style ham that are commonly slow smoked for weeks in the US so time is not a disqualification. However, those hams are heavily cured. If these are not cured sausages, there may be health related issues. I would suspect though it may be a cost vs. demand issue with processors not finding enough market to justify costs. Someone familiar with the specific sausages may know of a specific disqualification though.
    – dlb
    Aug 17, 2018 at 14:51
  • I'm unsure about the inclusion of curing salt commercial manufacture in Portugal, but the traditional products do not use it. Chouriço is made of chopped pork, garlic, wine and spices (in particular paprika). Salpicão is a whole muscle product, pork loin soaked in wine and garlic for many days then encased in hog middles before smoking. I'm less certain of how Paio is made, but I believe it is similar to the salpicão only the loin is chopped before stuffing. None are heavily salted like a country ham. Aug 17, 2018 at 16:38
  • Good question! I can't find anything online, mostly because I keep finding advice for home smoking instead of commercial regulations. The USA may require that sausages that are going to be smoked more than a few hours also be cured, but I'm not sure,
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 21, 2018 at 0:59
  • Isn't this regulated state by state ?
    – Max
    Oct 24, 2018 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


There are several additional questions that your original question brings about, if you are in the context of the USDA and regulations. Whether or not the USDA allows for this kind of sausage production is a different question to whether or not there are producers who are actually doing it.

Are you interested in producing the sausages yourself to sell, or are you just looking for people who might be producing them for you to buy?

The USDA website for its Food Safety and Inspection Service, who would likely regulate this kind of production, is here: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/home

This would be where you would look to find out if the regulations prohibit the production, or if there are specific prohibitions to ingredients or processes that are part of the production.

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