The name 'Parma Ham' is exclusively reserved for hams bearing the Ducal Crown, the indelible and unique brand given at the end of the ageing period. The final branding, however, is only the last step of a long identification process.
Every stage of the rigorous quality control plan can be tested and proven. This is what is meant by traceability. The entire history of each leg of Parma Ham is visible through, seals, brands and tattoos marked on its skin.
It begins with the breeder who puts a special tattoo on both legs of the young pig within 30 days of birth. This shows the breeder’s identification code and a code indicating the month of the animal’s birth.
It continues with the slaughterhouse where every fresh trimmed leg is checked and branded with a mark permanently identifying it. The mark has the initials “PP” and the slaughterhouse identification.
Next there is the metal seal made up of a circular crown showing the C.P.P. (Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma) initials and the date curing began.
Finally, the five-point Ducal Crown brand is stamped under the strict control of the I.P.Q. inspectors and is the final guarantee of the quality of the ham. The Ducal Crown also shows the identification code of the producer. the strict control of the I.P.Q. inspectors and is the final guarantee of the quality of the ham. The Ducal Crown also shows the identification code of the producer.