Michigan Catch & Cook to be highlighted at the Michigan Charter Boat Association Annual Meeting
As more charter captains enroll in the Michigan Catch & Cook program, Michigan Sea Grant will provide a presentation on fish handling procedures and food safety requirements at the next Michigan Charter Boat Association Annual Meeting.
Charter fishing customers who fish on the Michigan Great Lakes now can take the fish they catch to restaurants participating in the Michigan Catch & Cook program to have them prepared for a meal immediately after their fishing trip. The Michigan Catch & Cook was developed as an effort to promote and encourage creative, yet safe, marketing of Michigan Great Lakes sports fish through a partnership with the charter fishing industry and local restaurants. Partners in the development of the Catch & Cook program included Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Charter Boat Association, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Restaurant Association.
As more licensed charter captains register with the fast growing Catch & Cook program, Michigan Sea Grant will be conducting a presentation on fish handling procedures and food safety requirements at the next Michigan Charter Boat Association Annual Meeting in October. Charter captains will learn about key steps in a food sanitation program that will include safety of water used in fish processing, condition and cleanliness of food contact surfaces, prevention of cross- contamination, maintenance of hand washing/sanitizing facilities, protection from compounds that should not be used around fish processing, employee health conditions, and exclusion of pests. Discussion will also focus on the proper use of detergents for cleaning and the correct use of sanitizers.
When charter captains have properly processed the fish for use in the Catch & Cook program, it must be packaged in food grade packaging material that includes handling instructions directed at the customer. Upon transfer of the processed fish to the customer, charter captains will want to make sure it is put in a cooler with ice so that the fish is maintained at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Fish must be delivered to the restaurant within two hours of processing and the restaurant has the right to refuse any fish that it deems was not properly handled.