AFDO/Seafood Alliance HACCP Training Course to be held in December

All commercial fish processors, staff required to take course if not currently certified.

Lake whitefish being placed in automated filleting machine. Commercial fish processors are required either to obtain formal training for one or more of their employees or to hire trained independent contractors. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

Lake whitefish being placed in automated filleting machine. Commercial fish processors are required either to obtain formal training for one or more of their employees or to hire trained independent contractors. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

A Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Training Course coordinated by Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held December 13-15, 2016 at Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley, Mich. All fish processors are required to take this training if they are not currently certified.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) consists of identifying safety hazards, determining where they occur, monitoring these points and recording the results. HACCP involves day-to-day monitoring of critical control points by production employees. The Seafood HACCP regulation that is enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is based on the belief that commercial fish processors can understand the food safety hazards of their products and take reasonable steps to control them. Commercial fish processors are required either to obtain formal training for one or more of their employees or to hire trained independent contractors to perform the HACCP functions.

The HACCP regulation requires processors to keep extensive records of processing and sanitation at their facilities.

Since implementation of Seafood HACCP in the U.S. seafood has become the safest and healthiest form of muscle protein consumed in the world. Fish-attributed illness outbreaks have continued to drop by year. For instance, from 1998 to 2004, an average of 65 illnesses were recorded per year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2005 to 2012, the average was 32 illnesses per year.

At times, questions arise as to whether someone needs training in Seafood HACCP. The Seafood HACCP regulation defines processing as handling, storing, preparing, heading, eviscerating, shucking, freezing, changing into different market forms, manufacturing, preserving, packing, labeling, dockside unloading, or holding fish or fishery products. The regulation does not apply to the harvest or transport of fishery products. It also does not apply to practices such as heading, eviscerating or freezing intended solely to prepare fish for holding on a harvest vessel. Retail establishments are also exempt from the Seafood HACCP regulation.

Fish processors who complete the course put themselves at a competitive advantage as they can then produce value-added products such as smoked fish and caviar. Those completing the course will receive a Seafood Alliance HACCP Certificate issued through the Association of Food and Drug Officials that is recognized by agencies regulating fish processors.

The workshop agenda and registration information can be found by visiting the Michigan Sea Grant website.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

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