Seafood Alliance HACCP training course to be held in December

Commercial fish processors are encouraged to register for certification course.

Lake whitefish fillets exit an automated filleting machine. A certification course in safe fish processing will be held in December 2015 in the Upper Peninsula. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

Lake whitefish fillets exit an automated filleting machine. A certification course in safe fish processing will be held in December 2015 in the Upper Peninsula. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

A Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Training Course coordinated by Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Dec. 8-10, 2015, at the Ojibwa Casino Resort in Baraga, 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 own 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.

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 a 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, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

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