PEI Seafood Processors take a Proactive Approach to Plant Sanitation
Sanitation is a necessary way of life in seafood processing. Prince Edward Island Seafood Processors are taking a proactive approach in maintaining high standards within their processing plants.
Given the recent Maple Leaf Listeria contamination incident, there are heightened concerns for food safety especially for Listeria. It is ubiquitous and dangerous to people with depressed immune systems (20-30% fatality rate). Listeria can take residence in a food processing plant and be difficult to completely eliminate. But Listeria can be controlled using proper measures.
The Seafood Processors Association sponsored two one-day workshops conducted by the Food Technology Centre (FTC) on the control of Listeria in seafood processing plants. To identify any Listeria concerns in a seafood plant, a project leading up to the workshop involved environmental monitoring of three separate processing plants on PEI. FTC staff went to these individual plants to help evaluate and swab areas within the plant that could serve as potential sources of contamination or trouble spots. The findings were then presented in conjunction with the Listeria workshop.
These workshops are valuable to maintain a high level of training and to ensure staff do not become complacent and miss any details relevant to the overall sanitation within their work environment. They are an excellent opportunity to ask questions, receive feedback, highlight innovations and ensure proper techniques are being followed. It is FTC's objective to provide training and refresher courses annually.
This proactive approach by the PEI Seafood Processors is extremely beneficial to the industry. In the past six months, eleven similar Listeria workshops were conducted in PE, NS, NL and NB by the Food Technology Centre.