- Shelf-Stable »
- Frozen & Refrigerated »
Crab are either delivered to canneries fresh and in the live state requiring picking or delivered iced, refrigerated or frozen after picking. Incoming quality evaluations are performed, which include monitoring the temperature and condition of the crab and collecting samples for chemical analysis. Lots found unacceptable are rejected.
Crabmeat not received picked is given an initial cooking by being boiled in tanks following specified times and temperatures.
After cooking, crabs delivered unpicked are transferred to picking stations where the meat is removed from the shells and is washed and packaged.
Crabmeat to be utilized immediately is maintained iced or refrigerated until canning. Crabmeat to be processed later may be frozen at this point and maintained in the frozen state until needed.
When required, thawing is accomplished by immersing crabmeat in tanks containing circulated potable water. Sensory evaluations are conducted after thawing to assure acceptable quality.
Crabmeat receives an additional cooking prior to can filling. Cooked crabmeat is cooled quickly to maintain quality.
Cooked and cooled crabmeat is placed on cleaning tables where pieces of shell remaining from the picking operation are manually removed and additional quality and sensory evaluations performed.
Prescribed amounts of crabmeat are wrapped in parchment paper to preserve color and placed in cans. Liquid packing media and other ingredients are added, either manually or by dispenser.
Filled cans are conveyed to sealing machines where lids are put in place and the cans hermetically sealed. Each can or lid is affixed with a permanent production code that identifies plant, product, date packed and other pertinent information. The integrity of the hermetic seal is evaluated at frequent intervals during processing to ensure product safety.
Sealed cans are retorted (cooked) under pressure utilizing process time and temperature schedules designed by processing experts to render the product commercially sterile. All aspects of thermal processing are strictly monitored and controlled.
Samples of each finished production code receive qualitative (e.g., color, odor, flavor, texture and cleaning) and quantitative evaluations prior to being released for labeling.
Product lots meeting finished product evaluation criteria are labeled and cased. Cased products are appropriately marked with information necessary to facilitate product tracing.
Cased products are shipped or staged in warehouses for later shipment.