- Shelf-Stable »
- Frozen & Refrigerated »
Fish are delivered to canneries frozen or refrigerated. Quality evaluations are performed during unloading, which include monitoring the temperature and condition of the fish and collecting samples for histamine and salt analysis. Lots found unacceptable are rejected.
Fish are maintained at temperatures near 0° until processing
Prior to being scheduled for processing, representative samples from each lot are test-packed and samples are evaluated before and after canning to assess quality. Test-pack results are used to determine acceptability and process requirements of fish remaining in each lot.
When lots are scheduled for processing in our canneries, fish are brought out of cold storage and thawed to backbone temperatures sufficient to facilitate evisceration and sensory evaluation.
Viscera are removed and each fish is evaluated by trained staff for physical characteristics associated with decomposition or contamination. Any fish exhibiting unacceptable characteristics is rejected.
Acceptable fish are placed on racks and transferred to large ovens, where they are cooked sufficiently to facilitate cleaning of the fish.
Each fish is manually cleaned and inspected for quality attributes. The cleaning operation consists of removing the head, tail, skin, bones and dark flesh known as red meat.
Cleaned tuna loins are fed into filling machines where prescribed amounts of fish are placed into cans. Via a separate system, empty cans are conveyed to filling machines after having been inverted and flushed with air jets and/or water sprays.
Cans leaving the filling machine are conveyed past points where prescribed amounts of spring water or canola oil and other ingredients are added.
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, batch 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 delivered to labeling lines where they are labeled and cased. Cased products are appropriately marked with information necessary to facilitate product tracing.
Cased products are shipped or are staged in warehouses for later shipment.