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REQUIREMENTS FOR PROCESSING FACILITIES (Courtesy Dept of Fisheries)[i]
These guidelines provide an overview of the certification process and construction standards as specified in the fish quality Assurance and inspection regulations.
· To specify the food safety and quality criteria required to be put in place in a seafood processing plants and fish farm for approval.
· To ensure uniformity of application of standards.
· To assist fish farmers and fish processors to comply with the provisions of the sea fisheries (Fish Inspection and Quality Assurance Regulations) 1995 and observe Best Aquaculture practices (BAP)standard
Prospective investors should note that all processing and fish farm must be registered and approved by the Federal department of fisheries to ensure compliance with the provisions of the sea fisheries (Fish Inspection and Quality Assurance Regulations) 1995 and observe Best Aquaculture practices (BAP) standard.
Requirements for certification/approval as stipulated by The Department of Fisheries are summarized as follows:
Plant Location, Building and Layout
Before deciding plant location different factors should be analyzed.
1. The most important is the plot which should be of adequate size for both present needs and future development.
2. The plant should be close to public transport such as rail or road.
3. Access to electricity, water, and steam is essential.
4. Waste disposal should be considered when planning the plant location. The owner should coordinate all the works with local competent authorities in order to avoid problems in the future. The choice of plant location should also take into account the neighboring surroundings: for example, location near to a waste dump could lead to microbiological contamination caused by birds.
5. Drains must be located appropriately in all processing areas. Slope must be adequate to ease the flow of waste water. Waste water should be treated before being discharged into community sewage system or to an approved onsite disposal system or soak-away system.
6. A well designed building should comprise sufficient space for work to be conducted out under adequate hygienic conditions, an area for machinery, equipment and storage, separation of operations that might contaminate food, adequate natural or artificial lighting, ventilation, and protection against pests.
7. There are many technical regulations concerning construction of buildings and processing halls; e.g., outside walls, windows and doors should be constructed such that they are water, insect-and rodent-proof. The inside walls of the building should be painted white or other light colour and their surface should be smooth, fall-safe, corrosion- proof and easy to clean. Floors should be resistant to spillage of products, water and disinfectants. They should be slip-proof and maintain their colour. Experience shows that selection and preparation of the floor is one of the most difficult tasks facing the designer. The main problem, however, lies in appropriate general layout and arrangements of rooms which must minimize the risk of contamination of the final product.
8. The work areas have to be in adequate size to enable hygienic processing and plant cleaning.
9. Plants and machines must not be positioned against the wall, for example if there is a risk of their becoming dirty on the wall- side.
10. The arrangement of the rooms and work areas must be such that hygienically clean areas and products within them are separate from unclean areas. The process of killing the fish, for example, must take place in an area separate from all other processing stages. Thus separation of these areas has to be complete and there should be no movement of people or equipment from unclean to clean area.
11. As far as possible, product flow should be arranged so that no intersections occur. Otherwise, there is a risk of products with a low germ count after smoking, for example coming into contact with a higher germ count (risk of cross-contamination). Ideally, incoming products, raw materials, storage, processing, packaging and dispatch should take place step by step from one end of the plant to another without products from different production stages intersecting one another. Even in older premises it is usually possible to achieve a suitable organization to work processes through the use of partitions to avoid cross-contamination. Such processes are also generally the most efficient solutions.
12. Water supply must be adequate and sufficient for processing and cleaning purpose. Water must be tested/ analyzed at least twice in a year in an approved laboratory for compliance with drinking water standard.
13. Toilet rooms must not have direct access to processing area and sufficient for personal use. Toilets walls and floors should be made light colored preferably tilled
The diagram below shows the prototype arrangement for a food processing company:
· Cross-contamination is avoided and clean areas are strictly separate from unclean areas.
· Proper layout and designs should ensure an uninterrupted and “straight line” process flow, and should meet other requirements listed below:
I. All functions should avoid zigzagging and backtracking
II. Visitors should move from unclean to clean area
III. Conditioned (chilled) air and drainage should flow from clean to unclean areas
· The flow of discarded outer packing material should not cross the flow of either unwrapped ingredients or finished product
· There should be sufficient space for plant operations including processing, cleaning and maintenance; space is also required for movement of materials and pedestrians
· Operations are separated as necessary. There are clear advantages in minimizing the number of interior walls since this simplifies the movement of materials and employees, simplified supervision, and reduces the area of wall that needs cleaning and maintenance.
Prototype Arrangement Of A Food/Fish Processing Plant
The proper design and arrangement of the processing plant greatly influence food production hygiene.
Council Directive 89/392/EEC of 14 June 1989 (EEC 1989) on regulations concerning machinery safety and hygiene contains the following most important requirements[ii]:
• Machinery containing materials intended to come in contact with food must be designed and constructed to that these materials can be cleaned each time they are used
• All surfaces and joints must be smooth, with no ridges or crevices that could harbor organic materials
• Assembly must be designed so as to minimize projections, edges and recesses; they should be constructed by welding or continuous bonding, with screws, screw heads and rivets used only where technically unavoidable
• Contact surfaces must be easy to clean and disinfect, and be built with easily dismantle parts; inside surfaces must be curved so as to allow thorough cleaning
• Liquid derived from foods, and cleaning, disinfecting and rinsing fluids should easy to discharge from machinery
• Machinery must be designed and constructed to prevent liquids or living creatures – primarily insects – from entering and accumulating in areas that cannot be cleaned
• Machinery must be designed and constructed to avoid ancillary substances, such as lubricants, coming into contact with food.
Smoking as a Typical Example
1. Smoking must take place in a separate room or area separated from the rest of production.
2. Ventilation is necessary if smoke or exhaust heat from smoke generation penetrates the other rooms in which fishery products are handled, processed or stored.
3. Chimney must be located appropriately to remove excess smoke and heat.
4. The materials used for smoke generation must be stored outside the smoking room and used in such a way as to rule out any contamination of the fishery products. Wood which has been treated with paint, varnish, glue or other chemical preservative is not permitted for use in smoke generation.
5. If the smoking process also serves to kill parasites core temperature of the fishery products has to be at least +60oC.
6. If, after smoking, the fishery products are not destined for immediate further processing, they have to be cooled to the temperature required for the maintenance of their tradability while preventing any loss in quality. Only then are they ready for packaging.
7. As a rule a separate chilling room will be necessary for the ready smoked products. Too slow cooling under unhygienic conditions (air germ content) leads to recontamination and perceptible germ multiplication compared with the previously low-germ smoked products.
8. Dry storage Area: packaging materials shall be of a food grade and must be stored in a clean and dry room. Chemicals used for cleaning and other cleaning materials must not be stored in the same room with packaging materials.
Labeling storage and packaging
Labeling must be in compliance with the regulations and must be approved by Federal department of fisheries before use. label must include date of production, expiry date (shelf life) details of producer/processor, batch numbers, storage conditions, nutrition facts label should be printed directly on packaging materials and cartons.
Production controls (HACCP PLAN)
All processing plant and fish farm must be HACCP based therefore HACCP plan (i.e document development) must be submitted to Federal department of fisheries before approval can be granted.
Procedure for export of finished product:
a) All export products must be from approved farm and processing plant
b) Application for sampling/analysis of product must be forwarded to Fish Quality Assurance and Fish Disease Management Division of Federal Department of Fisheries
c) Health certificate must be obtained for each lot to be exported.
d) Stuffing must be carried out in the presence of the Fisheries inspector.