December 23, 2020 0 Comments
My family is a seafood family. Not only do we love to eat seafood, but my father has been in the industry since the mid-1960's. My family exported seafood from beautiful Nicaragua all over the world, so of course, my first job fresh out of college was to be thrown into the processing plant to learn the business. I learned everything from growing fish in college to peeling, freezing, buying from local fishermen, buying from farms, and all the rules around exporting food.
By my second year, I was General Manager of the processing plant and had learned the ropes from the plant forewoman, this lovely, but strict, Nicaraguan named Walkiria, who accepted nothing less than the highest quality seafood onto her plant floor. I would watch as she inspected, sniffed, eyed, and felt the texture of all incoming seafood. She rejected about half. I quickly learned that there are strict protocols that need to be in place in order to produce a great product. I also learned that not everyone follows them.
At that time I was tasked with writing the plant's HACCP Plan for exporting to the United States. HACCP, an acronym for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, is the set of requirements from the USDA to certify plants for food exported to the USA. It wasn't hard, with Walkiria's strict standards, to meet HAACP requirements.
The biggest factor in seafood freshness and quality? Time and temperature abuse.
Time and temperature abuse is when food has been subjected to temperatures that are too high for too long a period of time. It can also happen when food is frozen, then thawed, then frozen again. The temperature ups and downs can severely impact the flavor, texture, and of course, bacterial growth on the food.
The best practice was for the producer to harvest the catch, pack it in ice as quickly as possible, then get it to the processing plant in under 2 hours. There we would sort, pack and quickly freeze the seafood in our blast freezers, to ensure that it was frozen at peak freshness and with minimal time above 38 degrees F.
That's how most seafood reaches your local supermarket, which then thaws the seafood and places it on the display counter with ice. The countdown, at that point, has begun. Every minute that passes, that seafood is losing quality. Then when you purchase it and it goes in your refrigerator, if you don't cook it immediately, it continues to deteriorate. If you freeze it, then it is the 2nd time it has been frozen, and when you thaw it to cook, you are thawing it for the second time. More loss of quality. Time and temperature abuse. By the time you eat it, the freshness it had at the packing plant is gone.
How can you ensure that the seafood you are buying is at peak freshness? Either buy it straight from the local fisherman or farm right out of the water, or buy it frozen from the packing plant, so you know it hasn't been frozen and thawed more than once. At Professor T's, we ensure our seafood goes from our blast freezers right to your door, nothing in between. That way, you know that what you are feeding your family is at its peak freshnessm fully traceable, and something you can feel good about.
February 25, 2021 0 Comments
January 27, 2021 0 Comments
Here are Professor T's, we pride ourselves on offering conveniently packaged, sustainably & ethically sourced, and easily traceable seafood products for both you and your family to enjoy. Should you ever have any questions or concerns regarding our practices or products, we urge you to reach out, as we would love to hear from you and put your mind at ease.
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