It’s the last day for a course at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center which will help seafood professionals sell the freshest, highest quality product to the public. Seafood Processing Quality Control Training, which began Monday, covers everything from the shelf-life of fish to water quality.
“We teach them how to assemble a QA manual, how to just keep track of a quality department in a large seafood processor or a small seafood processor.”
Chris Sannito, a Seafood Technology Specialist with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, says most of the students are from big companies like Trident, but not all.
Zoi Maroudas is the CEO and founder of an organic frozen baby food company in Anchorage called Bambinos Baby Food.
“We have anywhere from three to seven people. The company is only four years, and we recently in this past year launched our online sales, which is all over the U.S., so that’s how we’re continuing to grow – direct to parents, providing them with one month’s supply of baby food and, as we start entering the retail community, then we can start bringing more employees into our company as well.”
She says the training will help give clients confidence in their product, which includes seafood as an ingredient.
“We’ll be actually doing some more in-house testing as products are coming into our production before we end up packaging them.”
Quality assurance for the bigger companies is, no surprise, on a bigger scale. Michael Reodica is a quality assurance supervisor for Trident Seafoods in Cordova and explains he’s not working directly with the food, but rather the employees.
“You’re in the middle ground of, let’s say, the sales team if they want to find out something, you’re plant manager, you’re gonna be able to have knowledge and give them the information needed. And also for your department itself to see where you can improve on or what’s going on here, and then you could dig more and find out if it’s coming from, let’s say, the area that they fished at, there’s something going on there, or the boat itself needs to be improved, the cleanliness of it.”
Alaska Sea Grant put together the training alongside the Manufacturing Alaska Extension Partnership, and they offer it every other year.