Virginia’s seafood industry is characterized by succulent and diverse fruits de mer. But behind the gastronomic delicacies is also a nimble industry that meets the demands of consumers in not only production, but also in food safety.
The Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton is an important partner in ensuring that seafood is processed safely. The AREC offers Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points systems training to employees of commercial seafood processors — guidelines that are a worldwide standard for commercial food processing.
In 2007, the AREC began offering HACCP classroom training in Spanish in an effort to assist producers that employ an increasingly Spanish-speaking workforce.
To date, 108 employees have had HACCP Spanish training.
“Even though employees’ level of expertise may be high, aspects of some procedures may get lost in translation,” said Abigail Villalba, food safety Extension specialist at the Virginia Seafood AREC. “By participating in these trainings, processors can control their hazards and remain competitive by manufacturing products that are safe and wholesome.”