Superior Quality Shetland Salmon
Shetland farmed salmon has achieved a superior quality reputation and buyers should look for the ‘Superior Quality Shetland Salmon’ certification mark when they are selecting salmon.
The quality mark has been created to identify a fully traceable first class product and customers can be rightly confident in the superior quality and taste of the fish.
Shetland salmon is farmed and processed in accordance with Shetland Seafood Quality Control (SSQC) Ltd’s exacting and recognised standards. A fundamental part of the quality scheme involves a pre and post harvest sample for every site. Fish are also randomly tested during their lifecycle. Every box of fish packed in Shetland that carries the SSQC label has a unique code that allows it to be traced back through the quality control system.
SSQC has remained committed to improving its ‘Superior Quality Shetland Salmon’ scheme which is now accredited to EN45011 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). As a result, the consistently high quality product does not just meet customers’ requirements, but rather exceeds expectations.
Shetland Seafood Quality Control has produced two documents governing participants in the Certification Scheme for Superior Quality Shetland Salmon. One defines the standards and the operational procedures and practices for the production of farmed salmon which must be met by participants in the scheme. The other defines the same for processing, preparing and packing farmed salmon. The following are just some of the stringent standards which farms and processors adhere to.
- Must operate with due respect for the natural environment, recognising their duty of care to it and the possible impacts upon it.
- The highest standards of fish welfare must be maintained at all times and a commitment to the continual improvement of welfare standards must be demonstrated.
- Should participate in the promotion and sponsorship of ongoing research and development to drive forward standards in farm management, fish welfare, environmental protection and product quality.
- Must maintain a record of smolt intake and fish movements for traceability purposes
- Must ensure that all treatments administered throughout the life history of the fish fully comply with legislative requirements.
- All fish should receive appropriate feed to maintain full health and vigour, and to grow and develop normally.
- The sea in which the salmon are grown must be free of pollution and stocking density must be kept within the agreed limit.
- Must have a designated veterinary surgeon to advise on the maintenance of the health and welfare of the fish stocked.
- One month before first harvest a representative sample from each population of salmon must be submitted to SSQC for residue analysis.
- Operations must be carried out with due care in order to minimise distress to the fish and temperature guidelines adhered to.
- Vehicles used for transporting harvested fish must be suitable for the purpose and in a clean and hygienic condition.
- Each consignment of harvested fish despatched from the farm should be accompanied by a completed salmon harvesting form detailing information required by the customer for traceability purposes.
- Must establish and maintain an effective Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system (HACCP) through which they shall be able to demonstrate effective control of all operations.
- Shall have a clearly defined and documented quality policy statement which states its intentions to meet its obligations to produce safe and legal products, and its responsibility to its customers.
- Shall have a Quality Manual that outlines acceptable working methods and practices, and is readily available to relevant staff.
- Shall adequately identify all raw materials and be able to trace work in progress and finished product at all stages from manufacture through to distribution to the customer.
- Must follow guidelines for product design, development and packaging to ensure compliance with food safety standards.
- Must demonstrate effective control of all operations including temperature, time and quality control, equipment validation and handling requirements.
- Must adhere to production standards for whole and gutted salmon, fillets and cuts, and smoked salmon (including salting, brining, hot and cold smoking operations and post smoking).
- Only salmon which conform to these standards may carry the Certification Mark and are graded as superior.
- Products must carry a label that includes the date of packing, the official approval number of the establishment, the abbreviation EC, the identification of the farm and the quality grade.