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37 Picking


Picking is carried out manually. At the picking tables, carapace, claws and legs are methodically removed. The crab meat from the different parts of the crab (body, claws and legs) are then picked and stored separately in coded containers which are then placed in a bed of ice to keep the crab meat at chilled temperatures.

Figure 10. Hand gloves worn during picking.

Figure 11. Crab meat picking.

Figure 12. Picking of crab meat into coded containers placed in a bed of ice.

Packing 7.

The crab meat is packed into clean and food grade PE bags before storing in styrofoam boxes fi lled with ice. Weighing may be involved in this step to ensure that there is consistent amount of crab meat in each package.

Storage and Distribution 8.

The packed crab meat in styrofoam boxes are transferred to a clean sanitary area, away from any unprocessed raw materials before they are distributed to the processing plants for further processing, with minimal temperature abuse. For longer storage, the packed crab meat is stored in a chiller room.


Shipments of ice delivered to the PPE in 3.

unsanitary containers are refused and returned to the supplier.

GMP 1A.2 Manufacture of Ice

Ice must be manufactured using approved, potable water supply.


Ice that comes in contact with product during processing must be produced in such a manner as to reduce the possibility of contaminating the product with bacteria or with toxic substances.


Ice for use must be manufactured using 1.

approved, potable water supply.

Shipments of ice not using approved, 2.

potable water supply are refused and returned to the supplier.

GMP 1B.1 Receipt of Packaging Materials Packaging materials (e.g. polyethylene bags) that are damaged and dirty should be rejected/refused.


Damaged and dirty packaging materials will not provide the necessary protection to the food against contamination and may become a source of contamination to the products.


Damaged or dirty packaging materials 1.

should be rejected and refused entry into the plant so as to present no risk of contamination to other packaging materials.

GMP 1B.2 Storage of Packaging Materials Packaging materials (e.g. cardboxes, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) bags and polystyrene (PS) trays) that are used to contain the fi nished products shall be safe for their intended use and be stored under proper conditions.


Packaging has an important function in protecting the fi nished products from contamination. Damaged packaging materials will not provide the desired protection and dirty packaging materials may contaminate the product.


Packaging materials used shall be 1.

non-toxic and of food grade quality to ensure that they are safe for containing the fi nished products.

Packaging materials used shall be in 2.

clean and hygienic conditions.

A clean and dry room that is insect- 3.

free shall be provided for the storage of packaging materials. The storage room should be designed and constructed to a) permit adequate maintenance and cleaning, b) avoid pest access and harborage; and c) enable minimal likelihood from contamination by locating the storage room for packaging materials away from areas where raw or food products are handled.

Proper shelving racks shall be in place 4.

for storing of the packaging materials, away from the ground.

Packaging materials shall be used on a 5.

First-In-First-Out (FIFO) basis or according to the factory’s rotation/inventory control schedule and should not be used beyond their recommended shelf life period.

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39 GMP 1C.1 Receipt of Crabs

The incoming shipment should be inspected upon receipt to ensure that only live crabs are selected for processing. The crabs should also be evaluated for condition and quality. Every incoming shipment should be contained in clean and appropriate containers upon receipt and there is adequate hygiene control in place. Documentation records on the quality should be maintained and be properly kept.


The incoming shipment of raw materials should be evaluated to ensure that no tainted, diseased or dead crabs are utilised for further processing. Records are documented in order to identify lots that may not meet specifi cations.


1. Only live and healthy crabs are accepted for processing.

2. The following details are recorded and maintained:

Species name a.

Date of receipt of shipment b.

Name and address of supplier c.

Name of delivery vessel or transport d.

company Date of harvest e.

Quality in the shipment f.

Clean and sanitized containers are 3.

used in transporting the live crabs. These containers must be washed properly before and after use, and kept dry and properly stored when not in use.

Tainted, diseased or dead crabs should 4.

be removed from the processing premises as quickly as possible.

SECTION 2 Washing

GMP 2.1 Washing

The crabs should be washed in running water from approved, potable water supply.

Where necessary, scrubbing is needed to remove the gross dirt and mud on the crabs.

Ice may be added to lower the temperature of the water. Suitable containers are used for washing the crabs.


The purpose of washing is to remove the gross dirt and mud on the crabs. The use of approved water source will prevent contamination to the product. The use of suitable and clean containers and tools will also minimise contamination.


The water used should be from an 1.

approved potable source.

Washing containers or tanks should be 2.

made of non-corrodible and are well- designed to provide a constant change of water with good circulation, and to have provisions for drainage and to be easily cleaned.

SECTION 3 Sorting and Grading

GMP 3.1 Sorting and Grading

This step will require visual inspection whereby only good quality crabs are chosen for processing. There should also be adequate manpower to handle the quantity of crabs being processed. Suitable containers should be used to store the crabs

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The selection of good quality crabs for processing is essential for ensuring the quality of the fi nished products. The use of suitable and clean containers will ensure that these containers do not become a source of contamination.


Crabs are properly handled to ensure 1.

they are not killed or damaged during the process.

Containers should be made of non- 2.

corrodible materials, which excludes wood and materials that is capable of absorbing moisture and should have smooth surfaces that are free from cracks and crevices.

SECTION 4 Cooking

GMP 4.1 Cooking

The live crabs should be cooked by steaming or boiling in water for a suffi cient period of time to ensure they are fully cooked. Cooking should be carried out in a clean and sanitary area or room.


A clean and sanitary cooking area and the use of clean and potable water will ensure that there is minimal contamination to the crabs during the cooking step.


1. The cooking equipment and tools are made of non-corrodible materials, which exclude wood and materials that is capable of absorbing moisture.

2. Cooking equipment and tools, as well as the cooking area should be cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis.

3. Water used for cooking the crabs should be regularly changed.

4. All workers handling the crabs during the operation should comply with good personal hygiene practices.

SECTION 5 Cooling

GMP 5.1 Cooling

Cooling of the cooked crabs should be carried out effi ciently and as quickly as possible by using cold circulated air in an enclosed room prior to picking. Alternatively, cold potable running water can also be used for cooling.


An enclosed area for cooling will prevent cross contamination to the cooked crabs.


The cooling area should be kept clean 1.

and sanitized prior to air-cooling.

The cooling area should be properly 2.

enclosed to prevent entry of dirt, dust and pests such as fl ies.

Cooled crabs are not used immediately 3.

for picking should be kept at low temperatures (not exceeding 5ºC) by packing the crabs in clean polyethylene bags and stored in ice in styrofoam boxes which are then stored in a chiller room until needed.

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GMP 6.1 Picking

Picking of the crabs should be done as quickly as possible in a clean and sanitary area. The cooked crabs before picking and the picked crab meat should be kept at low temperatures, not exceeding 5ºC at all times.

Properly designed tools and utensils for picking should be used and there should be proper disposal of waste materials (e.g. crab shells, viscera, gills and other foreign materials).

All workers involved in picking must comply with good personal hygiene practices and should not handle any raw or uncooked crabs.


As the picking step will expose the crab meat to possible contamination, it must be carried out effi ciently and in a clean and sanitary area. Processing at low temperatures is essential, as it will reduce microbial growth and spoilage.

Properly designed tools and utensils are essential for facilitating the processing of raw materials.

Proper disposal of waste is important to prevent cross contamination.

Humans can be a source of contamination and as such, there should be strong emphasis on proper personal hygiene. The chances of cross contamination are higher when staff personnel are handling both raw and cooked materials.


The tools and utensils used should be 1.

made of non-corrodible materials that are easy to clean and sanitize.

Waste should be collected in covered 2.

pedal-operated bins, which are emptied regularly.

The room or area where the picking 3.

takes place is properly maintained. It should be well-illuminated and properly cleaned and sanitized before and after operation.

SECTION 7 Packing

GMP 7.1 Packing

Picked crab meat should be packed as quickly as possible into suitable packaging materials such as PE bags.


Prolonged exposure to ambient temperatures will promote microbial growth in the crab meat.


The packaging materials used must 1.

be clean and of food grade quality. It should be intact and undamaged in any way.

The crab meat should be kept at low 2.

temperatures not exceeding 5ºC at all times.

GMP 7.2 Chilling

Crab meat packed in polyethylene bags should be kept chilled by placing them into containers fi lled with crushed ice.


Low temperatures will reduce microbial growth and quality deterioration.

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The packs of crab meat are placed 1.

into suitable containers and iced immediately.

The containers of packed crab meat 2.

should be stored in a chiller room for longer storage.

SECTION 8 Storage and Distribution

GMP 8.1 Storage and distribution

The packed crab meat properly labelled should be transferred to a clean sanitary area away from unprocessed raw materials and distributed as quickly as possible in such a manner as to minimize temperature abuse.

If not distributed immediately, the product should be stored in a chiller room.


The packed crab meat which is a cooked product must be stored separately from raw materials to prevent cross-contamination.

Labelling is important for identifi cation purpose and traceability. Effi cient transportation and storage of the crab meat at low temperatures is to minimize quality deterioration of the product due to time and temperature abuse.


The packed crab meat should be 1.

adequately chilled or iced so that product temperatures do not exceed 5ºC at all times.

Each pack of crab meat should be 2.

labelled with correct information, which include:

Species name a.

Weight b.

Date of production c.

Batch/lot number d.

Name and address of processor e.

The chiller room should be able to 3.

maintain the product temperatures at 5ºC or below. It should not be used to store any raw or uncooked materials.

The packed crab meat should be kept 4.

well-iced during distribution such that the product temperature does not exceed 5ºC at all times. Ideally, distribution should be carried out using refrigerated vehicles.

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Process Flow Diagram

Outline of Processing Steps

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)