Health and Education
Ensuring Food Safety
Quality and safety go hand in hand when you are producing crab meat and seafood products. We live by two mottos:
- You must start with the best raw ingredients to end with the best products.
- Safety always comes first.
HACCP and Other Certifications
All Phillips seafood-production plants exceed HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical
Control Points) and FDA guidelines and standards.
Steaming and Hand-Picking
The crabs are steamed immediately upon receipt at the mini-plant, then cooled and
debacked. The meat is immediately extracted by an individual picker or a team of
pickers. At this point, it is separated into the grades of crab meat. This picking
is done over ice in a cooled room to keep the crab meat at the proper temperature.
Once this initial pick is completed, the crab meat is ready for transport to one
of our main plants.
Microtesting and Sensory Evaluation
Upon its arrival at the main plant, the crab meat goes through an organoleptic check.
This includes a temperature test and a sensory evaluation that quantifies how the
product looks, tastes, smells and feels. We do elaborate and constant microbiological
and Organoleptic testing from the time the crabs are purchased until the product
is released to our customers. Once the meat passes inspection, it will come under
our quality-assurance program, passing on to the next stage of processing.
The Quality of the Can Counts
Every detail is considered—even the crab-meat container itself is constructed with
safety in mind. A double-seam sealing process creates a thermal barrier. The inside
is lined with a double lacquer to stop tin migration. In addition to our in-house
microbiologist, we have seamer mechanics and technicians on staff at all of our
plants. Using a seam scope, a can technician is able to thoroughly examine the seam
of the can.
Each can is coded so that the product can be traced to origin, plant and half-hour
of production; we offer complete forward and backward traceability.
Once the crab meat is canned, the pasteurization process can begin. Pasteurization is a controlled thermal process that continues for a specific amount of time until the proper lethality has been reached to kill naturally occurring microorganisms and pathogens, such as Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and C. botulinum. High-tech
equipment is used to monitor the temperature inside the can; we have skilled and
qualified pasteurization supervisors in each plant who are trained by the FDA’s
"Better Process Control Program." After the pasteurization process is complete,
we open a percentage of our cans to do a final organoleptic evaluation before releasing
the lots for shipment.
The master cartons of crab meat are transported from Asia to the United States via
container ship. Enclosed inside two of the master cartons of crab meat are time
and temperature recorders. These devices allow us to determine what the temperature
was at every 55 minutes of the crab meat’s two-month shipping time to the United
Once received into the United States, a percentage of the crab meat containers are
once again opened and go through an organoleptic evaluation before being cleared
for use in our facility, shipment to distributors and retailers, or for shipment
to our offices throughout the country.