Preserving Alaskan Salmon: Heritage meets HACCP
B. R. LUICK, Alaska Cooperative Extension, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, PO Box 7756180, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6180 and S. E. Beattie, Nutrition and Food Sciences Program, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0002.
Salmon has a unique place in native Alaskan heritage. As a major staple during winter months, preservation of the fish is of paramount importance. Historically, salmon has been preserved by a variety of means, including cold smoking, hot smoking, pickling, drying, and fermentation. While generally successful, some of these preservation processes are potentially hazardous and have been shown to lead to incidences of food borne illness.
The overall objective of this project was to provide a manual including an interactive CD-ROM guide for the variety of salmon preservation methods used by Alaskans. The procedures were all evaluated for critical control points and the critical limit necessary to ensure a safe product. Dissemination of the manual and CD-ROM is through native health corporations, high schools and Alaska Cooperative Extension.
The procedures, as practiced by native Alaskans, were recorded and were evaluated using HACCP principles. Detailed flow charts of each procedure were developed and analyzed for CCP's. Procedure record keeping documents were developed that highlighted the critical limit for the CCP.
The analysis of salmon preservation techniques revealed that there were significant hazards associated with several of the techniques. Of note, was the fermented fish procedure where no CCP existed for Clostridium botulinum. Additionally, the cold smoked and dried fish procedures showed a potential for staph enterotoxin production.
The manual and interactive CD-ROM that was developed guides readers in the use of procedures that have been historically followed in the preservation of salmon. The inclusion of HACCP highlights the critical control points in these procedures which should help produce a safer product.
Session 73B, Extension