2015 Sustainability Report

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At Chicken of the Sea, we always put food safety first. Our food safety systems are the best in the industry, aligned with global standards and best practices including:

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)

HACCP procedures are a food safety system designed to protect customers from food borne illness and ensure food safety. We were the first shelf stable seafood brand in the U.S. to implement the HACCP system. HACCP is now a FDA requirement for all seafood companies (foreign and domestic). 

HACCP is a comprehensive food safety system that covers all aspects of the production process, from receipt of the fish from the boats to the finished product.  Every incoming lot of fish is evaluated for safety before being approved for use in food. HACCP also ensures that the fish is handled correctly to ensure it continues to meet food safety requirements during the entire production process. 

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

GMP guidelines provide guidance for production, testing, and quality assurance in order to ensure that a food product is safe for human consumption. GMP requirements apply to all food manufacturers, foreign and domestic. GMP for food products are regulated and overseen by the U.S. FDA.

GMPs are FDA requirements to ensure that the production equipment, procedures and employees meet all food safety and quality requirements. COSI suppliers are inspected by state and/or federal employees to ensure that GMPs are implemented and correctly followed. 

British Retail Consortium (BRC)

The BRC Food Safety System is a leading safety and quality certification program that provides standardized quality, safety and operational criteria. Chicken of the Sea has maintained BRC certification since first implementing the BRC Food Safety System in 2010.

BRC Global Standards is a leading safety and quality certification program, used by over 20,000 certified suppliers in 90 countries, with certification issued through a worldwide network of accredited Certification Bodies. The Standards guarantee the standardization of quality, safety and operational criteria and ensure that manufacturers fulfill their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer. 

The BRC Audit is a third party audit that is required by our key customers, and it’s also a way for us to learn from the expertise of those across the food industry.

BRC requires an annual inspection of the facility which covers all aspects of the plant operations, from production and storage to food safety and quality systems to employee training. Chicken of the Sea is currently rated an "A" by BRC.
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FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

FSMA, signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011 enables FDA and food manufacturers to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. The law shifts focus on preventing food safety problems rather than relying primarily on reacting to problems after they occur. 

Many parts of FSMA were already standard practices of the seafood industry, such as the focus on preventative controls through a HACCP based system. 

Another aspect of FSMA, are requirements for a foreign supplier verification program. This program is intended to ensure that importers of food into the United States appropriately monitor the supplier and the food for food safety and quality. The foreign supplier verification program is still pending implementation by FDA, however Chicken of the Sea has already established and implemented procedures to meet these requirements. 
Focus On Next Generation Food Safety

We are also working with our industry partners, through the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), to develop the next generation of food safety practices. Current research projects undertaken with university partners include topics such as refrigeration practices, foodborne pathogens and food safety systems. Our active participation in and funding for these projects is an essential component of their success, and we look forward to continuing our involvement in the years to come. 

While we have robust systems in place to keep our food safe and delicious, we also have systems in place to address food safety concerns once products leave our facilities. Our recall system is based on several components that work together to protect consumers in the event of a food safety incident. 

  • Traceability: We have the ability to trace every can of tuna back to the ship and ocean region in which it was caught, and forward all the way to the customer destination. This allows us to quickly identify and segregate affected products, leading to faster and more accurate recalls.
  • Recall drills: Four times a year, our Quality Control team conducts a recall drill to test our system and ensure that we can effectively trace products throughout each stage of the supply chain. During these drills, we use real-life scenarios to test our assumptions and ensure that we are well-prepared to respond when food safety issues arise.
  • Coordination with suppliers: Our suppliers and packaging partners abide by compatible traceability and food safety standards, so that our recall system functions across the entire supply chain. When a problem hits just one area of the supply chain, we can quickly pinpoint and address it appropriately.
Focus On Food Quality

It is the policy of Chicken of the Sea International (COSI) to assure compliance with regulatory, internal company and industry standards for Product Safety and Quality for all products manufactured and distributed by COSI.

This policy is supported through training programs at the plant and corporate level, such as sensory training for quality evaluations, thermal process training to ensure all products are cooked properly and labeling training to ensure all products meet FDA labeling regulations.

Furthermore, suppliers are inspected by trained company auditors that review the food safety and quality procedures.  Samples of products from all suppliers are routinely evaluated by corporate quality assurance personnel. 
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