by Doug Powell
Due to its ability to grow in the cold and conditions that typically thwart other bacteria, listeria has always been a major concern for the cold-smoked fish industry.
With the February opening of a 100,000-square-foot cold-smoking facility in North Carolina, the Brooklyn-based Acme Smoked Fish Corporation hopes to quell those concerns with a raft of new processes to prevent the bacteria’s spread. With a new facility just for cold-smoking, which was designed to reduce possible cross contamination during manufacturing and make equipment much easier to clean, the company now has a much greater ability to control listeria, company R&D senior manager Matt Ranieri told Undercurrent News.
“Now that we have a dedicated facility, we’re able to really control the level of salt. We’re able to really hone in and fine tune in a way that wasn’t possible before because of the equipment,” he said.
The plant, which was built at an investment of $32.2 million according to the newspaper WilmingtonBiz, can process up to 30,000 pounds of smoked fish per day and was designed to isolate critical parts of the manufacturing process.
“It’s impossible to update a facility to the level that you need to control listeria if it was built in the 1950s,” he said.
“No product is released until we have results both from the environment and the product that indicate the absence of listeria,” he said.
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