Quality is paramount to us here at Regal and our aim is to supply our customers with the very best seafood available. Our buyers responsibly source the finest quality seafood each day and only buy what we need to fulfil the sales we have in our system, this fresh approach is what sets us apart.
Each morning Joe our fresh QC apprentice (who also happens to be one of Grimsby Institutes apprentices of the year) brings our fresh fish into the factory and our technical team check each batch thoroughly. The fish is traced to the boat on which it was caught and where in the sea too and all of this information is logged so that we have full traceability.
Every batch of fish is then checked using a QIM system which measures the quality of the fish based on the appearance of the whole fish. Including the gills, eyes and skin using a point based system. A piece is then cooked and tested to ensure the taste profile meets with our expectation.
From there our 2 expert filleters, cut the fish by hand and ensure the fish meets with our high expectations. Filleter Bruce Harper is one of our longest serving staff here and has worked for Regal for 30 years therefore he has a very good eye for quality, any product he is unsure of he flags to the technical team.
Once the fish is checked and filleted it is then handed over to our packers. Again due to the average length of service in our factory we have experienced eyes and they are fundamental in our Quality Control chain, they pull aside or further trim any fillets as they pack.
When packing is complete each day the QC apprentice will take a random sample of each species back to the QC kitchen for tasting to our taste panel. The fish is cooked and tasted to see how they fair on the Torry scale.
Each member of our technical team and taste panel are trained to carry out the Torry Assessment and can use this information to check how many days the fish has been out of the water and on ice, this allows us to ensure that the catch information and dates match up.
The frozen and ready prepared products are no different, each product is produced in small batches using top quality fish by local producers and regularly compared to ensure our quality is a cut above.
A sample from each batch is taken from stock by frozen coldstore supervisor Barry Ballard, who will carry out several QC checks including weight and count checks, core percentage checks and organoleptic (smell and taste) assessment. He works alongside our frozen purchasing manager and our suppliers to ensure our very high standards are met.
We are third party accredited by SALSA, which is a standard written by experienced food safety experts. Their team provide us with expert advice and guidelines so that we can ensure that we are fully compliant.
The annual audit requires us to demonstrate that we operate to the required standard by ensuring the correct HACCP, health and safety and food hygiene standards are practiced and that the supporting evidence and paperwork is in place.
Our technical managers job is to demonstrate that we routinely check and test our products, that we follow the set guidelines and to prove to our auditor that we are able to produce our products safely and legally exceeding the standards expected by enforcement authorities.
We are proud to say that following our audit in March we have again passed for 2020. We are grateful to our QC team led by Technical Manager Richard Kirwin who himself has worked in the factory at Regal for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience so we trust we are in very safe hands!
Meet the team –