Training Videos Developed for Spanish-speaking Employees of NC Seafood Processors

— Written By NC State Extension
en Español / em Português

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Seafood processors have a new training tool to provide a better understanding of sanitation and safety requirements for Spanish-speaking employees. The NC State Seafood Laboratory received a grant through NC Sea Grant to develop eight videos that explain and show the sanitation and safety regulations the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires for seafood processing plants.

Photo of 20 seafood processing workers attend video training class.

Seafood processing workers view training videos.

Sanitation and safety within the seafood processing industry are essential throughout the food supply chain to guarantee a safe product for public consumption. Improper sanitation practices are the most common type of violation discovered by federal and state health inspectors during food safety inspections of seafood processors. The FDA reported that the success rates for providing adequate sanitation controls (all GMPs, sanitation monitoring, and recordkeeping) range yearly from about 60-70% for seafood processors.

With a shortage of domestic workers in the U.S. seafood processing industry, it is common for businesses to employ international Spanish-speaking workers through the H-2B Visa Program. These workers often speak and/or understand little English, and they make up a large portion of the local North Carolina seafood processing workforce. This can result in communication difficulties.

To aid in the communication with these workers, the objectives of the project were to develop and implement sanitation and safety training videos for the Spanish-speaking employees, and to evaluate the video’s effectiveness on workers’ practical knowledge and skills. The content of the training videos focuses on eight key sanitation conditions or areas specified by the FDA Seafood HACCP Regulations.

Local NC seafood processor, Pamlico Packing Co., Inc., collaborated with the Seafood Laboratory to implement the training program. Informative pamphlets that contained a condensed summary of the training content were developed and distributed to employees.

Those employees who received the new sanitation and safety training reported feeling more confident in performing job duties and improved their scores on a relevant knowledge assessment. It was clear that workers’ performance on the designed food safety and sanitation knowledge evaluation was not necessarily indicative of their performance in hands-on sanitation and safety behaviors. Because the observed hands-on sanitation and safety performance of workers was so high before the training—97-100% efficacy—there was not much room for improvement in this regard.

Seafood processing workers who practice sanitation and safety guidelines incorrectly, or at a lower standard than required, may increase their performance when following the guidelines learned from this training.

Overall, the implementation of the video training did result in more job-related confidence and knowledge for workers, which can potentially lead to more significant economic gains for processors, as well as a lower risk of illness for workers and consumers.

Click below to obtain the Sanitation and Safety in Seafood Processing pamphlets. English    Spanish 

Watch the Training Videos:

These videos are only produced in Spanish. Subtitles can be auto-generated in Spanish and English on YouTube.

Video 1: Safety of Water

Video 2: Condition and Cleanliness of Food Contact Surfaces

Video 3: Prevention of Cross-Contamination

Video 4: Maintenance of Hand Washing, Hand Sanitizing, and Toilet Facilities

Video 5: Protection from Food Adulterants

Video 6: Proper Labeling, Storage, and Use of Toxic Compounds

Video 7: Control of Employee Health Conditions

Video 8: Exclusion of Pests

For more information on this project and the implementation of this training program, contact Alex Chouljenko, Assistant Professor, and Greg Bolton, Research Specialist,