FDA/JIFSAN’s First Train-the-Trainer Program in Good Fishing Vessel Practices (GFvP) and Seafood HACCP Inspections in Goa is a Success

The first FDA/JIFSAN train-the-trainer program in Good Fishing Vessel Practices (GFvP) and Seafood HACCP Inspections was held in Goa, India September 16-20, 2013. The program was a great success, with 26 participants representing the Export Inspections Council (EIC), the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, the Kerala State Co-op Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd., and other members of the seafood processing industry.

The five-day program focused on risk control in the harvesting and processing of wild fishery products and was administered by a training team including Brett Koonse, Vi Au, Mark Farrell, Rupa Pradhan, Dipesh Sha (FDA), and Thomas Rippen (JIFSAN).

After a general overview of HACCP, risks, and considerations in GFvP on day one, participants conducted their first group exercise. Group exercises were included each day and allowed participants the opportunity to explore, discuss, and apply what they learned in that session.  Throughout the remaining days, policies and procedures in GFvP were discussed. Participants learned HACCP regulations, inspection, cleaning, sanitation, and hazard control procedures on day 2 and were given the opportunity to present in groups on the exercise they completed.

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A highlight of the train-the-trainer programs is a mid-week field trip. Participants in the GFvP training visited a fish processing plant and a landing center in order to apply their knowledge and assess the strategies being implemented at these centers. The following day included presentations on US FDA policies and operations, as well as the strategies used in India’s seafood export practices. The final day involved student presentations on their observations from the fish processing plant and landing center field trips.

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Feedback from the participants indicated that the program was highly successful, and follow-up will occur after 6-12 months to identify if participants have begun to practice GFvPs and improved on-shore HACCP/SSOP practices, and if so, what challenges they face. A notable strength of this new program is the applied format and hands-on experiences, which were shown to be helpful for making connections between classroom material and implementation of procedures.