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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

World the oyster for shellfish boss

A SHELLFISH business’s course on a new shellfish cleansing method went swimmingly on November 21.

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MUSSEL MEN: Kingfisher Seafoods staff making sure the shellfish are cleaned externally after their internal purification JON GRANGER REF: 50041390B002

Kingfisher Shellfish’s dispatch centre, on Forge Close, Barrow, showed off a new shellfish purification system built by business founder, Rob Benson.

Mr Benson, who started the business in 2004, said: “What we have got here is a little bit different from some of the other shell fish purification systems”.

The 45-year-old worked extremely hard to build the system and then get the seal of approval from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science.

He said: “It took two and a half years to get the system to a point where we could test it”.

On the training day Mr Benson,who comes from a fishing background, showed the 15 environmental health officers, from around the UK, how the shellfish purification system worked and the benefits of it.

Mr Benson explained that the system pumps salt water around the mussels for 42 hours. The shellfish are then exposed to ultra violet light for further cleansing.

Mr Benson said that 98 per cent of Kingfisher Seafoods Ltd’s products are exported.

However, he said that they are now seeing an increase in the UK market since the new system has been brought in.

Mr Benson said that this technique makes them safe for human consumption by removing bacteria like e coli. He is confident that his new system is “one of the best in the market”.

He said in the past he had travelled all over the UK and parts of Europe, visiting and learning from other shellfish purification systems.

This gave him a lot of experience to reflect upon and proved to be a great help when it came to building his own system.

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