Working on the Slime Line in a Fresh Frozen Plant
Slime Line Jobs
Belly slitter: The slitter uses a fillet knife to cut a slit from the throat to the end of the abdomen and then sends the fish to the next station.
Head decapitator machine: Usually two people work this machine, but this depends upon the size of the plant and how many slime lines are going. Basically, fish are fed into this “guillotine,” beheaded, and moved down the line.
Gut puller: Workers on the slime line, often positioned after the belly slitter, pull out guts and egg sacs as fish are passed to them. In many plants, a machine does this task.
Spooning: This is the process of cleaning out any leftover guts and removing the organs that run down the spine of the fish.
Washing: This is done manually with a small hose or by machine. The machine is sometimes like a dishwasher, showering fish with ice water as they come down the line. Usually, one or two people are in charge of running fish into the washer.
Fish grading: Graders are at the end of the slime line. These people separate the fish into three or four grades:
4=mushy (not fit for human consumption).
After grading, individual fish are sorted into bins.
Weighing: Fish are slid quickly onto a scale and then sorted into bins according to their size.
Sorting: People in this position ensure that fish are placed into proper bins according to type of fish, size, grade, and weight.
Tray stacking : Often fish go directly from the scales at the end of the slime line onto trays that are stacked on rolling racks. Once the racks are loaded, they are wheeled to the walk-in freezer room.
Freezer Crew Jobs
Glaze line: Workers here break frozen fish from their trays and run them through a brine solution before packing.
Packing room : Frozen fish are packaged according to classification and readied for shipment. Workers move pallets, label boxes, and ensure proper loading of fish.