Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains
©FAO/Ansen Ward
  • Supportive Policy Environment
  • Application of Appropriate Technology
  • Skills and Knowledge
  • Services and Infrastructure
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Social and Gender Equity
  • Markets

Skills and Knowledge for Freezing

Key skills and knowledge required by those managing and working in a fish freezing facility and which prevent and reduce food loss and waste (FLW) include:

  • principles of freezing and glazing
  • packaging materials for frozen fishery products
  • fish spoilage and raw material handling
  • equipment for fish freezing
  • cold chain principles
  • cold storage operations
  • GHP and GMP prerequisites
  • Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)

Important ‘Do’s and Don’ts’

Important ‘Do’s and Don’ts’

The list below contains some of the most important ‘do’s and don’ts’ for both the chilled and frozen food producer:

  • Maintain high levels of hygiene at all stages of the product’s life.
  • Chill or freeze products quickly and adequately after preparation and manufacture.
  • Rigidly maintain chill (<5°C) or frozen (<-18°C) temperatures, wherever possible, during storage and distribution.
  • Rigidly maintain chill (<5°C) and frozen (<-18°C) temperatures in holding stores and display cabinets.
  • Ensure that chilled or frozen products are transferred in a continuous operation (no stopping or delays) between temperature-controlled areas (e.g. delivery trucks to holding stores; storage areas to retail display units).
  • Segregate cooked and uncooked chilled or frozen products in storage and retail display cabinets (e.g. segregate uncooked meats and ready-to-eat meat products).
  • Conduct frequent and systematic temperature checks on chilled and frozen food product temperatures, using appropriate and calibrated instrumentation.
  • Do not overload chilled or frozen retail cabinets with product: refer to cabinet manufacturer’s recommended capacity and loading patterns.
  • Train and educate all personnel (including consumers) in the correct handling and storage of chilled and frozen foods. Re-educate when new practices are adopted.



According to the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products, glazing is the application of a protective layer of ice formed at the surface of a frozen product by spraying it with, or dipping it into, clean seawater, potable water, or potable water with approved additives, as appropriate.

Glazing is a process used to reduce undesirable drying or dehydration of fish during frozen or cold storage. Excessive drying during frozen storage results in freezer burn and a decrease in fish quality.

Key Publications

Managing The Cold Chain For Quality And Safety

This manual summarizes the key recommendations for processing, handling, distribution and storage of chilled and frozen foods.

Frozen Fish: Control of Glazing Operation

Research on the implications of time/temperature on the glazing of fish.

More Resources

More Resources

One of the major issues prevailing in the fisheries and aquaculture industry in Sri Lanka is the high loss and waste of fish, and it has become necessary to introduce strategies aimed at preventing and...
What happens to fish after it is caught has a big impact on its quality. This guide is for fishers, vessel owners, extension services, and anyone interested in how to maintain fish quality.
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