Hello my name is Edward Kwong and I am the Technical Support Officer at a company named Ichiban. It’s my job to make sure there aren’t any pests in the factory and everything is shipshape and spick and span.
You may not have heard of Ichiban but if you have ever purchased a ready made pack of sushi from your local supermarket then it more than likely came from my factory which is the UK’s largest producer of fresh sushi.
We make over twenty different types of sushi, but the three main types we produce include:
Maki sushi (California Roll) – which is a cylindrical shaped piece of rice that is then wrapped in Nori (sea weeds) and is filled with a range of different fillings including cucumber, pepper, prawns or fish.
Nagiri sushi– which consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that is pressed into a small rectangular box and is typically topped with salmon,tuna or other seafood.
Hosomaki – a thinner version of the Maki sushi which usually only contains one filling, a varieties of ingredients such as tuna, pepper or cucumber.
Along with a range of other specialised product this sushi is normally pre-packed with soy sauce, wasabi (a hot paste made from the grated root of the Wasabia japonica plant), and gari (sweet pickled ginger) which is eaten with the sushi to both cleanse the palate and aid in digestion.
Although sushi is simply just rolled rice, fish and vegetables the technical challenges we face in making an excellent quality product on mass are numerous. There are processes at key stages of production that could go wrong including the risk of product contamination from foreign bodies. Insects may be a delicacy in many parts of the world but they have no place in my finished product.
The potential risk of product contamination is one of the main reasons why we use Rentokil Pest Control as our pest control provider and we have been using the services of Rentokil at this site since it opened years ago and I must say that I am a fan as we’ve received an excellent level of service from their local technician and field biologist over that period.
Now, I must point out that Ichiban has a reputation for producing high quality chilled ready to eat sushi and is committed to upholding that reputation and ensure that all products are safe and high quality, but we need to make sure that we’ve taken all the necessary steps to prevent pests from accessing our products before, during and after its production.
We use PestNetOnline as our reporting system as it allows us to quickly monitor, online, all of the areas at risk of pests, from raw materials to chilled storage. By monitoring all of the control points including mouse bait stations, moth pots and fly control units we can be happy in the knowledge that our site is well equipped to deal with any encroaching pest issue.
I’d like to leave you with a small tip before I go: although sushi should be stored below 5C, it tastes better if you leave it out of the fridge for an hour before eating, that really brings out all the different flavours.
Anyone for Sushi?