How is canned tuna made?

From the initial catch until the finished product is shipped, StarKist Tuna undergoes rigid quality controls. At each step of the process, we take every care to provide the quality consumers have come to expect from StarKist.

The tuna are frozen while aboard the fishing vessel. Once the boat reaches the dock, the frozen tuna are unloaded and continuously monitored. Next the fish are thawed and cleaned. Each fish is individually checked, and any fish not meeting our standards are removed.

After the initial inspections, the fish are pre-cooked or steamed in large wire baskets and allowed to cool. Both the cooking and cooling processes are carefully timed according to the size and the type of fish. Next each fish is carefully hand-cleaned and inspected once again. The tender loins are cut into fillets and then conveyed to the filling machines that prepare solid-pack tuna, or to the "chopper" used to prepare chunk-style tuna.

Depending on the style, precise amounts of fine grain salt, vegetable broth and water or pure vegetable oil may be added. The filled cans are then vacuum-sealed and cooked (retorted) for a precise amount of time. We do not use all parts of the tuna in our canned product; only the light and white color portion of the body muscle and tissue are canned; the offal, heads, tails, bones, skin, and fins are put into our reduction plant to produce fish meal and oil. (As per David Yao, 3/01)