Extract shellfish meat by hand

Business Sectors (Suites): Fish and Shellfish Processing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 01 Jan 2019


This standard is about extracting shellfish meat by hand. It details the skills and knowledge required to set-up and extract cooked shellfish meat using hand tools and equipment. It is also about working to organisational product specifications and production schedules. While this is primarily about cooked crustaceans (such as crabs, lobsters), it can also include other shellfish such as whelks.

You must be able to prepare to extract shellfish meat by hand. You must also be able to extract shellfish meat by hand. You must also be able to complete the extraction of shellfish meat.

This standard is for you if you work in the fish or shellfish industry and are involved in the extraction of shellfish meat by hand.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. extract shellfish meat by hand in accordance with organisational standards
  2. confirm meat extraction specification
  3. obtain tools and equipment required to support extraction operations, including hygiene and personal protective equipment
  4. prepare and maintain work station throughout the process
  5. confirm condition of tools and equipment is suitable for achieving required production specification
  6. obtain shellfish to meet required specification
  7. extract meat from shell
  8. remove and discard inedible shellfish organs
  9. check yields and quality requirements against specification
  10. check extracted meat for unwanted shell content
  11. maintain specified rate of production
  12. handle and store shellfish meat in a manner which maintains quality and condition
  13. maintain hygienic condition of tools and equipment
  14. make sure the product is transferred to the next stage in the manufacturing operation
  15. deal with materials that can be re-cycled or re-worked
  16. dispose of waste material according to organisational procedures
  17. maintain communication
  18. complete records in accordance with organisational requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. what the organisational standards are and what may happen if they are not followed
  2. how to obtain and interpret the relevant process and quality specifications
  3. the tools and equipment required to support hand extraction of shellfish meat
  4. how to prepare and maintain work stations in a condition suitable for shellfish meat extraction
  5. how to maintain tools and equipment in a condition suitable for extracting shellfish meat
  6. how to identify commonly used shellfish species
  7. the anatomy of shellfish species including those parts of the shellfish that must be discarded
  8. how to extract shellfish meat to maximise yield
  9. batch control and traceability procedures
  10. how and why it is important to remove all shell parts from meat
  11. how to check for pieces of shell in extracted shellfish meat
  12. how to assess the quality of cooked shellfish meat
  13. how to deal with shellfish which is not fit for use
  14. common quality problems associated with cooked shellfish meat extraction and their causes
  15. what action to take when the process specification is not met
  16. the parts of the shellfish that can be re-worked and re-cycled
  17. how to dispose of waste and why it is important to do so
  18. the limits of your own authority and competence and why it is important to work within those limits
  19. what recording, reporting and communication is needed, how to carry this out and the reasons why it is important to do so


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Crab; Store; Health; Safety; Hygiene; Meat; Organs; Shell