Process fish or shellfish for retail sale

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


This standard covers hand-processing fish or shellfish for sale to customers. It covers the preparations you need to make so that you can process fish or shellfish safely and hygienically and processing fish or shellfish by hand to produce products that are suitable to sell to customers. The standard involves working with common UK types of flat fish, round fish and shellfish.

You must be able to prepare to process fish or shellfish in a retail environment. You must also be able to process fish or shellfish using hand tools in a retail environment.

This standard is for you if you work in fish or shellfish processing and are involved in the processing in a retail environment.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. process fish or shellfish for sale in a retail environment in accordance with organisational standards
  2. prepare and organise your work area and the tools and equipment you will need so that you can work safely, hygienically
  3. obtain tools and equipment required to support planned operations, including hygiene and personal protective equipment
  4. identify the fish/shellfish you have been asked to prepare and check that it is fit to sell
  5. keep fish/shellfish fit to sell while preparing it for processing
  6. prepare the fish/shellfish hygienically and safely for processing
  7. process fish/shellfish to give products that meet specifications for yield and quality
  8. keep fish/shellfish in a saleable condition while processing
  9. place processed products that meet specifications in a suitable storage container
  10. follow set procedures to deal with products that do not meet specifications
  11. get rid of waste materials according to set procedures
  12. clean processing tools and equipment and put them away
  13. maintain hygienic working conditions
  14. maintain the health and safety of yourself and others
  15. maintain communication with customers

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the organisational standards for processing fish or shellfish for sale in a retail environment and what may happen if they are not followed
  2. the dangers and disadvantages of using unsafe and blunt tools and equipment
  3. the types of accident and injury that can happen during hand processing, and the procedures for dealing with these
  4. how to recognise the fish or shellfish species that are usually sold in fish retail outlets
  5. how to recognise fish or shellfish that are not fit to sell
  6. the emergency procedures associated with processing fish or shellfish for sale in a retail environment
  7. the company's cleaning schedule and why you should follow it
  8. waste disposal procedures
  9. how to recognise the fish or shellfish species that are usually sold in a fish retail outlet
  10. where the different body parts are found on round fish, flat fish and shellfish species, and how this affects the way you process the various species
  11. why it is important to cut fish or shellfish in exactly the right places
  12. techniques for processing fish hygienically and safely so as to produce the yield and quality needed
  13. how to dress cooked shellfish
  14. what recording, reporting and communication is needed, how to carry this out and the reasons why it is important to do so
  15. the limits of your own authority and competence and why it is important to work within those limits


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



Fish; Customers; Retail; Manufacturing; Operation; Process; Health; Safety; Hygiene; Equipment