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PARKnSHOP's new fresh fish centre sets
milestone for seafood hygiene & safety

(Hong Kong, May 30, 2001) PARKnSHOP today unveiled a major new initiative to market fresher, healthier seafood in Hong Kong with the opening of the Fresh Fish Centre (FFC) in Aberdeen.

The facility sets a new milestone for Hong Kong's fresh food industry with world-class hygiene standards, purified water and a better-controlled supply chain.

It enables PARKnSHOP to source seafood directly from fishermen or growers and to track and control deliveries from the sea to the superstore fish tanks.

"This fresh approach to fish is a pioneering initiative, a 'first' for a local retailer and it demonstrates our passion for food safety," said Logan Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of A. S. Watson Group's Retail Food Division, which runs PARKnSHOP.

PARKnSHOP was also the first to launch a "superstore" and it pioneered the "Fresh Check" campaign of which the Fresh Fish Centre is the latest initiative.

"We are introducing a fundamental change to the fish supply chain to benefit Hong Kong consumers, suppliers and the community at large," Mr Taylor said.

"PARKnSHOP is leading the way in Hong Kong by adopting international standards to ensure seafood safety for consumers."

The new water purifying system was designed by Professor Daniel Kwong On Chan, a leading expert on seafood and seawater safety in Hong Kong. He is Chair Professor of the Department of Zoology and Director of the Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong.

"The primary risk of live fish is the water in which they are kept," Professor Chan said.

"The single biggest source of contamination is in the holding tanks. It is therefore in all of our interests to ensure that the water in holding tanks is clean.

"Unique features of the FFC include two separate purifying systems, temperature-controlled water, biological filters and UV lights installed over each of the 35 independent fish tanks to prevent bacteria," Professor added.

Mr Taylor said "Seawater is taken from unpolluted outlying islands where water-quality has been tested and approved and is purified and pumped to the holding tanks."

"The water is subject to a constant series of tests to ensure that NO fish sold at a 'freshmarket' in a PARKnSHOP superstore poses a risk to our customers," Mr Taylor added.

The 10,000 sq.ft. facility represents an investment of over HK$6 million. It is also the latest initiative in the supermarket chain's 'Fresh Check' campaign.

Since being introduced three years ago, the 'Fresh Check' initiative has revolutionised PARKnSHOP's supply chain for fresh food such as vegetables and pork. The system incorporates supply audits, laboratory testing and even a 'Hygiene Academy' for staff.

It is driven by the principles of:

- Traceability: The ability to identify the source of all fresh food sold.

- Auditing and Testing: To ensure good hygiene practices are maintained at every stage of the supply chain

- World's Best Standards of Handling, Processing and Distribution: Including maintenance of appropriate temperature regimes

"With the FFC we are entering a new phase in our 'Fresh Check' food safety plan with cleaner water for safer fish," Mr Taylor said.

"The FFC initiative builds on our 'Fresh Check' commitment to quality and underlines our passion for food safety," Mr Taylor added.

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