Monthly Archives: December 2014

Seafood safety: A guide to proper handling and storing fresh seafood

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There is a compulsory need to be properly educated about fish and shellfish consumption to ensure that these are safe to eat. Studies have shown that the most common food-borne illnesses are caused by bacteria present in the environment and in food handling errors committed in commercial settings, food service institutions, and even at home.

Seafood is highly perishable and so should be purchased last when doing the groceries. To further avoid cross-contaminating other food products in the shopping cart, enclose individual packages of seafood in Ziploc or plastic bags. This way, the bacteria in raw fish juice is contained and won’t drip on other foods.

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When the seafood arrives home from the market or mail-order, store it immediately in the coldest part of the refrigerator at temperature close to 32 °F or 0 °C as possible. This is if it is not to be consumed within the day. Any degree higher than that will take away fish quality faster.

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In handling fish, lift it whole with both hands and avoid holding it by the tail since it bruises easily. Seal fish fillets or steaks in plastic bags and cover them with ice in trays or pans. Fresh fish that is not prepackaged should be thoroughly washed under cold running water and patted dry with paper towel. Wrap it in Ziploc or plastic wrap and store it in an air-tight container before putting in the refrigerator until ready for cooking. Shelf life of fish is quick so it is best consumed within one to two days.

As for shellfish, store it in a shallow dish with damp towels. Never submerge live shellfish in water or air-tight containers since they could suffocate and die. Squid and shrimp should be stored in plastic containers and have a shelf life of one to two days. Live lobsters and crabs should be cooked the same day they are purchased. Once cooked, lobster or crab meat may be stored in an air-tight plastic container and have an extended shelf life of three to four days.

Owner of Northern Fisheries, Ltd. Brian Eliason ensures high quality seafood products brought to you shipped from around the world. Connect to the seafoood supplier through this Facebook page to learn more about its products.