Food Safety: Buying and Storing Fish and Seafood
High in protein and low in fat, fish and seafood are great choices for healthy eating. Oily fish provides a high source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good fats. And white-fleshed fish offers less fat than any other source of animal protein.
If you’re planning on putting fresh fish and seafood on your menu, you should take note of these buying and storing tips.
- Only buy fresh fish and seafood that is refrigerated or displayed on a bed of fresh ice.
- Smell it before cooking it. Fresh fish and seafood should have a mild and fresh scent and should not smell fishy or sour.
- The eyes of fish and seafood should be clear.
- The flesh of fillets and whole fish and seafood should be firm, should have shiny flesh, and should have bright red gills free from milky slime.
- When pressed, the flesh of fish and seafood should bounce back.
- The edges of fish fillets should show no darkening, discoloration, or drying.
- The flesh of shrimp should be shiny and translucent and should not have any odor.
- Make sure and get your fish and seafood home in a timely manner, as they can spoil if they thaw during transport.
- Check fish and seafood packages before you buy them. Make sure they are not open or torn.
- Avoid any fish and seafood packages that show signs of ice crystals, as they may have been thawed and refrozen.
- Store fish and seafood on ice in the refrigerator or freezer.
- If you plan on using fish and seafood within two days after purchasing it, you can store it in the refrigerator. If you will be using it after two days, you should wrap it tightly in foil, moisture-proof paper, or plastic, and store it in the freezer.