Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fish and Seafood Safety: How to buy and cook it safely


Tips for Safely Buying Fish and Seafood:

  • Only buy fish that is properly refrigerated (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Look for shiny and firm flesh with a fresh odor; do not purchase if separating from the bone or if there is an overly "fishy" odor.
  • Avoid packages of frozen seafood containing ice crystals. This is a sign the seafood has previously thawed and been re-frozen.
  • Pick out seafood toward the end of your shopping trip and ask to have it bagged separately from other groceries.

Once you get home, refrigerate or freeze your purchase immediately.

Tips for Storing Seafood:

Fresh Seafood
  • Refrigerate seafood immediately below 40° F after buying. Wrap fresh seafood in cellophane or air-tight containers
  • Store live clams, oysters, mussels, crabs, lobsters and crayfish in well ventilated containers and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel
Frozen Seafood
  • Store frozen seafood immediately at 0° F after buying or until ready to use. Keep it in the original moisture and vapor-proof packages

Tips for Preparing Seafood:

Fresh Seafood
  • Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Use two separate cutting boards, one for raw seafood and the other for cooked seafood
Frozen Seafood
  • Follow the same preparation techniques for frozen seafood as for raw seafood
  • Prepare frozen seafood according to package directions.
  • Defrost frozen seafood in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave--never on the counter

Cook fish until it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork

This blog was adapted from an original article published by The American Dietetic Association website, Produced by ADA's Public Relations Team

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