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To assess the quality of fresh fish, there are a few simple things to look for:
- Fresh whole fish should have bulging, bright, clear eyes; skin should
be shiny, firm and elastic to the touch, gills should be red
not brown, and if gutted, the cavity should be clean.
- Fresh bivalve molluscs should be tightly closed or close on tapping,
with no cracks in the shells.
- Live crustaceans should react to being touched, and the tail should
fold under the body of live Lobsters, Langoustines and Crayfish.
- Smoked fish should be glossy, with no gaping or discolouration. Should
smell fresh and smokey.
This is a general guide to storing seafood in a domestic or food service
environment, prior to cooking and consumption.
Once received, store whole fish on a tray in a refrigerator covered with cling film at
between 0 and 2°C.
The gut cavity should be clean, and the fish should
be dry, not sitting in a pool of water if possible,
place the fish on a rack in a tray. Fillets and portions should
be stored the same way.
Molluscs and live crustaceans should be covered with a damp cloth or seaweed,
and a lid kept on the box to avoid dehydration – this helps to keep the chill off.
The ideal temperature is 6-8°C, and never put
directly in front of fans blowing chilled air.
Always pick up
live crustaceans by the body, not the claws or tail, and treat
them carefully - dropping, throwing or skidding the
boxes across the floor will stress them and weaken them.
Oysters should be stored cup side down to retain
Store smoked fish separately from raw fish in
the refrigerator and don’t forget that hot smoked
fish is a ‘high care’ product and should be stored
accordingly.(i.e. covered and at the top of the refrigerator)
Frozen fish should be defrosted overnight in a refrigerator or cooked from