Safe Seafood Storage 101
Seafood may be a delicious addition to the dinner table, but it is a food that many home cooks shy away from because of the high potential for foodborne illnesses. However, with the right storage and preparation, seafood will be perfectly safe to bring to the table. Here are some helpful seafood storage tips to keep in mind.
Always purchase seafood at the end of your shopping trip.
You’ll want to minimize the time that any fish or shellfish spends out of the fridge, so always purchase your seafood at the end of your shopping trip. Even better, bring a cooler with ice or pre-frozen ice packs to keep your fish well chilled on the drive home.
Keep seafood in the coldest part of the fridge.
The back of the bottom shelf tends to be the coldest area of the refrigerator, and it’s where you should store your seafood until it’s time to cook. You should also check that the operating temperature of your fridge is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower—any higher temperatures can rapidly affect the quality of your fish.
If you’re storing live shellfish in the fridge, such as clams or mussels, place them in a tray (do not add water) with wet paper towels on top prior to storing. They can be kept chilled safely for 2-3 days before use.
Only thaw frozen seafood when it’s ready for use.
If you purchase frozen seafood, mark the date clearly on the package and keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw and use. You may also freeze fresh fish after purchasing. Always move items from the freezer on a first-in, first-out basis. You should only thaw seafood in the fridge, rather than on the counter or in the microwave. Storing it in the fridge overnight should be enough. Once seafood has been thawed, do not refreeze it.
For the freshest selection of seafood in the Rocky Mountains, visit Steamboat Meat & Seafood. Their fishmongers can help you make the perfect selections for any recipe and offer their tips for safe storage and handling. Pay them a visit at their store in Steamboat Springs, CO, or call (970) 879-3504 for hours and other information.
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