Correct Seafood Storage and Transport
Whether at home, in a commercial environment, or during transport, the proper storage of seafood is an extremely important thing.
Like most other meats, seafood is highly vulnerable to forming bacteria that could make you ill if not stored properly. We have put together some tips to help you know how seafood should be stored.
A general rule to refrigerating seafood is that you must make sure to consume it within 1 – 3 days of placing it in the fridge. Other factors to consider:
- Fish: Scale, clean and gut your fish. Place in a plate or tray and cover with a damp cloth and then plastic wrap. If you can, store in the coldest part of your fridge. The food will keep for 1 – 3 days. Never cover the fish with a plastic bag. This causes sweating.
- Squid, cuttlefish and octopus: Clean and rinse these, then follow the same steps as with fish. These will keep for 1 – 3 days, as well.
- Live crustaceans (e.g. crabs): With crustaceans, they should be consumed as soon as possible. So there is no 3 day window here. Put them in a container with a damp cloth over them and place them into a cool area of the fridge. Ensure the cloth remains damp.
- Live molluscs (e.g. mussels): The same situation as with crustaceans, only you need to place them in the warmer parts of the fridge (i.e. crisper).
These rules apply to both home freezers and commercial freezers. Not only is it good practice, but it’s law in places such as restaurants and supermarkets. Here at Cannons, we have specialised refrigerated freight vehicles that can adhere to the regulated requirements of keeping seafood frozen, fresh, and free of bacteria right up to delivering it to our clients.
- Make sure you effectively scale, gut, gill and wipe out all fish.
- For molluscs, clean them and then remove the meat. Place them in airtight freezer bags. Ensure you remove as much air out of the bags as possible.
- Non-oily fish can be frozen for up to 6 months at -20 degrees Celsius.
- Oily fish can be frozen for up to 3 months at -20 degrees Celsius, as can molluscs and crustaceans.
- For prawns, place them in a large container, fill with water, and seal. The ice that forms insulates them. Do not place any salt in with them as this sucks away moisture.
- Ensure you label all seafood so you know when you placed them in the freezer
- Make note that many domestic freezers cannot reach 120 degrees Celsius. This means they won’t keep as long. Try to consume your seafood within 3 months at the very latest.
If you have anymore tips regarding the safe storage of food, be sure to share them with us in the comments below.