Types of Seafood Storage Method That You Need To Know In Your Daily LifeCold Chain Problem Solving & Diagnosis March 7, 2022
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Seafood storage can put businesses in a ‘fishy’ situation if storage is not done correctly. The process of storage includes proper handling of the raw materials, storage itself and various preparations required to maintain quality and ensure safety.
Freshly Caught Seafood Storage
Purchased Seafood Storage
Handling Refrigerating Seafood At Home
Freezing Seafood At Home
Final Tips for Storage
With different types of seafood available whether from commercial sources or harvesting one’s own fish, most if not all of them are highly perishable and should be stored and handled in a similar fashion. Seafood should be kept cooled, cleaned and stored appropriately as quickly as possible.
This way, the quality of the product is maintained for cooking and consuming. Let’s take a look at the different seafood storage available whether you’re in a business or storing at home.
Freshly Caught Seafood
If you’re a fisherman harvesting your next catch or someone who enjoys the freshness of newly caught seafood, it’s important to understand how to maximise the quality and shelf life of your seafood.
We recommend placing your freshly caught seafood in an ice slurry with roughly 2 parts ice to 1 part water, or on ice as soon as possible after capture to retain its freshness and quality. Here are other tips as well.
The graph above explains the rates of deterioration of seafood at various temperatures. Seafood stored at 4ºC, for example, deteriorates twice as quickly as seafood stored at 0ºC (0ºC is the temperature of melting ice). Seafood stored at 16ºC, on the other hand, deteriorates approximately six times faster than seafood stored at 0ºC. A cold room is a great place to store freshly caught seafood to maintain the seafood freshness.
Insulated plastic coolers with drain plugs are ideal for storing fish on board or at the dock. Fill the bottom of the cooler with a 3- to 4-inch layer of crushed ice. This creates a buffer zone that keeps fish from coming into direct contact with any fish-ice drip that may accumulate on the cooler's bottom. The majority of the bacteria congregate there. After landing, ice fish as soon as possible. Most small or medium-sized fish do not need to be cleaned or dressed prior to icing.
When you’re buying seafood from the market or grocery shops, ask the fishmonger to pack some ice along with your purchase. The quality and freshness of the seafood will last longer if it’s kept cold, especially if you’re moving around until you get home. Consider using a chiller bag too.
If you’re not planning to consume your fresh seafood immediately, we recommend freezing it to keep it fresh. A good tip on packaging fish is to seal it with no air remaining, such as vacuum packing. It’s important to note that fish with more fat, such as salmon and mackerel, cannot be stored as long as those with less fat, such as cod or hake. In general, fattier fish can be frozen for up to three months, while low-fat fish can be frozen for up to six months in your home freezer.
Refrigerating Seafood At Home
The freshness of your seafood depends not just how you store it, but also how well you care for it. When storing fresh seafood, keep it in the refrigerator's coldest section such as a chiller box or the freezer. Ensure that your home refrigerator is set to 40°F or lower. Higher storage temperatures may cause fish to lose quality and deteriorate quickly, so use ice whenever possible.
Do You Know ►
Different seafoods have different types of preservation and ways to clean and store them before consumption.
Whether they are oyster , crabs , prawns or fish, how we handle them can help us to keep them fresher and a longer shelf life.
It’s important to safely handle seafood to reduce any unwanted health risks. Here are other tips for buying, preparing, and storing different kinds of fish and shellfish.
Freezing Seafood At Home
Freezing extends food storage life by making it more inert and slowing down the negative reactions that promote food spoilage and limit quality shelf life. One of the most important methods of processing and preserving fish is freezing. The most common freezing methods are blast freezing, plate freezing, immersion freezing, and spray freezing.
It’s highly advisable to consume your fresh seafood within 3 days. Otherwise, it is recommended to freeze them to retain the quality and freshness. One important element is to remove any air from the packaging from the seafood before freezing.
Here are some techniques that you can refer to when it comes to eliminating air.
Final Tips for Storage
To avoid cross-contamination, all foods, including seafood, must be handled and prepared in a clean environment. Remember to keep your hands, prep area, and utensils clean at all times. Never allow raw seafood to come into contact with cooked or ready-to-eat foods (e.g. salads, fruit, smoked fish).
Make sure that the juices from raw seafood do not drip onto food that has already been cooked or food that will not be cooked in your refrigerator, whether you are storing fresh fish or thawing frozen fish.
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