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Summertime seafood: how to stay safe

October 2, 2014

If you’re not used to purchasing seafood on a regular basis, then you might find the process to be somewhat challenging. Food safety experts and health professionals recommend that consumers keep a number of important rules in mind when it comes to getting their share of seafood in the summertime in order to keep their family safe from harm.

Smell seafood before buying it

Many consumers labour under the misconception that seafood should smell unpleasant. In truth, if your seafood smells fishy or unpleasant, it may not be as fresh as your store is claiming it to be. Fresh and safe seafood should not have any strong odour whatsoever and should smell like the sea.

Check the texture

When you are purchasing fish, pay special attention to their gills and eyes. The eyes should be clear, with no sign of discolouration, and the gills should appear to be firm and supple. If the flesh of your fish feels mushy when you touch it, then it is most probably past it’s prime.

Assess the appearance

Another thing to consider is the overall appearance of your seafood. For example, skins should look shiny and fresh, while scales should look tight and neat. Do not buy any fish that looks spotty, dull or old in any way. Any kind of discolouration can be a sign that the fish is not fresh and should not be eaten.

Store the food properly

Once you have found and purchased seafood that meets your high-quality standards, it’s important that you store it properly. Always keep the fish as chilled as possible until it can be placed in your fridge, and make sure to store fresh seafood away from all other food types.

Generally, seafood should be consumed within two days of purchase to ensure the optimum level of freshness.