Seafood, like all food products has a shelf life. Fish, crustaceans and cephalopods are best consumed within 2-3 days of purchase. Ideally, live shellfish should be consumed the same day it is purchased. If it is not stored properly the shelf life is decreased and there is a risk of food poisoning. So follow these simple rules to help keep you seafood in the best condition.
FRESH SEAFOOD STORAGE: always clean, scale, gut and rinse fish then place in a clean plastic bag on a plate or tray in a covered container. Fish should be used within 2-3 days following purchase. Live shellfish should be consumed as quickly as possible following purchase, but if you must store them ensure that they are placed in a container and covered with damp paper towel. Keep them in the warmest part of the refrigerator i.e. the crisper.
FROZEN SEAFOOD STORAGE: before freezing all fish should be clean, gutted, filleted and rinsed. Always place your fish in an airtight freezer bag with a label and date to ensure it is consumed within the guideline times of six months for oily fish. Fillets and cutlets should not be stored longer than three months.
If you are freezing squid or octopus ensure the gut is removed and the flesh is clean. Squid and octopus should not be stored longer than three months.
For unpeeled prawns place them into a sealed container, cover with water and freeze. The large block with insulates the prawns. Do not add salt to the water as this will remove moisture from the meat. Prawns should not be stored longer than three months.
The Fisheries Research and Development Cooperation (FRDC) developed “What’s So Great About Seafood” and “What’s So Healthy About Seafood” brochures to assist consumers make informed choices.