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26 November 2010

How to know if your seafood is fresh, healthy

If seafood is on the menu this holiday, there are a number of ways you can ensure that it's fresh and safe.

If seafood is on the menu this holiday, there are a number of ways you can ensure that it's fresh and safe.

Fresh prawns, shrimp, lobster, soft shell crabs and rock shrimp should have a uniformly light-colored tail without any discoloration, Shelke said. Mollusks in the shell should be alive and hold tightly to their shells when handled and must come with either a "last sale date" or "date shucked."

When buying fresh oysters, look for a natural creamy colour within a clear liquid.

  • Fresh fish, shrimp, scallops, freshwater prawns, and lobster tails can be stored in tightly sealed storage bags or plastic containers and kept on ice in the refrigerator. Using this method, fresh scallops and crustacean tails will keep three to four days and fresh fish will keep five to seven days.
  • Scallops, crustacean tails and fish can be frozen in water and stored in a freezer for four to six months. To thaw, leave them in the refrigerator overnight or you can place them under cold, running tap water immediately before you cook them.
  • Live, hardshell mollusks can remain alive for a week to 10 days stored un-iced in the fridge, kept at 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Freshly shucked mollusks can keep for up to 10 days when packed in ice and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Fresh softshell crabs can be stored up to two days if wrapped in plastic and packed in ice in the fridge. They can keep for up to six months when wrapped in several layers of plastic and stored in a freezer (at 0 degrees Fahrenheit). It is important to thaw these overnight in the refrigerator only.

 
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