Frozen seafood often is superior in quality to fresh products. Many seafood products are" flash frozen" within hours of being harvested, while it takes several days for the same fish to reach our store as "fresh."
Consequently, seafood must be handled with care while being kept cool and moist. Rough handling or improper storage can severely damage the taste, aroma, appearance and texture of seafood products.
Frozen Seafood KEEP FROZEN SEAFOOD:
COOL Hold frozen seafood at 0F or colder.
CLEAN Clean and sanitize seafood handling areas daily.
MOIST Protect frozen seafood from dehydration and "freezer burn."
MOVING Follow first-in, first-out rotation.
Slow thawing of frozen seafood is very important. Thawing can have a tremendous effect on flavor, texture, aroma and appearance. The best results are obtained when the product is thawed at 32-35F. (0C +1,5 C)
If it is imperative to shorten thawing time for small amounts of product on an emergency basis, an acceptable method is to seal the frozen seafood in a watertight plastic bag and immerse in very cold water. Never soak fish directly in water.
Simple but important rules for the stores.
The formula for beating the quality spoilers is very simple: keep seafood clean, cool, moist and moving. Handle seafood with care and pay close attention to temperatures and sanitation.
Temperatures are particularly important. A fish held at 50F will spoil five times faster than one held at 32F. Even the difference of a few degrees can be critical. A good rule of thumb is that product shelf life is cut in half by every 10F. increase in temperature.
Protect fresh seafood from dehydration and airborne contamination by keeping it covered. Perforation of plastic bags and other airtight containers used for storing fresh seafood is recommended, as some fresh seafood should not be held for extended periods of time in airtight containers.
Frozen seafood should not be exposed to oxygen. Frozen products should be held in airtight containers or be shielded from oxygen by protective coverings such as water glaze or vacuum packaging.
This guide was developed by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and contains a set of general recommendations.