Friday, March 27, 2009

Keeping Seafood Fresh

Seafood is one of the safest food products you can bring home from the market if you follow just one simple rule: keep it cold. Seafood freezes at about 28 degrees Fahrenheit, so you get the longest shelf life by keeping your seafood as close to this temp as possible without actually freezing it.

Obviously this is colder than you would keep you refrigerator, you don't want to freeze your milk, eggs and other foodstuffs, so most refrigerators are set to just below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom of the refrigerator is the coldest spot inside the box, you will usually have a drawer marked "Meat" down there, and this is the best place to store your seafood, as it is usually closer to about 35 degrees.

Kept at this temperature, and assuming your seafood was "fresh" when purchased, you should have two to three days from date of purchase to safely cook and consume your product. Ask your fishmonger to pack your seafood in ice to insure it stays "in temp" while you finish your shopping and for the trip home.

Every degree of temperature rise in the seafood decreases the shelf life of the product, and, if it rises above 40 degrees bacteria can begin to actively grow and start spoilage.

So in conclusion when it comes to seafood, to keep it safe, keep it cold.

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