Purchasing & Storing Seafood


PURCHASING TIPS
 

What to look for when purchasing whole fish:

  • Bright and lustrous skin or scales.
  • Firm flesh that springs back when touched.
  • Bright pink-red gills.
  • Pleasant fresh sea smell.

What to look for when purchasing fillets and cutlets:

  • Bright, lustrous and firm flesh.
  • Any dark muscle should be pink-red in colour.
  • Pleasant fresh sea smell.
  • No discolouration, gaping or bruising.

What to look for when purchasing crustaceans and molluscs:

  • Brightly coloured, lustrous shells or flesh.
  • Firm, intact shells, heads, tentacles or flesh.
  • Shells closed or close when tapped or gently squeezed.
  • Pleasant fresh sea smell.
  • No discolouration, particularly at joints.

Seafood will stay fresh longer if it’s kept cold. When shopping for seafood use a chiller bag or esky and ask your fishmonger to pack some ice with your purchase.

 

STORAGE TIPS
 

Refrigerating:

  • Scale, clean, and gut fish. Place on a plate or tray or in a lidded container, cover with a damp cloth and then with plastic wrap or the lid. Store in the coldest part of the fridge and use within 2 - 3 days.
  • Clean and rinse Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopus. Place on a plate or tray or in a lidded container, cover with a damp cloth and then with plastic wrap or the lid. Store in the coldest part of the fridge and use within 2 - 3 days.
  • Dead crustaceans (such as Prawns) should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, on a plate or tray or in a covered container in the coldest part of the fridge.
  • Live crustaceans (such as Crabs) should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase. Keep in a cool place with a damp cloth over the container ensuring that the cloth remains damp.
  • Live molluscs (such as Mussels) should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase. Place in a container, cover with a damp cloth and keep in the warmest part of the refrigerator, usually the crisper (optimum 5°C), ensuring that the cloth remains damp. Before cooking discard any shells that are open and don’t close when tapped or gently squeezed.

 Freezing:

  • Scale, gut, gill and wipe out all fish before freezing. Place in an airtight freezer bag, extract as much air as possible, label and date.
  • Whole non-oily fish can be frozen for up to 6 months at -18°C or less.*
  • Whole oily fish, and all fish fillets, steaks and cutlets can be frozen for up to 3 months at -18°C or less.*
  • Meat from molluscs (such as Squid and Mussels) can be frozen for up to 3 months at -18°C or less.* Gut and clean Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopus or remove meat from shells. Place in an airtight freezer bag, extract as much air as possible, label and date.
  • Crustaceans can be frozen for up to 3 months at -18°C or less.* Place crustaceans (other than Prawns) in an airtight freezer bag, extract as much air as possible, label and date.
  • Place unpeeled Prawns in a plastic container appropriate to the volume of Prawns. Cover with water, seal and freeze. This forms a large iceblock, which insulates the Prawns. Do not add salt as it draws out the moisture. Label, date and freeze as above. 

* Note: many domestic freezers do not get as low as -18ºC, if in doubt check.