With summer arriving, fresh seafood will soon available in abundance. Whether you’re bringing in fresh Atlantic salmon, live Maine lobster or halibut from the cold waters of Alaska, online safe food training training highlights that special steps should be taken when storing your fresh seafood to prevent cross contamination and keep it fresh for as long as possible.
Seafood Storage and Online Safe Food Training
We learn in our online safe food training that proteins should be stored in order of lowest cooking temperature to highest, with those with the highest cooking temperatures on the lowest shelf. For a quick review, the following list shows proper cooking temperatures for common proteins:
- Seafood: 145 degrees
- Fresh beef steaks, pork chops and ham: 145 degrees
- Ground beef and pork: 160 degrees
- Poultry: 165 degrees
A quick glance at this chart shows that fresh seafood should be stored on the top shelf in your protein cooler. However, we suggest that seafood be stored in its own area in your refrigerator to prevent any potential cross contamination. Seafood allergies cause very severe reactions in those afflicted. Storing seafood over top of other proteins can pose a cross-contamination risk and inadvertently spread these allergens to other items on lower shelves.
It’s also important to take steps to keep your seafood fresh for as long as possible. We have a few tips to help you keep your fish and shellfish stored under the best possible conditions.
- Keep your seafood covered while stored
- Use ice bags, not loose ice to keep your seafood as cold as possible
- Only pull as much seafood from refrigeration as needed for production
The soft flesh of fish dries easily and absorbs flavors of other items. Keeping seafood covered prevents this and helps it retain its unique texture and flavors. Ice melts under refrigeration, so it’s important to use ice bags when keeping seafood cold. If your fish soaks in the melted water, chances of bacteria breeding increases and the flesh becomes soft and spongy.
Finally, only pull as much product as you need out of cold storage. A constant change in temperature will degrade the quality of your seafood. Only stock your production lines with the product that you need rather than moving it on to the line and back into cold storage at the end of the day.
We love fresh fish. Are there any other steps you take to keep your seafood as fresh as possible?