When buying or catching fish it is essential that proper handling and storage are used to reduce the risk of food-borne illness and ensure it is kept in top quality. Here are some great tips and guidelines to follow to ensure food safety when handling fish.
Fresh or frozen fish should be purchased just before leaving the market so it is not exposed to unsafe temperatures for very long. It should be placed in a plastic bag to prevent any leakage from contaminating any other foods. Bring an esky or chilly bin with some frozen Thermogard in it along to store the fish in while traveling home. To maintain the quality of the fish, it needs to be kept at a temperature under 4°C. Do not allow the fish to sit in a hot vehicle for any length of time. After purchasing it should be taken home and refrigerated as soon as possible. Thermogard Ice packs are a great option to keep your fish cool as they stay frozen for longer than bagged ice and they are reusable and won’t leak!
When cooking and serving fish, the meat must be handled properly to prevent contamination. Use a different platter and cooking utensils for cooked fish than what was used for the raw fish, unless they have been properly cleaned and dried after exposure to the raw fish. Be sure the raw fish does not come in contact with foods that have already been cooked or foods that do not require cooking before being consumed, such as raw vegetables and fruit.
If taking cooked fish to be served at another location, be sure to pack the fish so it maintains the proper temperatures. If you are keeping it hot, it should maintain at least a 60°C temperature and if it is cold, it must be kept at or below 4°C.
Keeping your daily catch safe from bacteria can be a challenge unless you are ice fishing. See the tips below for warm weather fish handling.
Make sure your Thermogard Ice Packs are thoroughly cleaned with warm soapy water after each use. Once dry put them back in the freezer so they are ready for next time you want to use them.
Properly preparing fresh fish for storage will allow it to be stored for a longer period of time and maintain its quality. Fresh caught fish should be gutted and cleaned as soon as possible and then stored at the proper temperature until ready to cook. For the best flavour and quality, fish should be prepared for eating within 24 hours of catching but if stored properly it is safe to keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
Fresh caught or market fresh fish should be stored at a temperature 4°C or below and cooked fish should be kept at a temperature 60°C or higher to keep it outside of the temperature zone in which bacteria, that causes food borne illness, grows quickly. The danger temperature zone is a range between 4°C and 60°C. Raw fish can be stored in a refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Leftover cooked fish can be stored for up to 3 or 4 days. If raw or cooked fish is not going to be used within the recommended time, it should be frozen to prevent it from perishing.
Raw fish can be stored safely in a refrigerator at 4°C or lower for 2 to 3 days. Oily fish will store longer than lean fish and whole fish will store better than steaks and fillets. There are several factors listed below that will have an affect on how well the fish will store.
Follow the instructions below to store fresh fish in the refrigerator properly.
Cooked leftovers should be cooled and refrigerated as soon as possible, limiting the amount of time the fish is exposed to room temperatures. Never leave the fish at room temperature for more than two hours. Store it in a shallow covered container to allow the fish to cool to the proper temperature more quickly. Cooked fish can be stored for up to 2 to 3 days.
When using one of these freezing methods, be sure to mark the packages with contents and the date so you can be certain of how long it has been stored in the freezer and what it contains.
Be sure all wrapped packages are sealed tightly and any fish frozen in ice is completely covered with ice to prevent ice crystals from forming on the fish. Ice crystals form because moisture has been drawn out of the fish, causing it to become freezer burned. Freezer burned areas of the fish become distasteful and tough or dried out. Store bought frozen fish should be left in the original package and place in the freezer as soon as possible. For extra protection place the store bought package in a freezer bag before placing in the freezer.
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