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Buying Fresh Frozen Fish

It’s not true that “fresh” fish is always better than frozen fish. Seafood should be frozen as soon as possible after being caught but cost and logistics make this difficult for many fishermen. Often fresh fish is NOT fresh as it may have sat on insufficient ice for days before reaching the market.

Commercially packaged frozen fish can taste as good as fresh caught harvests because they are carefully “fresh frozen” within a very short time after being caught, locking in freshness and flavor. The best temperature for freezing fish is –40°C with a –23°C core temperature in less than 5 hours. New super–freezing techniques that freeze fish at 76°C below zero can make it virtually impossible to tell frozen from fresh. Hence “fresh frozen” fish is more likely to look and taste perfect after proper thawing. The best way to defrost frozen seafood is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Improper freezing is what gives frozen fish its bad reputation. Problems include poor freezing techniques, or thawing and refreezing the fish at the processing plant. The best way to enjoy fresh frozen fish is to select brands sold by established seafood processors with a reputation for consistently excellent quality.

Seafood products that are vacuum-sealed are in an air–free environment, thus they are protected from dehydration or freezer burn. If the package keeps its integrity, the quality should remain the same as the day the product was packaged. All seafood, if stored properly in a freezer, can be stored for up to 9 months. For optimum satisfaction, consume frozen seafoods within 3 months.