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Frozen Seafood-Are You Eating Safe?
Over the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in Seafood consumption. As more and more people are getting aware of the nutritional and health benefits of seafood, it is starting to emerge as a most sought after delicacy among the masses. Consumer awareness has also played a major role in the development and growth of this market worldwide. Today there are major fishing companies who cater to this growing demand of Seafood among consumers. You can find a variety of frozen Seafood like White Shrimp, Frozen Blue Mussels, Alaska Pollock, Atlantic Cod, Golden Pompon, frozen squid and many more, easily available at a supermarket or a stall near you. But the question is; as a consumer, are you aware of where and how your Seafood is processed? How do you know if it’s safe for consumption and really wholesome? Are these questions important? Seafood or Frozen Seafood is considered to be a “High Risk Food” which means these types of food are more prone to the growth of bacteria and other harmful organisms that results in food poisoning. Though there are many health benefits attached to seafood, extreme caution is required in the preserving of these food items. Strict quality control procedures including proper storage with the right temperature control and protection against environmental contamination is a must. Today most fish are flash-frozen as soon as their caught. This technique helps delay the decaying process and helps keep intact the nutritional value of the fish. Major fish suppliers take utmost care in terms of quality control and the way these Frozen Seafood’s are transported. Despite all these measures it is the customer who needs to know what he picks is safe or not. How can you be sure? 1. Check whether the Seafood is stored properly. Normally fish should be kept at a temperature between 0-1? C. Fish will survive for long if gutted. If not refrigerated, ensure that the fish is kept on a thick layer of ice which is not melting and preferably covers the fish properly. 2. When buying whole fish or fillets see that its flesh is firm and shiny and there are no signs of discolouration. 3. The gills of the fish should be bright red coloured with no milky slime. 4. The fish should not have a stale or sour odour; buy fish that smells mild and fresh. 5. If buying packed fish, read the label carefully and ensure that it has been refrigerated at the recommended temperature, check the packaging date. Make sure it isn’t old stock. 6. Inspect the package properly for any damage and avoid buying stuff with damaged packaging. There is also a need to ensure that the Seafood is taken care of after it leaves the stall till it reaches your plate and here it’s your responsibility to take utmost care that your Seafood remains safe on its way back home and throughout. What can be done? 1. If frozen Seafood is on your shopping list get it at the end of your shopping. In that way you will reduce its time away from the refrigerator. 2. If it’s going take you more than 30 minutes to reach home, it’s advisable to store your Frozen food in a insulated bag or in some other way make sure its kept cool. 3. Once home, securely wrap and immediately place it in the freezer to prevent spread of bacteria. So the next time when you buy your Frozen Seafood ensure that what you are eating is safe.