Seafood is a nutritious source of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and much more. However, it requires proper handling and appropriate storage. From off the boat to your door and onto your fork, seafood safety comes first. Often times, the first question that comes to mind regards to the shelf and fridge life of fresh seafood.
The fact is seafood is more perishable than all the other food items because of the ability to quickly spoil and the risk of food poisoning due to mishandeling. Ideally, fresh seafood should be consumed as soon as possible after harvesting. While it is not always possible to cook it the same day, fridge storage temperature must be 0˚C to 4˚C. Seafood shelf-life is the ability of the product to retain optimal freshness. The shelf-life varies for different species. Here is a brief look at the amount of time different varieties of seafood can last in your fridge.
Sweet, rich, and buttery flavours of spot prawns are a combination similar to crossing dungeness crab and lobster. Before cooking, spot prawns can be refrigerated up to 3 days. If cooking them within 3 days is not an option, go for the frozen whole spot prawns. Their taste is as delicious as their live counterparts, if not even better. If you purchase frozen whole spot prawns that are flash-frozen at sea, they can last up to one year in your freezer. Serve it immediately after thawing to reduce chances of spoiling.
Fresh octopus will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a little less than 72 hours. You can either cook it within a day or keep it in the freezer for up to two months. However, cooked octopus can last for up to 3 days in the fridge.
However, if you go for a frozen octopus that was flash-frozen at sea, you can store it in your freezer for up to nine months without compromising taste, flavour or quality.
Shucked Fresh OystersShucked fresh oysters , a source of dietary zinc, is considered the star of the shellfish world. Shucked oysters may be refrigerated up to 3-5 days or you can freeze shucked oysters. Freeze oysters without their shells allows them to last up to 3 months in your freezer.
Live Dungeness Crab
Live Dungeness Crab tastes best when fresh. Fresh, live dungeness crab placed in an open container, lined with a wet newspaper, may remain in your fridge up to one day. Crab purchased from a local source can stay in your fridge for up to 4 days. Check the crab for any fishy smells, a sign of spoiled product, before cooking it.
Scallops and Shrimps
Fresh scallops are known for their buttery and sweet flavour carrying plenty of nutritional value. Raw scallops and shrimp can stay in the fridge, in a tightly covered container, for 2 days. If consumption within 2 days is not possible, it’s best to freeze them. They retain their freshness, quality, and taste for approximately 6 months. Cooked shrimp can last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When it comes to fresh fish, consuming it within 48-72 hours after purchase, guarantees the best quality. In case you plan to buy now and use later than 3 days, the fish can stay in your freezer for around 6 months or more depending on the kind of fish. Your local fish supplier can offer helpful information regarding shelf-life of different species of fish.
A general rule of thumb commonly used states that low-fat fish like hake or cod can last for up to 6 months. Contrary, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines last up to 3 months in your freezer. Thank you to modern flash-freezing technology, freshness and quality of a fish is extended. A fish, flash-frozen at sea and vacuum packed, usually retains freshness up to 2 years.