Seafood Storage & Handling Instructions
Have you ever started making your favorite seafood recipe only to find your seafood has gone bad? Follow these seafood storage guidelines to ensure this never happens to you. Our seafood storage guidelines below tell you how to store fresh seafood and live seafood.
General Seafood Storage Tips
- Always keep seafood in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
- Keep in original packaging when possible.
- These guidelines are for uncooked seafood.
Fresh Whole Fish
For cooking within 3 Days
Store fresh whole fish in the refrigerator in original packaging or on a bed of ice covered with a damp paper towel until ready to cook.
Fresh Fish Fillets, Portions & Steaks
For cooking within 2 Days
Store fresh fish fillets, portions and steaks in the refrigerator in original packaging or on a bed of ice covered with a damp paper towel until ready to cook.
Live Mussels, Oysters, & Clams
For consumption within 3 Days
Shellfish are live, and should be stored in an open container in the refrigerator covered with a damp towel to maintain humidity. If shellfish are open, tap them to see if they will close. Discard any shellfish that do not close. Soft shell clams should be consumed within 2 days. Discard all shellfish that do not open after cooking.
Learn how to freeze shellfish here.
For cooking within 24 Hours
If not cooking immediately, keep lobsters alive in the refrigerator in original packaging for up to 24 hours. Do not freeze live lobster.
Fresh Shrimp, Squid, Scallops & Crabs
For cooking within 2 Days
Store fresh shrimp, squid, and scallops in the refrigerator in original packaging or on a bed of ice covered with a damp paper towel until ready to cook.
Sea Urchin (Uni Roe)
Store uni roe in the refrigerator. Always eat uni within the first or second day you have received it. Do not freeze uni.
Freeze products within 24 hours of receiving product for best results. Keep products in their original packaging or place in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. We recommend freezing for up to 3 months. If product is already frozen, place immediately in freezer.
There are 3 easy ways to thaw your seafood:
For optimal results we recommend:
1. Remove from packaging and quickly washing the surface with tap water to remove any ice; 2. Gently wiping off excess water with a paper towel; 3. Place in a sealed bag (to prevent water from entering) and try to remove air from the bag; 4. Place in a bowl of ice water until thawed (about 2-3 hours depending on the size of the item).
Alternatively, puncture the original plastic sealed packaging to introduce airflow. Next, leave overnight in the fridge, on a plate with a towel to absorb liquids.
If you’re in a hurry, place the seafood in a sealed plastic bag and run under slow running cold water for 30 minutes or until thawed.
Prepare immediately after thawing.
If products thaw in cold temperatures they can be refrozen but if products thaw in warm temperatures (>40°F) they should not be refrozen. In other words, it’s safe to refreeze seafood that has thawed in a refrigerator but not seafood that has thawed under cold water. This applies for both raw and cooked seafood. In addition, you should not refreeze products that are thawed while in a vacuum sealed container. It’s important to note that you may notice some quality differences after refreezing a product.