Seafood Storage & Handling Instructions
Maintain your seafood's quality by storing it properly before you're ready to eat it.
General Seafood Storage Tips
- Ideally, your freezer should be set at or below 0°F; Refrigerator should be set at or below 40°F. We find 35-38°F ideal.
- Keep in original packaging when possible. Label any product you re-package and when it was received.
- Keep frozen until ready to thaw and prepare.
- Frozen seafood should be consumed within 3 months of receiving for optimal quality.
- We recommend labeling your seafood with the date received to avoid confusion.
There are 3 easy ways to thaw your seafood:
- Best option for most: Puncture the original plastic-sealed packaging that your fish is in to introduce airflow. Set it on a plate with a towel to absorb liquids and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. You can also puncture the bottom of the package so liquid drains onto the towel as it thaws.
- Optimal Quality: Remove the fish from its packaging and quickly wash the surface with cold tap water to remove any ice. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place the fish in a sealed bag to prevent any water from entering, and try to remove as much air from the bag as possible. Finally, place the bag in a bowl of ice water and wait until the fish has thawed completely. This process typically takes about 2-3 hours, but the time may vary depending on the size of the item being thawed.
- When you are in a hurry: 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.
For optimal quality, prepare after thawing and drain any liquid before cooking.
- Fresh seafood should be consumed within 2-3 days of receiving.
- Store fresh seafood in the refrigerator in original packaging or on a bed of ice covered with a damp paper towel until ready to cook.
- If you do not plan on consuming the fresh seafood within 2-3 days, freeze products within 24 hours of receiving them for the best results.
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.
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.