Feast on Fish This Holiday Season

In *All, Food Safety, Holidays, Safety by Ag is America

There’s so many delicious ways to prepare fish, which is why it is such a popular dish at holiday meals! But fish must be handled very carefully during prep, cooking, and storage to prevent illness. Cooperative Extension aquaculture specialist at Virginia State University, Dr. Brian Nerrie, shares his tips to keep your seafood safe this holiday season:

  • Freshness: Fish has a limited shelf life and usually lasts less than four days. Make sure you pick your fish from a good source and cook it soon after your purchase for optimal freshness.
  • Preparation: A lot of fish can be purchased frozen, but you need to make sure you thaw it carefully. You can do so gradually, where you thaw the fish in the refrigerator to keep it cold. If you’re trying to cook it immediately, place fish in a re-sealable plastic bag submerged in hot water for five minutes. The fish is ready when it bends easily. You can also thaw it in the microwave using a low defrost mode until the fish is pliant but not dried out.
  • Cleaning: Make sure your hands and the kitchen surface are washed thoroughly before you begin cleaning the fish. You want to make sure the raw fish is handled separately from other food items and the area is cleaned again once you’re done.
  • Clean up: Freeze waste and deposit it in the trash on garbage collection day. This way the fish smell won’t stink up your garbage.

For more seafood suggestions, check out Virginia State University’s Cooperative Extension website.

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