When handling various types of seafood in a market environment, it is the responsibility of the retailer to sell safe, quality fish products to customers. From ready-made sushi to fresh fish, business owners, management, chefs, and handlers alike need to have basic knowledge on how seafood becomes bad. Follow these four tips for help ensuring all the seafood sold in your market is fit for consumption.
Always Observe Fish Before Selling
When the day starts, all fish should be observed for signs they are losing their freshness. A few signs of bad seafood to look out for include:
- A foul, fishy smell
- Flesh sinks if touched
- Cloudy and sunken eyes
If you notice any of these signs, think about the health of your customers and make the decision to get rid of the fish.
Use a Seafood Merchandiser
When displaying seafood, it is important you are using equipment designed to keep seafood from spoiling. A good seafood merchandiser will include ice pans, refrigeration, temperature control options, an easy to read thermometer, and other useful features for keeping fish cold and moist.
Separate Seafood Correctly
It is extremely important that cooked fish is always separated from raw fish by using dividers or a separate merchandiser to avoid cross-contamination. Also, make sure to use different utensils and cutting boards for raw and cooked fish. Always wash and sanitize countertops and anything else that comes into contact with raw fish.
You should also separate food based on its likelihood to cause allergies. High allergy food like shellfish and crustaceans should have its own section. Similarly, low allergy bivalves should be segregated. Everything else that doesn’t fit into these categories can remain together.
It is important you know regulations required for labeling seafood. Indicate whether the product is fresh or once frozen, the type of fish, the country of origin, and whether the fish was farm raised or wild caught.