You should be cautious about the location and handling of raw fish when storing it in the refrigerator. Given that fish is a great source of nutrition for pathogens as well as humans, it is important to follow special handling instructions and follow proper food safety procedures.
Where should you store raw fish in a refrigerator? The answer is on the bottom of the refrigerator. For the fish to stay fresh and undamaged right up until the point of consumption, good preparation and placement are essential.
Why Is Raw Fish Storage Important
Fish is renowned for having tender meat that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Despite this, fish, even when purchased from a seafood market, can easily spoil if not purchased fresh and stored properly right away.
Fish come into direct contact with water, which is where the majority of foodborne illnesses are spread. Fish needs to be properly stored and cooked to the right internal temperature to avoid giving consumers food poisoning.
Fish can spoil due to harmful bacteria or enzymatic reactions. When fish are kept at a cold temperature during storage, both possible causes of fish spoilage can be greatly reduced or even avoided.
In order to maintain safety and freshness, raw fish is regarded as a portion of highly perishable food and must be handled carefully. Even while in transit, it can spoil quickly.
The refrigeration will help keep fish fresher longer when you store it there. For this reason, it’s always advised to store fish in a controlled-temperature environment.
Where To Store Raw Fish In The Refrigerator
Food handlers should put raw fish toward the bottom of the shelf with other raw meats like beef and pork when deciding which shelf to keep it on. The storage shelf must be placed between the vegetables and the ground poultry.
The layout of this refrigerator is determined by the amount of heat that must be applied to the foods kept there. Foods that require more extensive cooking should typically be stored at the bottom of the shelf, while prepared and ready-to-eat foods should be stored at the top.
Additionally, because no ready-to-eat food will undergo further processing, this arrangement prevents meat juices from dripping onto any such food. As part of good food safety procedures, avoid unnecessarily coming into contact with foods that have been refrigerated.
How To Store Raw Fish
Sanitize Your Hands
Before handling the fish, quickly rinse your hands in cold water. This prevents any instances of cross-contamination from happening.
Remove The Fish From Its Original Packaging (optional)
Frozen fish is often available with optimal packaging so they do not need to be repackaged. To maintain quality, just make sure to keep it chilled until you put it in the refrigerator.
Fresh fish, on the other hand, needs to be taken out of the packaging. Rinse the filet to get rid of any contaminants from the cutting process if it is one.
Dry With Paper Towels
Before you wrap them in anything again, however, make sure to dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Since water is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, the longer you can keep the fish, the better.
Wrap The Fish And Cool It With Ice
Take some ice and break it up. Wrap the ice in foil then place the fish on top with an aluminum sheet pan in-between. Make sure the fish does not come into direct contact with the ice.
If you don’t have an aluminum sheet pan, plastic wrap or wax paper will do. Make sure to completely enclose the ice so that the fish only touches the wrapping. Zip-top bags can also be a good choice. Just be sure to squeeze every last bit of air out of the bags.
Tips For Fish Storage
Keep Raw Fish Cold
One of the most important things you need to know about storing your raw fish in the fridge is that it should be put in a place where it can stay cold.
Think about the parts of the fridge that fluctuate in temperature or that are prone to become warm. Fish that is still raw must always be kept cold. You should try to avoid a situation where the temperature is constantly fluctuating because that can serve as a haven for bacterial growth.
It’s possible that some refrigerator components won’t always stay cold. The front of the refrigerator’s shelves may struggle to keep its contents cold if the door opens frequently.
Although they may be kept in a refrigerator, their temperature is not likely to remain constant throughout the day.
With raw fish, you don’t want to take that chance, so put it close to the back of the refrigerator where it will be the coldest. To prevent warm air from contacting raw fish, you can also place it behind other objects.
The fish can also be kept in a refrigerator drawer. If there is an empty drawer in the fridge that you can put your raw fish in, do so. Drawers tend to keep the fridge’s temperature colder than any other part of the appliance.
That will be a simple way to ensure that neither the temperature nor the fish will change at all.
Keep Raw Fish Packaged Or Sealed
Both the location and the packaging of your raw fish matter when storing it in the refrigerator. Raw fish should be stored in its original packaging to keep it from leaking out and touching other foods. As bacteria can spread from the fish to other foods, you want to prevent cross-contamination.
Being able to cook the fish but not necessarily the other foods can be a problem. Strawberries or other fresh fruit will become contaminated with live bacteria from raw fish, and you will then put that live bacteria directly into your mouth.
Preserve it in a sealed, secure container. To prevent leakage, you might also want to package it further. Putting your raw fish in an airtight container is a good idea, as is wrapping it up further than the wrapping it comes in from the store.
Use The Fish Before The Expiration Date
Don’t take a chance by consuming raw fish after the expiration date. You should not gamble with this food because any type of spoilt or heavily contaminated seafood carries a high risk of food poisoning.
The packaging for the raw fish may not have an expiration date, which you purchased. If you’re storing it in the fridge, keeping it sealed and packaged, and eating it within three days of purchase, it should be okay.
Checking the fish for signs of spoilage is a good idea, though. To determine whether something smells bad, give it a sniff test.
Raw fish can be kept until it expires while remaining safe for other foods to eat if it is stored properly. Up until the point at which you decide to cook it, it will remain chilled, fresh, and edible.
Although maintaining proper raw fish storage is not particularly challenging, being aware of the prerequisites and best practices will help you avoid making careless errors.