Safely Storing Fresh Seafood

To store fresh seafood that you've bought for sushi, you must follow some storage guidelines. All fresh seafood needs to be stored chilled — either in a refrigerator, freezer, or container of ice — to keep it tasty and safe for you to eat:

When you get your raw fish home, here’s what do to:

  • Immediately put the fish in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the bottom portion) until you serve it. Don’t stack anything on top of the fish.

  • Handle the fish as little and as gently as possible to prevent smashing or bruising the flesh.

  • Quickly rinse blocks of fish and fillets in a bowl of lightly salted cold water (2 teaspoons salt to 5 cups ice cold water) just before preparing it to eat. Pat it dry with paper towels.

These tips can keep shellfish safe until serving time:

  • As soon as you get live or shucked shellfish home, refrigerate them until just before you prepare them.

  • Live shellfish need air. Keep them in the refrigerator in a open dish or bowl covered with damp paper towels. It’s best to eat shellfish the day they’re purchased.

  • Scrub oysters, clams, and mussels just before preparing to eat them, until their shells are clean. Mussels often have filament, called a beard, hanging out. Pull it off.

  • If any mussels, clams, or oysters fail to shut when tapped, they’re dead, so throw them out. Similarly, if any shells are still closed after you cook them, throw them out.

  • Shucked scallops that you plan to eat raw should be eaten the day they’re purchased.

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