Seafood Handling & Nutrition
Why Choose Seafood?
All seafood is great for your health, easy to prepare right at home and will add excitement to your menu. It’s healthier, more delicious and easier than you think. Let Fishermans Market at Harris Teeter put a little seafood into your meal – you won’t regret it.
- Store frozen seafood in its original packaging
- Covered frozen seafood will keep up to 6 months in the typical home freezer
- Thaw in refrigerator overnight or under cold running water
- Prepare defrosted seafood within 24 hours of thawing
- Never refreeze seafood that has thawed at room temperature
- Never store live shellfish, like clams and mussels, in an airtight container. Cover with a clean, damp cloth to allow them to breathe. Live shellfish will gape naturally. Just tap the shell lightly – if it does not close, the shellfish is dead and must be discarded.
- Place fresh fish, shrimp purchases in a leak proof container.
- Store fresh seafood in the bottom section of the refrigerator or the meat storage compartment as close to 32o F as possible.
- Cooked seafood should be stored in a clean covered container no longer than 3-days in the refrigerator.
Seafood Handling and Safety
One of the leading causes of most food-borne illnesses is improper food handling, preparation and storage. Here are a few simple tips to ensure great seafood quality and safety at home:
- Make your seafood purchase last at the store and keep it cold! Ask your seafood captain to pack your purchase on ice if it’s a long trip home.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw seafood.
- Never thaw frozen seafood at room temperature. Thaw your frozen seafood purchase in the refrigerator overnight.
- To thaw frozen seafood more rapidly, thaw in a sealed plastic bag under cold running water.
- Do not re-use dishcloths or sponges you have used to clean up raw seafood.
- Wash counters, utensils, plates, cutting boards and other surfaces that raw seafood has touched with hot, soapy water to prevent cross contamination.
- Make sure that when storing raw seafood in the refrigerator that it is in a leak proof container.
- Before cooking, rinse seafood under cold running water and pat dry.
Seafood is a great source of protein and essential nutrients, and is very low in fat. Seafood is also the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that, when eaten regularly, are associated with significant health benefits.
Most people, however, do not get enough omega-3s in their diet to support optimal health. Experts recommend eating at least 2 servings of fish each week. Doing so may:
- Lessen the risk for heart disease, including heart attack and dangerously abnormal heart rhythms Increase levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Reduce triglyceride levels (the chemical form in which fat is transported throughout the body – high levels are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease)
- Lower high blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of certain types of cancer
- Decrease inflammation, possibly improving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
- Reduce the severity of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disease
- “Thin” the blood (thereby helping to prevent abnormal blood clotting)
- Protect against Alzheimer’s disease, age-related cognitive decline, macular degeneration and age-related hearing loss
Also, pregnant women need to eat foods high in omega-3s to support optimal fetal brain and eye development.