- Thaw frozen seafood slowly to minimize drip loss and protect flavor, aroma, and texture. During thawing, always place the product in drain pans or other containers that prevent build-up of melt water and drippings. The quality of seafood held in water deteriorates rapidly.
- Defrost frozen seafood in the refrigerator, allowing about one day to defrost. For a quicker defrosting, place the seafood package in a resealable plastic storage bag and immerse in a pan of cold water in the refrigerator for one to two hours per pound of seafood. Another defrosting method is to put the original package in a plastic bag, place it in a pan, and run cold water around it in the sink until thawed. If defrosting the seafood in the microwave, cook the product immediately.
- Don’t leave seafood, raw or cooked, out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, including preparation and serving time.
- Before cooking, rinse seafood in cold water for several seconds to remove surface bacteria.
- When marinating fish and shellfish, place marinade and seafood in the refrigerator. Do not marinade at room temperature. After use, discard the marinade.
- Bacteria lingers in towels, cloths, and sponges used during preparation, so keep them clean. If a dishcloth or sponge is used to clean raw juices from fish or shellfish, do not reuse the dishcloth or sponge – wash it first.
Wash counters, utensils, plates, cutting boards and other surfaces touched by raw seafood with hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Sanitizers containing phenols, such as Lysol and Pinesol, should never be used on seafood contact surfaces.