Fish, Shellfish, Krill and More: A Seafood Safety Guide

Seafood is an excellent source of key nutrients. High in omega-3, yet low in fat and cholesterol, it is part of a healthy and well-rounded diet. Popular fish, including salmon, krill, trout, tuna and sardines help to support the immune system, neurological function, concentration, eye development and brain development in children. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contained in seafood may also be linked to good heart health; these active nutrients lower cholesterol, increase relaxation in blood vessels and arteries, and decrease the clotting of blood. Additional nutrients found in seafood include; vitamin D, Astaxanthin, selenium, zinc and iodine.

As with any food, it is important that it is stored, handled and prepared properly. The improper storage and preparation of seafood may lead to foodborne illnesses, including Salmonellosis and mercury poisoning. To decrease the risk of health issues resulting from the consumption of improperly handled seafood, it is important to follow all food safety guidelines, including temperature regulations when storing and cooking seafood.

Seafood should be stored in a refrigerator with a temperature no higher than 38 degrees; it can be stored for up to three days before it needs to be discarded. If storing seafood long-term, it can be frozen up to 10 months. Please keep in mind that specific types of seafood may have different shelf lives. Always thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator; do not leave seafood to thaw on a counter or in the sink as this may increase the likelihood of contracting a foodborne illness. When preparing seafood, make sure to use only sanitary surfaces and utensils; be careful not to cross contaminate other foods while preparing. The following are resources to help you learn more about seafood safety and how to properly prepare and consume seafood.