Fish is a staple in most homes and storing them properly will ensure that you will be cooking fresh and clean fish. Storing raw fish in the fridge is not just putting it on whatever shelf you like. There are food safety protocols that you need to take if you have fresh fish that needs to be stored in the fridge – whether it is freshly-caught fish or raw fish that you bought in the fish market.
Raw fish should be placed in an airtight container and placed on the bottom of the shelf and at the back of the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Keeping raw fish in an airtight container will prevent cross-contamination. Raw fish stored properly will last in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
In this article, we will be talking about how to safely store raw fish in the fridge and we will also be talking about what mistakes to avoid when storing raw fish in the fridge. And, if you have raw fish sitting in your fridge for a while, read until the end to know what to look for in a spoiled fish. You might not know it but it might be time to throw away the fish in your fridge.
How To Prepare Raw Fish For Refrigeration
Properly preparing raw fish for refrigeration is important to ensure that the fish stays fresh and safe to eat. Properly storing raw fish will also prevent cross-contamination with other foods that are inside the fridge.
If you buy frozen raw fish, you can put it immediately inside the fridge if the packaging it came with is tightly sealed. Raw fish that are not frozen on the other hand needs to be removed from their original packaging.
Clean the fish under running water to remove any dirt or debris that is on the skin and pat the fish dry with a paper towel. It is optimal that the fish is dry before putting it in the fridge to prevent the water from leaking into other foods. Once the fish is clean and dry, take an airtight container or fish container and put the fish inside. You can also put crushed ice inside the container before putting the fish in. Make sure to layer a plastic wrap between the fish and the crushed ice. Cover the container with a lid and put it in the fridge.
Where To Store Raw Fish In The Refrigerator
Now that you’ve prepared and cleaned the fish it’s time to place them in the refrigerator. But, it is not just placing the fish anywhere inside your fridge. Even if the fish is tightly packed, knowing where to place the fish will prevent contamination and will keep the fish and other food inside fresh and safe to eat.
Raw fish placed in an airtight container should be placed on the bottom shelf and toward the back of the refrigerator. This is typically the coldest part of the fridge and placing the fish there will keep it fresh and prevent the growth of bacteria which can cause foodborne illness. Placing the raw fish on the bottom shelves will also mean that in case water leaks from the fish, it won’t leak down to any other food items.
If possible, try not to store food items, like raw meat, on the same shelf as the raw fish just in case water leaks across the shelf. Any raw food that has been contaminated with raw fish juice should either be cooked immediately or thrown away.
Mistakes To Avoid When Storing Raw Fish Food In Your Refrigerator
While storing raw fish in the refrigerator is easy, there are a couple of ways where it could go wrong leaving you with spoiled fish or contamination to other food items. Here are several mistakes to avoid when storing raw fish in your refrigerator:
1. Do not store raw fish in the refrigerator for too long. Raw fish can last in the fridge for 1 to 2 days when properly stored. As fish is highly perishable, storing it for too long in the fridge will eventually cause it to spoil or develop a bad odor which could stick to other foods in the fridge.
2. Make sure your fridge’s temperature is the correct temperature to store fish. Raw fish should be stored in the fridge at a temperature of 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacteria from growing. This also prevents the fish from getting spoiled quickly.
3. Not packing raw fish correctly. Make sure to store raw fish in airtight containers to prevent leakage as well as prevent odors and flavors from other foods to contaminate the fish and vice versa.
Avoiding these common mistakes can keep your fish fresh until you are ready to cook them.
Signs Of Spoiled Raw Fish
Since raw fish should be stored on the bottom shelf and in the back of the fridge, it is sometimes very easy to forget that you have fish stored in your fridge. If stored in the fridge for too long, the fish might already be spoiled and is no longer safe to eat.
If the appearance and texture of the fish is looking gray, dull, dry, and feels slimy, it is a sign that the fish might be spoiled already. Another thing to look out for in spoiled raw fish is the smell. Fish has a natural mild fishy and oceanic smell but, if your fish has a sour or strong rotten fishy smell, it is about time that you throw away that fish.
If you see these signs in your raw fish, it is best to throw them away instead of risking foodborne illness or food poisoning from eating spoilt fish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Can You Store Raw Fish In Your Fridge?
Raw fish that are packed properly can last in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. It is recommended to cook raw fish immediately to prevent bacteria growth and spoilage.
Where Should You Store Raw Fish In The Freezer?
You can store raw fish in an airtight container before placing it in the back of your freezer. Raw fish that is stored properly in the freezer can last up to 4 months.
Can I Refreeze Thawed Fish?
If the fish was properly thawed in the refrigerator, you can still refreeze it. But, do keep in mind that refreezing thawed fish or meat can have a loss in quality. If you plan on freezing raw fish, you can place them in separate containers so you can only thaw out what you need in order not to refreeze fish that you did not use.
How Do You Know If Frozen Fish Is Bad?
Frozen fish might be a little tricky to inspect for any signs of spoilage but, see if you can smell any strong fishy odors. You can also check for any discolorated spots on the fish. These are signs that the frozen fish is bad. If you do not smell any foul odors or see any discolorations, let the frozen fish thaw in the refrigerator (make sure it is still in the container). Once it is thawed, check again for any foul smell or discoloration. If the fish is slimy and has dull or gray skin, it is time to discard the fish.
Fish is a healthy addition to your meal and storing raw fish properly is the best way in keeping it fresh and safe to eat. Keeping raw fish in an airtight container before placing it at the back of your fridge on the bottom shelf will prevent cross-contamination.
We have all the information you need regarding where you should store raw fish in the refrigerator. If you have any other questions, do let us know.