How Long Does Frozen Seafood Last?
Whether you’re purchasing frozen seafood online or at your local grocery store, it’s important to store it correctly. Proper storage will not only reduce the risk of foodborne illness, but it will also ensure the seafood’s freshness and flavor. So how long will frozen seafood last? It depends on how it’s handled.
In today’s blog, we’ll be going over the basics of seafood storage, focusing uniquely on freezer storage. If you’ve been wondering how long that bag of shrimp or salmon will last in the back of your freezer, you’re in the right place!
How Long Does Frozen Seafood Last?
Most commercially frozen seafood will last in the freezer for up to six months, though you can also check package “Best By” dates. The less time seafood is stored, the more freshness and taste preservation you can expect. Use the “FIFO” (first in, first out) method to keep your seafood as fresh as possible.
Optimal Freezer Temperature
The temperature inside your freezer should be 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Check your freezer periodically with a thermometer as temperatures can change over time, especially with shifts in weather and as your freezer ages. Freezer and refrigerator thermometers are widely available at culinary, department, grocery, and appliance stores and online.
You’ll want to store your seafood in the coldest part of your freezer. This is usually in the rear center. Avoid storing frozen seafood in the very front of your freezer, and do not put it in the door as this is usually the warmest part of the freezer.
More Basics of Seafood Freezer Storage
First, it’s important to remember that frozen seafood should always be hard when you purchase it. If the seafood you’re purchasing is bendable, it’s not fully frozen, and that’s a red flag.
Next, make sure to keep your seafood frozen and cold for as long as possible during transport from the store to your home. If needed, bring along a clean cooler packed with ice, and use it to transport your seafood home. Always remember to wash and sanitize your cooler between uses.
Put your seafood directly into the freezer as soon as you arrive home from the store. Or, if you plan on eating it the following day, put it into the refrigerator in a leak-proof container to thaw.
Frozen seafood can be safely thawed in the refrigerator overnight at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below (check the temperature in your refrigerator to be sure it’s cold enough). If you’re in a bind and need to thaw your seafood more quickly, you can also put it in a sealed plastic bag that is immersed in cold water (do not use warm or hot water). Change out the cold water for fresh water every 30 minutes until the seafood is completely thawed.
We do not recommend thawing frozen seafood on the counter at room temperature. In fact, never leave frozen seafood at room temperature for too long. Two hours is the limit according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Finally, remember that thawed frozen seafood will only last so long in the refrigerator. You should either consume it within one to two days, or, if you used the overnight refrigerator thawing method and you’re sure the seafood has not spoiled, you can refreeze it again. If you thawed your frozen seafood using the cold water method, however, do not refreeze it.
Looking for the Best Frozen Seafood Near You?
Northern Chef is proud to offer high-quality, sustainable frozen seafood throughout Northern America. Not only do families love our great-tasting products, but they are also used and favored by some of the finest chefs on the continent. Adding seafood to your diet is a great way to enrich your meals, expand your palate, and improve the health of you and your family. Start shopping today at Northern Chef!
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