How To Tell If The Fish Is Fresh?

If the fish isn’t fresh, it could cause severe food poisoning, so it’s never wrong to take the best precautions to make sure it’s fresh.
How to tell if the fish is fresh?

The consumption of protein in the diet also includes fish, fresh or frozen. Fish is a first-rate food thanks to its high nutritional value and easy digestion.

There are many methods of preserving and transporting fish whose goal is to keep the food fresh for as long as possible. However, sometimes, for one reason or another, the fish does not arrive home in good condition.

Precisely for this reason it is necessary to know how to recognize fish in bad condition. 

Currently, determining whether fish is fresh or not is a bit complicated due to the modern trade: that of prepackaged products.

In recent decades, the fundamental aspect of selling a product has become its practicality – this is why many people do not hesitate to buy fish that has already been cleaned, gutted and filleted. It is therefore easier to consume non-fresh fish without knowing it, especially since in most cases it is bought frozen.

Fish in bad shape

Fish counter

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) believes that the senses are the most effective way to detect fish in poor condition. As indicated, this means:

We must therefore use the senses to identify some characteristics of the fish that help us find out if it has lost quality and is no longer suitable for consumption. 

  • The smell : rotten fish has a fetid smell, sometimes it tastes like ammonia.
  • The skin : fish in a poor state of conservation have very soft skin, the scales and the flesh come off easily.
  • The eyes : the eyes are sunken, the cornea milky and the pupils gray, as if the fish had cataracts.
  • The gills : they are located behind the head and in spoiled fish are yellowish or grayish in color.
  • The belly : it is the first area that is affected by a bad state of conservation; in spoiled fish it is swollen or flaccid and sunken.

Fish in good condition

Blue fish

Obviously we can also take advantage of the senses to perceive the freshness of this food. When the pitch is fresh, it has the following characteristics:

  • The smell : fish is fresh when it tastes of algae and sea and retains all its nutrients.
  • The skin, unlike that of fish in bad condition, has a bright color, the scales are hard and shiny.
  • The eyes : the eyes are outward, the pupil is black and bright.
  • The gills : the gills of fresh fish are pink or red, depending on the variety, bright and without mucosity.
  • The belly : the meat is hard and not slimy.

Tips to avoid unpleasant surprises with fish

A slice of swordfish

In order not to waste food, we recommend that you cook the fish a few days after buying it. Alternatively, you can freeze it to ensure its integrity.

In fact, FAO also reports that freezing fish for a long time extends its useful life. Thus, we can thus preserve its properties and avoid food poisoning. The following aspects need to be considered:

  • The fact of consuming fish stored in the freezer after a week can involve some risks.
  • The risks mainly depend on any problems with the electricity service.

However, we must say that properly frozen products do not last more than two days once defrosted.

On the other hand, we advise against refreezing food. If you happen to have defrosted fish due to a power failure, it is better to throw the product away.

Refrigeration and freezing only prevent the proliferation of bacteria, but it does not kill them. This promotes the decomposition process. In a nutshell, if there have been any alterations in conservation techniques, the fish must be discarded.

The degree of humidity

Various types of fish

Before cooking the fish, it is necessary to observe the container that contains it, if it has a lot of frozen liquid or if it is dry.

If there is liquid in the bag or container, there may be a power failure and therefore the fish may have thawed.

If the freezing process has not changed and the container is dry, you still need to make sure that the fish is fresh. You have to defrost it, observe it and smell it. If it looks and smells normal, you can consume it, otherwise you can’t.

If you don’t eat it the same day, put it in salted water for a few moments. Dry it well and then put it in the fridge.

Finally, you can check if the fish is fresh or spoiled when you eat it. Evaluate the taste: if it is not bitter or sour or anything, it means that it is fresh. The palate is able to identify fish that has gone bad.

If there is nothing wrong with it, then the fish is fresh, you can eat it without problems.

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