October is National Seafood Month, so as many gear up for a meal fresh from the surf, it’s very important to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from food poisoning. Seafood is a healthy, nutritious addition to any diet, but in order to receive the benefits you need to know how to identify fish that’s safe to eat. Two of the most common types of food poisoning from fish are scombroid and ciguatera, both result from the consumption of spoiled fish. Here are some helpful tips on choosing the best seafood, for taste and health.
A fresh fish should smell like clean water, brine or even a scent that is reminiscent of cucumbers. If the fish smells sour or similar to ammonia, you should not eat it because even cooking it will not fix the issue.
It’s easy to spot a fresh looking fish, just remember these tips. The gills should be bright red, but if there’s a milky residue than something bad may be afoot. The flesh of the fish or fillet should be shiny and somewhat metallic, be sure to avoid any dull or grayish colored fish. Also, the eyes should be clear and slightly bulgy, not sunken and foggy.
If you touch or poke the fish, the flesh should be firm and resilient. You can tell it’s old if it stays indented from the prod, like clay or putty.
Check the expiration date, has it passed or is it near? When do you plan on cooking the fish? Consider when you’d like to cook the seafood meal; if it’s too far from the expiration date, you may want to reconsider storing it. Many packages will say the temperature in which the fish was stored, remember that the closer to 32 degrees the better.
Hopefully you don’t fall victim to mishandled fish; the symptoms of food poisoning are torture. If you fall ill due to spoiled fish, whoever served it to you may owe you compensation depending on the degree of negligence involved. Inversely, you don’t want to put yourself at risk of legal action if you serve spoiled fish. If you fall victim to food poisoning at the hands of another, contact W.T. Johnson to get on the track to proper compensation.