What do consumers need to do to keep seafood safe?

The most important considerations in safe handling of seafood at home are cleanliness, temperature, and time. Keep your hands, preparation area, and utensils clean. Never let raw seafood come in contact with cooked seafood or other raw (or cooked) foods.

Seafood is highly perishable. If you are buying seafood at the supermarket, make it one of your last purchases. Use your eyes, hands, and nose when selecting fresh fish or shellfish. Your purchase should feel cold to the touch. And it shouldn’t smell “fishy.” The odor should be similar to that of a sea breeze.

Be aware of temperatures—of the air, of your refrigerator and freezer, of cooking. Keep foods out of the danger zone (40 degrees F- 140 degrees F). Be aware of time—limit how long the fish and shellfish are refrigerated.
Finally, to help keep your seafood safe, keep it clean, keep it cool, and keep it moving! By abiding by these rules and adopting the following guidelines, you can be confident that your efforts and the HACCP program are working together to keep seafood safe.

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