You should never allow frozen seafood to thaw until you are ready to use it, as refreezing seafood severely alters its quality.
- Transfer the Alaska Seafood shipment quickly into frozen storage upon receipt.
- Store whole, cleaned fresh or freshly thawed fish in a stainless steel pan with good drainage and cover with a towel and pile ice on top of and around the fish.
- The key to preserving frozen seafood product quality is to maintain constant, very cold temperatures of 0°F or colder. Store fresh fish at 32-35° F. Store frozen fish at -18 to -29° F.
- Maximum shelf life is obtained by holding frozen seafood at -10°F or colder
- Stack frozen cartons away from walls and off the floor for better air circulation.
- Mark the date on each box as it enters the storage area and rotate product on a first-in, first-out basis.
Thawing has a profound effect on seafood quality.
- Never allow Alaska Crab to thaw at room temperature or place it in warm water to thaw, as flavor and texture may be lost.
- Planning your product needs carefully will help assure your customers a pleasurable dining experience.
- Determine how much seafood you will be serving as the thawing process differs according to the amount needed.
- For small amounts of crab and shatterpack fillets, the slow approach to thawing is always recommended:
- Remove the desired amount from the case shipment ( immediately returning unused portions to the freezer) and place it in a refrigerator set between 34° and 38° F.
- To prevent the build-up of melt-water, place the seafood into pans that drain easily, and place the thaw pan into a larger pan to contain any drippings.
- Don't place thaw pans over other product in the refrigerator.
- Monitor the temperature inside the refrigerator and plan to use the crab the following day.
For high-volume feeding occasions, follow this procedure for thawing product:
- Protect the frozen product in a plastic bag, then immerse in cold spray water - it is important that the water is cold.
- To maintain the quality of the product, do not allow the seafood to come directly in contact with the water or let the running water "drill" into the plastic bag.
- Once the seafood is thawed, keep it chilled and covered until ready to use.
- Never refreeze.