Dangerous Fish Defrosting Mistake You’ll Want to Avoid

Wed Jul 03 2024
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WASHINGTON:  Frozen fish is a convenient and often more affordable alternative to fresh seafood. Vacuum-sealed packaging is a popular method for preserving the quality and freshness of fish like tuna, mahi mahi, and salmon. However, experts warn of a potentially dangerous mistake when defrosting vacuum-sealed fish.

This practice can lead to botulism, a rare but serious condition caused by the Clostridium botulinum toxin. Botulism thrives in low-oxygen environments, making vacuum-sealed packaging a potential hazard. When fish is removed from the fridge and reaches temperatures around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the risk increases. Symptoms of food-borne botulism include nausea, paralysis and vomiting.

To avoid this risk, follow these steps for properly defrosting vacuum-sealed fish

Remove the Fish from Packaging: Take the fish out of the vacuum-sealed plastic. Place it in a reusable plastic bag, glass container, or on a plate or glass tray. Alternatively, you can pierce holes or peel open the packaging and place it on a plate.

Refrigerate: Place the fish in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Allow it to defrost overnight.

Faster Methods: For quicker defrosting, submerge the plastic bag in cold water or use the defrost setting on your microwave.

Once defrosted, cook the fish within two days. If using the microwave method, cook it immediately. Leftovers should be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Be vigilant for signs of spoilage, such as a sour smell, bruising, greyish colour, and a slimy appearance.

For a fresh and delicious meal, try baked fish recipes like ginger and mint cod, ready in 30 minutes. Stay safe and enjoy your seafood with these simple precautions.

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