HOW TO thaw
To ensure that seafood is thawed safely, it mustn’t get too warm during thawing as this may lead to spoiling. A chilled temperature must be maintained during the thawing process.
Here are a few dos and don’ts.
- Remove any packaging and leave it in the fridge overnight. Rinse and pat it dry before cooking. This is the safest option as it inhibits bacterial growth. Fish will take anything from 6 hours (thin pieces of fish) to 9 hours (thicker fillets) to defrost properly in a fridge.
- If you don’t have that much time, remove the fish from the packaging and leave it on the counter in a bowl, covered with foil, or sealing it in a plastic bag and immersing in cold water. Once thawed, put on a bed of ice to keep cool. Thawing the seafood for too long will result in it losing its liquids and the final dish being dry once cooked. Over-thawing can also result in bacterial growth that may spoil the seafood.
- Alternatively, leave seafood in a sealed plastic bag and submerge in a bowl of cold water (not warm) then rinse, pat dry and cook immediately.
- Do NOT thaw seafood in hot water. This will ruin the texture of your fish and shellfish, and will greatly increase the risk of bacteria becoming active on areas where the product is defrosting too fast.
- Do NOT leave frozen seafood outside the fridge to thaw as any leak from the package can contaminate the area.
- NEVER leave thawed seafood at room temperature for longer than two hours.
- Always remember to thoroughly drain thawed seafood of all water and pat it dry with a paper towel before cooking.
- Be sure to wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with soap and hot water between the preparation of raw foods, such as seafood, and the preparation of cooked or ready-to-eat foods.