Sep 1, 2023
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How to Tell if Seafood Is Fresh?

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Seafood is a delicious and healthy choice for a meal, but enjoying it at its best means making sure it’s fresh. Fresh seafood not only tastes better but is also safer to eat. So, how can you tell if seafood is fresh? In this article, we will explore some simple ways to help you determine the freshness of seafood before you bring it home or order it at a restaurant.

  1. Use Your Senses

One of the easiest ways to check if seafood is fresh is to use your senses: sight, smell, and touch.

  • Sight: When you’re at the seafood counter, take a close look at the seafood. It should have vibrant and natural colors. For example, fish fillets should be shiny and have a translucent appearance. Avoid seafood with dull or faded colors, as this could indicate it’s not fresh.
  • Smell: Fresh seafood should have a clean and briny sea smell, like the ocean. If it smells overly fishy or has a strong, unpleasant odor, it’s a sign that it may not be fresh.
  • Touch: When you touch seafood, it should feel firm and moist. Gently press your finger on the flesh; it should spring back and not leave an indentation. If it feels mushy or slimy, it’s best to avoid it.
  1. Check for Clear Eyes

If you’re buying whole fish, check the eyes. Fresh fish should have clear, bright eyes. Cloudy or sunken eyes are signs that the fish is not as fresh as it should be.

  1. Look at the Gills

For whole fish, inspect the gills. They should be bright red or pink, indicating freshness. If they are brown or gray, it’s a sign that the fish is not as fresh as it could be.

  1. Consider the Scales

If the seafood has scales, they should be shiny and tightly attached to the skin. Dull or loose scales can be a sign of less freshness.

  1. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When you’re at the seafood counter or in a restaurant, ask the staff about the seafood’s source and when it was caught. The more information you have, the better you can make an informed decision.

  1. Trust Reputable Sources

Buying seafood from reputable sources is a surefire way to increase the chances of getting fresh seafood. Look for trusted fishmongers, seafood markets, or restaurants known for their high-quality seafood.

  1. Check the Date

If you’re buying packaged seafood, check the “sell by” or “use by” date on the label. Choose products with a longer shelf life if you plan to use them later, but always prioritize those with the latest date for the freshest option.


Determining the freshness of seafood is essential to enjoy its flavor and avoid potential health risks. By using your senses, checking for clear eyes and bright gills, and asking questions, you can make informed choices when buying or ordering seafood. Remember to trust reputable sources and pay attention to expiration dates for packaged seafood. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying delicious, fresh seafood dishes.

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Seafood · Uncategorized

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