This note explains why fish should be kept cool during cold storage and how long different products can be maintained. Consider the factors that limit the shelf life of cold storage and give instructions on how they are minimized.
There are a few brief observations on the design and operation of refrigeration chambers, mainly to guide users rather than manufacturers.
The degradation of fish flesh resulting from the action of enzymes and bacteria can be slowed down by lowering the temperature. When fresh raw materials are frozen and kept at a sufficiently low temperature, the wear can almost completely stop. The frozen product deteriorates somewhat during cold storage, but the changes are so small, under good conditions, that for the normal consumer the thawed product can no longer be distinguished from the fresh product after a few months of storage.
Generally, the lower the retention temperature, the longer the storage period. the storage temperature is therefore the most important factor affecting the life of frozen fish.
The recommended storage temperature for all frozen seafood products is minus 20 ° F. The bacterial action is completely discontinued at this temperature and the undesirable changes in flesh caused by the enzymes occur very slowly.
Some products can be stored safely even at high temperatures, provided that storage lasts only for short periods of time. However, since it is not always possible to ensure that a product remains in the store more than expected, it is usually safer to use at less than 20 ° F at any time. Part of the poor quality fish sold to the public is very often stored at high temperature.