This note explains why fish should be kept cold during cold storage, and how long various foods can be stored. The factors limiting the shelf life in the refrigerator are discussed, and recommendations are given to minimize them.
Some brief comments are given on the design and operation of cold rooms, mainly for the user manual, not the builders.
The deterioration of fish flesh as a result of the action of enzymes and bacteria can be slowed down by lowering the temperature; when fresh raw materials are properly frozen and stored at a sufficiently low temperature, wear can be almost completely stopped. The frozen product deteriorates somewhat when stored in the refrigerator, but the changes in such good conditions are so small that for the average consumer the thawed product can no longer be distinguished from the fresh product after several months of storage.
As a rule, the lower the holding temperature, the longer the shelf life; Hence, the storage temperature is the most important factor affecting the shelf life of frozen fish.
The recommended storage temperature for all frozen seafood is minus 20 ° F. At this temperature, the action of bacteria completely stops, and unwanted changes in the pulp caused by enzymes occur very slowly.
Some products can be safely stored even at high temperatures, provided that storage does not last long. However, since it is not always possible to guarantee that the product will stay in the store longer than expected, it is usually safer to always use it at a temperature below 20 ° F. Some of the poor quality fish sold to the public has been stored too often at high temperatures.