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How to find the freshest frozen fish in the supermarket

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Most of us are on a mission to get the most for our money at the grocery store. Sometimes this means opting for frozen food over fresh, which often includes meat. If you like fish, there is a way to make sure your frozen foods are as fresh as possible.

When shopping for frozen fish, you should look for two different labels: “sea frozen” and “individually quick frozen.” They both describe how a fish was frozen before taking it to the grocery store.

The first method, frozen at sea, means exactly what it sounds like. When a fish is caught, it is immediately filleted and frozen on the boat. Labels that have this marker are better able to retain freshness since they are not returned, thawed, and reprocessed like options labeled “previously frozen.”

The second method is individual quick freezing, in which fish and shellfish are quick frozen in individual units within a few minutes or hours. Like the FAS method, the IQF process first sees the fish filleted, but rather than immediately freezing it, it is placed in a layer of water to help keep it fresh. So, it’s frozen.

Both methods help fish and shellfish retain that “just caught” flavor and texture. So the next time you’re looking to save some money buying frozen foods, be sure to check the labels.

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