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Why remove frozen fish from packaging before thawing?

by (9402)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created January 22, 2013 at 3:57 AM

We buy frozen wild caught fish from Trader Joe's. Most or all of the varieties say to remove the fish from the package before thawing in the refrigerator. Does anyone know why this would be necessary? My wife thinks it's a food safety issue, but I can't imagine why that would be the case. I think maybe it's necessary for optimal texture, but I've thawed the fish in the package and it turned out fine.

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9402 · January 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Thanks - yes, very similar to what Stephen said above. I think it's the right answer.

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9402 · January 22, 2013 at 4:06 PM

You're welcome. I'm guessing if you're cooking the fish after thawing, it would kill any bacteria anyway, but I'll be removing the packaging from now on before thawing (even if only to make my wife happy).

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10994 · January 22, 2013 at 4:41 AM

Lol man, no problem, I learned something new out of it so we'll call it even.

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9402 · January 22, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Very helpful. Thank you! Looks like you could have hit me with www.lmgtfy.com - Thanks for showing mercy.

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3 Answers

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10994 · January 22, 2013 at 4:15 AM

Some seafood products are sealed in vacuum-packed pouches while still frozen. This prevents dehydration or ???freezer burn???, and is the most effective way to preserve quality. As with any all-natural product there are bacteria that develop during the thawing process. The curious thing about seafood is that when in an anaerobic (airless) environment, there is a chance of the formation of the bacteria??Clostridium botulinum, also known as C-bot, a cause of food poisoning. By removing the packaging, you eliminate the risk of C-bot contamination. Just to be on the safe side, the??FDA??requires these guidelines for all??vacuum-packed??seafood.??

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5
10994 · January 22, 2013 at 4:41 AM

Lol man, no problem, I learned something new out of it so we'll call it even.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · January 22, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Very helpful. Thank you! Looks like you could have hit me with www.lmgtfy.com - Thanks for showing mercy.

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1353 · January 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Thanks for asking this question, I never remove the packaging and am now creeped out enough to take the recommendation seriously:)

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9402 · January 22, 2013 at 4:06 PM

You're welcome. I'm guessing if you're cooking the fish after thawing, it would kill any bacteria anyway, but I'll be removing the packaging from now on before thawing (even if only to make my wife happy).

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3280 · January 22, 2013 at 5:17 PM

I asked the exact same question at ChowHound. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738104#7673402

I got the answer which is:

There is a safety issue re: thawing in vacuum-sealed packaging. From orcabayseafoods.com:

"Our products are sealed in vacuum-packed pouches while still frozen. This prevents dehydration or ???freezer burn???, and is most effective way to preserve quality. We go to great lengths to bring you the best seafood possible, as with any all-natural product there are bacteria that develop during the thaw process. The curious thing about seafood is that when in an anaerobic (airless) environment, there is a chance of the formation of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, also known as C-bot, a cause of food poisoning. By removing the packaging, you eliminate the risk of C-bot contamination. Just to be on the safe side, the FDA requires these guidelines for all vacuum-packed seafood. "

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9402 · January 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Thanks - yes, very similar to what Stephen said above. I think it's the right answer.

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