Contrary to belief, fish has been considered a more safe meat to consume, compared to poultry. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention—which monitors infectious illness—a consumer is likely to become ill [1 in 250,000 servings], while a chicken eater may be subjected to illness every 1 in 25,000 servings. In other words, when properly prepared, seafood is 200 times safer than poultry. Judgments like those can highly influence a New Year’s resolution. FDA <http://www.fda.gov/Food/PopularTopics/ucm341987.htm>
MAKE GOOD-QUALITY JUDGMENTS
Be Able to Identify the Fish/Seafood
In many incidents certain fish may be mistaken as another type of fish. There are instances when consumers present a fish as one thing; hence, naming the fish as a more expensive kind that is popularly in demand (mislabeled). Risks could occur: improper diet predictions or allergic reactions. Use a fish identifying reference (i.e. a fish glossary, encyclopedia, etc.).
Be aware of labels on packaged foods before adding to recipes—as an ingredient.
Imitation Products vs. Fresh Seafood
Imitation products are common in most grocery store outlets. Surprisingly, imitation foods come as dairy, simulated meats, and also as seafood parts (e.g. not so real crab meat). In relation, to creating a great seafood dish, sometimes chefs should pay attention to what the product is--compared to what type of taste and texture is desired for their specific entrée. Also, the demand in nutrients could be a factor as well (i.e. more protein and less sodium). Some diets may mandate the nutrients that only simulated foods can offer (visa-versa).
Seafood Pointers: A Great Start to a Sound Recipe
Buy Seafood from Well Established, Reputable Sources
Contrary to belief, all seafood vendors are not the same. Some vendors order seafood products from unknown (unpopular) distributors, while others request deliveries from seafood distributors that are well known for ‘that fresh catch.’ Those factors are very important to notice from the seafood market that you plan on trusting with your health and the others you serve. Do your research.
Eat a Variety of Seafood
Although it is healthy to begin the feat of focusing on fish or lobster, it is advised to spread your horizons a bit and eat a variety of seafood. Frankly, there are health benefits related to eating more than one type. Just think about it, more variety: shrimp; mussels; oysters; scallop; bluefish; salmon; catfish; and lobster. The health benefits come from the different amounts of nutrients intake that each seafood portion offers. Keep an open mind for your palate’s sake.
- Smell the product, before you buy it (no bad seafood allowed)
- Look for the healthy sheen (unhealthy look: distasteful—literally)
- Proper storage (store seafood in the freezer, if you are not planning to immediately put it to the flame)
- Never eat the livers, brains, eyes, gills, or intestines (viscera); as toxic substances have accumulated in those areas.
- Do not undercook seafood—ever; this is not a beef entrée by far.
- Don’t mess with raw or undercooked fish and shellfish. Sushi is different.