Fish and other seafood is highly perishable. If not stored properly immediately after catching fish, it could pose dangers to anyone who consumes it. There are some indicators that you can look for that will tell you if a fish isn’t fresh and hasn’t been cooled properly while stored. A fresh fish will have slightly bulging, clear eyes. If the eyes are sunken in and glossed over, it’s a good indicator that is has begun to spoil. If you are buying whole fish, the skin should be moist and shiny with pink gills. If the skin is dry or developing a slimy, dull, and/or developing a shiny film, it may not be safe for consumption. The smell of the fish will also tell you if the fish is fresh and has been stored properly. Fish have a mild smell, if the smell is strong, you shouldn’t eat it.
Dangers of an Industrial Fishing Company Inadequately Cooling Fish
If industrial and commercial fishing companies aren’t adequately cooling their fish, then they are selling spoiled fish in mass quantities. Not identifying that the fish is spoiled and consuming it will lead to many dangerous health effects. If fish isn’t cooled immediately after catching it, bacteria will begin to grow. The higher the temperature rises on the fish, the faster the bacteria will grow. Salmonella is a bacteria that grows on raw fish. If you are using or fish for sushi or undercooking it, then you are relying on how quickly it was cooled for your health. Being subjected to salmonella will give you food poisoning symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting and chills within 24 hours of consumption.
Top 5 Fish Cooling Mistakes an Industrial Fishing Company Might Make
- Not Planning the Voyage Properly – Planning is important when it comes to how you will handle the fish. If you are out on the water for longer than you have planned to be you could run out of space and ice for the fish, leaving it out to spoil.
- Not bringing Enough Ice – Not bringing enough ice is another problem that can lead to spoiled fish. You need to plan on not only cooling all the fish that you will catch, but to replace ice that will melt while you’re out on the water too.
- Using the Wrong Type of Ice – Bringing any type of ice out onto the water isn’t good enough. You need to make sure you bring the right type of ice. Bringing large chunks will take up too much space in the coolers and not leave enough space for the fish. Bringing ice that is crushed into pieces that are too small will cause them to melt too quickly. You need medium-sized ice chunks that will last without bulking up the cooler and taking too much space.
- Not Having Adequate Insulation in the Cargo Storage Area – Insulation in the storage area is key to keeping the fish fresh. The ice will melt too quickly if the storage isn’t properly insulated. Even if the ice begins to melt, the storage area will stay colder longer with proper insulation.
- Failing to Get the Fish Cooled and Covered Quickly Enough – Fish need to be covered and cooled immediately after coming out of the water. It might seem easier to wait until you have a lot of fish, but every minute that they aren’t cooling, they’re growing bacteria.
Avoiding these top 5 fish cooling mistakes is an important first step for helping industrial fishermen prevent spoilage. Semco customizes cooling and storage systems ideal for use with best practices of fish cooling. We can also advise clients about their fish cooling and storage options to ensure that they get the absolute best system for their needs.