Safely Thawing Frozen Fish

You learn something new every day – at least I try to!  Despite living fairly close to the Atlantic Ocean, one has to work hard to find decent fresh fish around here, so I tend to buy fish individually quick frozen (IQF).  And YES, I always check my Seafood Watch app to make sure I am buying a wise, sustainably harvested, healthful choice!  I highly recommend that app if you are health or eco conscious about your food choices.

Anyhoo, IQF fish is always vacuum sealed in a pouch that says “remove before thawing”.  Not being one to blindly follow directions, I have in the past ignored that statement and thawed the fish in the pouch.  I mean, I thought it helped keep the fish moist or something, and what could go wrong in a vacuum-sealed pouch?  Well, I looked that up today, and plenty is the correct answer.  Ewww!

Yeah, that warning is there for a reason

 Yeah, that warning is there for a reason

IQF fish is susceptible to a kind of bacteria that can make you very sick, namely clostridium botulinum.  This critter only grows in an anaerobic (airless) environment, so if you thaw the fish in the pouch it can multiply and possibly cause food sickness (botulism).  Thawing the fish outside the pouch eliminates the danger from this nasty beastie, so lesson learned!

Safely thawing Tilapia loins. I also learned today that Tilapias have "loins". Who knew???

Safely thawed Tilapia loins. I also learned today that Tilapias have “loins”. Who knew???

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