Have you ever wondered how your favorite seafood is able to travel halfway across the country to your plate while staying fresh? Grabbing a cut of salmon, cod, red snapper, tuna, or halibut at a grocery store or restaurant is pretty easy. You’d never guess how much logistical effort goes into the transportation and preservation of your fish!
As part of the cold-chain, the seafood business relies heavily on the refrigerated storage industry. Cold storage units are absolutely essential to maintain quality and freshness in seafood. Generally, fresh fish stay in good condition for 8-9 days. From the moment a fish is caught, trapped, or netted, there’s a race against time to ensure this highly-perishable item reaches its destination.
Seafood Transportation 101
The most important thing to know about transporting seafood is that temperature matters. The colder the temperature you keep a fish, the longer its “lifespan” before it spoils. 5 to 10 degrees can make a huge difference in shelf-life.
Of course, there’s a huge difference between keeping a fish fresh and freezing it. Even though freezing a fish is far easier and gives it a much longer lifespan, it doesn’t retain the same desirability and quality after it’s been frozen.
To keep seafood fresh without completely freezing it, it usually must be kept somewhere between 28-41 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a temperature on the edge of freezing is called “super-chilling.”
What Kinds of Refrigerated Units Are Good For Preserving Fresh Seafood?
There are a lot of cold storage units on the market. When choosing yours, you should consider factors such as temperature control, size, energy efficiency, and rental terms.
Precise and consistent temperature control is absolutely essential when transporting seafood. Luckily, recent innovations in refrigerated storage technology can give you exact control of temperature, to ¼ of a degree! Of course, be sure to do your research about temperature control before renting or purchasing a refrigerated unit–not all units are this powerful, or reliable!
If you’re transporting a significant amount of fresh fish, you may consider a 40-foot refrigerated container. If you’re working with less product, in order to save money and energy efficiency, consider investing in a 20-foot or 10-foot container. Asking the company you’re working with about the size that’ll fit your unique needs is always a good idea.
With rising fuel costs, energy efficiency is more important than ever. Renting a unit that relies on electricity rather than diesel fuel can save you a considerable amount of money. What’s more, electric-powered units are quieter, more reliable, and less harmful to the environment. It’s a win-win-win.
How Can I Tell If Seafood At The Grocery Store is Fresh?
There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on a cut of fish to find out that it tastes a little “off” or is spoiled! When scouting out the best-quality seafood at the grocery store, look for these qualities:
- Color and Appearance. Good quality fish should be colorful, metallic, and bright, never gray, spotted, or “dull” looking. Fish that looks particularly dried out or especially slimy should be avoided. Scales or gills should not be falling off or sunken. Look at the eyes–they should be shiny, not “foggy.”
- The Finger Test. If you’re able to touch the fish (in a sanitary way), try out the finger test. If you lightly press the fish with your finger and the flesh springs back, it’s probably fresh. If your finger leaves an indentation on the fish, it’s likely a little older.
- How Does It Smell? Yes, fish smells “fishy.” But the “fishy” odor should smell more like the ocean and not strange, rotten, or unusual. A good-quality fish will usually have very-little smell to it.
If you are looking for a refrigerated, walk-in portable storage container for your restaurant or business, look no further. Moon Refrigeration offers 20 and 40 ft electric “reefer” containers and 10 ft portable walk-in coolers and freezers. We’ll work hard to meet all your short-term and long-term needs, providing fast, reliable, and affordable service at a day’s notice.
Our mobile containers are some of the newest on the market– leading in world-class performance, energy efficiency, quiet operation and reliability. In fact, no refrigeration unit today provides full-load performance as well as our trusted Carrier PrimeLINE technology! What’s more, our containers can be placed indoors or outdoors, at dock level or ground level, and can maintain temperatures between -10F to +75F.
We proudly serve Louisville, Southern Indiana, Lexington, and the surrounding regions. As one of Kentucky’s largest full-service leasing companies, we can also offer you dumpster rentals, portable restroom rentals, trailer leasing, grease trap cleaning, and much more! Interested in getting started? Give us a call or visit our website today!