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How to check fresh fish

by the Fish Site Editor
20 September 2006, at 1:00am

NORWAY - More and more fresh fish is being sold in Norway. But many consumers are still unsure when they're going to assess the fish's quality. Actually, it's easy to find out whether it's as it should be.

How to check fresh fish - NORWAY - More and more fresh fish is being sold in Norway. But many consumers are still unsure when they're going to assess the fish's quality. Actually, it's easy to find out whether it's as it should be.

Good fish? Scientist Margrethe Esaiassen at Fiskeriforskning is an expert in fish quality.

Three rules of thumb for fresh salmon and cod. Fresh salmon fillet should have:

  • Consistent red colour. When it starts going bad, it will have a blotchy surface.
  • Shiny and dry surface. When it starts going bad, it gets a slimy, greyish coating.
  • Fresh odour. It can also smell like melon or cucumber. If it's bad, it will smell rotten, like a sour dishcloth.
Fresh cod fillet should have:
  • An even, light surface. The fish is bad if it has yellow spots and transparent parts on the surface.
  • Shiny and dry surface. Bad fish has a coating of slime on the surface.
  • Fresh odour. Sea-fresh, or neutral to weak fish odour. The fish is starting to go bad if it has a sharp, strong odour.

Pre-packed fresh fish fillets are becoming more common in Norway. But when the fillet is lying in a package with plastic over it, you can't smell the fish.

Senior Scientist Margrethe Esaiassen at Fiskeriforskning believes that the consumer still gets a good impression of the quality by checking the fillet's appearance.

"Pre-packed fish has a use-by date and basically, the consumer has to trust that those who produce and sell the fish are doing their jobs. When you get home, you can also check the quality by smelling the fillet. If it smells bad, you should return the fish to the shop", says Esaiassen.

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