Navigating the Frozen Food Aisle: 5 Tips for Picking Out Quality Seafood Products

Frozen good aisle in grocery store

When you’re looking for quality seafood products, navigating the frozen food aisle can be a little confusing. While you may already know that frozen seafood can be just as good as fresh seafood when it comes to taste and nutritional value, you may not know how you can ensure you’re choosing quality seafood. We’ve got a few tips to help you out next time you’re grocery shopping for your next seafood feast.

Shop at Reputable Grocery Store Chains

When shopping for frozen seafood, you’ll want to be sure you’re buying from a reputable grocery store. Chains like Costco, Giant Eagle, Wegmans, Sprouts
and HyVee are known for their high product standards and their frozen seafood is no exception.

Inspect the Seafood

When selecting seafood, check for any signs that the fish may be of inferior quality. Here are a few warning signs to watch for:

  • Discoloration
  • Signs of freezer burn
  • Drying on the surface
  • An unpleasant smell

Frozen seafood should look just as good as it would if it was fresh and never frozen, so pass on any seafood that doesn’t meet the standards you hold for fresh fish.

Inspect the Packaging

Inspect Packaging Frozen Seafood Grocery Store

You can tell a lot about the quality of frozen seafood based on the condition of the packaging. When choosing seafood, look for packaging that is free of any rips or tears, contains no liquid and has little to no visible ice. Visible ice crystals are usually a sign that the fish has either been sitting in the freezer for a very long time or has thawed and been refrozen. While it will still be perfectly safe, these practices could make the texture less tender.

Look for Labels and Certifications

One of the best ways you can pick out a quality, sustainable seafood product is by checking the packaging for certain labels or certifications. Organizations like the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture Practices, Ocean Wise and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch exist to help shoppers pick out sustainable seafood by recognizing quality seafood producers.

Check the Country of Origin

Frozen Seafood Honduras Mexico Indonesia

Over 85% of seafood for sale in America has been imported from other countries, largely due to the high demand for seafood. While many countries source their fish using sustainable and quality methods, some countries, like China and Vietnam, have a bad reputation when it comes to seafood. The conditions in which these countries raise or source their seafood aren’t always sustainable. The quality of the seafood has been known to suffer as a result.

To ensure you’re getting a quality seafood product, look for fish from countries like Honduras, Mexico and Indonesia that are home to high-quality seafood suppliers.

Shopping all taken care of? If you’re looking for some advice on how to cook your frozen seafood, check out our tips here.

Photo Credits: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock Inc., l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock Inc., Vereshchagin Dmitry / Shutterstock Inc.