How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad

Seafood is a delicious food coveted in our shopping lists. The only inconvenience is its higher price, which is not always in reach of domestic budgets. That is why we reserve eating seafood for certain times of the year or special celebrations. So if you are not used to buying seafood, how can you know whether the fish is in good condition and ready to eat? Do not worry because in OneHowTo we explain how to know if seafood has gone bad.

You may also be interested in: How to Know if Fish is Sustainable
Steps to follow:

Fish is a food which must be eaten fresh, so it is not recommended you keep it in the refrigerator for too long. If you did this previously and now you have doubts in identifying whether the seafood has gone bad, the most important clue is the smell. When the fish stinks, think well before consuming it and keep inspecting it.


In addition to the smell, another way to identify whether seafood has gone bad is by its appearance. seafood must be humid, smooth and slightly firm to the touch.


Another important point to take into account is the sort of seafood in question. Molluscs, for example, are sold alive. So the valves must be closed very well, if they are slightly open by simply touching them they must be closed immediately. This means that the shellfish is fresh and in good condition. In addition, molluscs must be smooth and slippery and must have a colour somewhere between pearl and a soft pink inside it. Its consistency must be firm. If it does not match this description do not eat it!

How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad - Step 3

Crustaceans such as crab and lobster are also sold alive. So its appearance must be intact and its smell pleasant. And how to identify if shrimps and prawns are in poor condition? If they do not have a slightly translucent appearance and do not smell good they are best thrown in the bin.

How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad - Step 4

And what happens if we buy frozen seafood? Like the fresh, the frozen version must be complete, it must have a fresh appearance and cannot contain hoarfrost in the packaging. In any case, the best option and also the healthiest is to buy fresh fish which we will have to cook and consume as soon as possible.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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1 comment
Just cooked a large amount of dungess crab legs and claws.Bought frozen.They smelled and tasted of ammonia.Thats a sure sign they are bad, correct?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Theresa,

Ammonia is a sure sign they are bad. They secrete ammonia as waste, so it is possible they were contaminated. If you bought them frozen, then the company providing them should have frozen them fresh. It is possible this hasn't happened. You should speak to them and maybe even report them if you think they are engaging in practices which do not meet local health codes.

How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad
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How To Know If Seafood Has Gone Bad

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