Straight to the Bar

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Buying Fish in Supermarkets
Posted By Scott Bird

TroutOver the past couple of years I’ve gradually been eating more and more fish (actually, seafood in general). If you’re getting sick of tinned tuna and on the verge of wandering over to the fish counter in your supermarket, here are a couple of things to bear in mind *.
Firstly, you will often have a choice of a wet fish slab, and a selection of shrink-wrapped fish in much the same way as beef, pork and lamb is sold. The area with the slab is usually no better than an indifferent fishmonger; you may actually be better off buying the shrink-wrapped stuff.
The reason for this is simple. Unlike the fish on the slab, anything pre-packaged must display a ‘best before’ date. With Health Department regulations the way they are, most of the large supermarkets favour a 4 day maximum from the time they receive delivery of the fish to the time it should be consumed. What’s more, the pre-packaged fish will usually be cleaned and filleted in order to retain a reasonable appearance for the full 4 days.
Because of the regulations, there are stringent procedures governing the pre-packaged fish; which is often given precedence over the fish on the slab. If you buy the pre-packaged fish within 24 hours of it being placed in the chill cabinet, there is a very good chance that it will be in better condition than the stuff on the slab.
When to buy? Shortly after it’s delivered is obviously best, and keep in mind that there is still a big ‘fish on friday’ mentality in the UK. With Saturday being a busy shopping day in any case, many of the larger supermarkets have a major delivery on Friday mornings.
Having said all this, you may be wondering why I don’t simply go to a fishmonger or a seafood market. Well, a good fishmonger is a rare thing and if you live near one, you’re extremely lucky. Luckier still are those living within reach of a good seafood market. As for my current location, it’s been known for centuries for its shipbuilding, not fishing. So it’s the local supermarket for the time being.
* this applies to UK supermarkets, but practises are probably similar elsewhere in the world.

Incidentally, if this has got you thinking about your own diet, you might like to swing by Fantastic site.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via Twitter, Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
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