The Daily Mail ran an investigation which sampled supermarket fish to identify their ‘freshness’.
The tests found fish on sale that was 16 days old and “with three days left on its use-by date”.
How can this fish be sold as fresh?
Well, as Denise Fraser, a spokesperson for Seafish, points out, “There is no rule or law that says it has to be ten days of whatever” so long as the supply process looks after the fish and keeps it on ice.
So, fish is ‘preserved’ for consumption at the right temperates until its supermarket use-by date. Even fish that has been frozen can be sold in a thawed state on the fresh fish counter. This fish can age from a few weeks to a few months and “it could be up to two years some times.”
Preserving fish like this is perfectly safe for consumption but what does fresh really mean when it comes to quality?
If you’ve tried truly fresh fish you’ll know the difference. Just hours out of the water, freshly caught fish is full of flavour with a delicate texture. The fish will be shiny and firm and slippery to the touch. The eyes will still appear clear and the gills will be red and fleshy.