Buying Fish and Seafood from a Grocery Store

Submitted by: Steve HLinka

Better than ever, fish from a grocery store, can be is fresh, and even fresher than your local fish market.

In my grocery store, fish is delivered 6 days a week. Everyday, but Sunday. The fish is processed, and packed on ice, right on the fishing vessel. A time and temperature tab is applied to the box, to tell if the product went below temperature, and how long the product has been around. The tab will turn specific colors if the product has been abused.

Most grocery stores only order what they need, since they get deliveries 6 days a week. Ordering is pretty accurate. Also they do something called an item movement from a database computer, wich tells: How much they sell, total pounds, total dollar amount, What time, and day they sold the most, and least, How much to order. It’s a pretty consistent method. I do recomend that you shop at a real busy store, just in case. not all fish mongers are honest, the’ll tell you it’s fresh when it’s not because of lack of business. Maybe the store down the street had a better sale.

Shrimp and scallops at my my store are flash frozen, right on the fishing vessel. This is an excellent method, since bacteria doesn’t have a chance to spread. It doesn’t effect the quality at all. In fact, the quality is better. At the store level. they thaw out what they need, at an hourly basis.

The fish case, and fish temperature, are monitored every hour. The health department checks these logs when ever they visit. If there not accurate, it will be a voiolation.


Ask to smell the fish (fresh fish doesn’t smell)
Fresh fillets should be shiny
Look at the edges of the fish (shouldn’t have discoloration)
Ask a lot of questions ( when, where, how)
Whole fish (shiny eyes)
Live shellfish (no open or broken shells)

Any questions: e-mail me at:

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