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Foods -- Seafood

What is the most important consideration in safe handling of seafood at home?

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Cleanliness. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom, before starting food preparation, before working with new food or new utensils, after finishing food preparation, and before serving food. Prevent cross-contamination. Never let raw seafood (or meat) come in contact with cooked seafood (or meat) or any other food, raw or cooked. If you use a cloth for cleaning in the kitchen, use a clean one after working with raw seafood. You may find it easier to use paper towels and dispose of them after each cleaning. Cut raw seafood on an acrylic cutting board, never a wooden one. Clean the board thoroughly after each use. Wash boards, counters, and all utensils with detergent and hot water after each use. Serve cooked seafood on clean plates. Never put it back on the plate with raw juices.

SOURCE: Donn Ward, Ph.D., Joyce Taylor, and David Green, Ph.D., Department of Food Science, NC State University

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