There's a lot to consider when buying from seafood importers and exporters. How can you be sure your import seafood company is providing you with truly fresh fish? What's the best price you can obtain from a wholesale fish vendor? Are there any types of seafood you shouldn't buy? These and many other questions are likely to come up when you're buying seafood for your restaurant or other food business.
When buying, making the most of seafood importers and exporters' offerings is high on your agenda. Although there are many considerations, three main categories should not be dismissed. They are:
1. Buying the freshest product possible from a fish distributor,
2. Getting the best price you can from fish importers,
3. And making sure your fish imports are responsible.
Ensure your seafood import is freshFreshness should be utmost in your mind when buying from a seafood importer, so notice whether the seafood is stored properly at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit (either by refrigeration or with ice). The fish you buy should smell mild, not stinky or fishy, and its eyes should not be sunken, pink or cloudy. When you press down on the fish's body, it should bounce back. Also, note that seafood that's flash frozen on the ship is extremely fresh--sometimes more so than unfrozen seafood.
Buy your wholesale seafood at a good priceThe price of seafood varies according to current fishing conditions, the weather and competition between importers and exporters. While it's always smart to shop around, it's also a good idea to test several wholesalers to see which are easiest to work with, most reliable and consistently offer the best deals. Start by researching wholesalers through their websites; after finding several who meet your needs and offer a good value for your dollar, try them out to see whether you can trust their product and pricing.
Make certain your seafood importer--and you--are environmentally responsibleOnce upon a time, everyone believed the ocean was so vast and seafood so prolific humans could never over-fish. We know better now. According to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, 50 percent of the world's major fisheries are fully exploited, 15 percent are over-fished and 6 percent are depleted. That's why choosing sustainable seafood is vital to the health of the ocean and the future of fish as food.
- Once you've made a purchase from a wholesale seafood company, keep your fish or other seafood fresh by storing it in the coldest part of the refrigerator at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. You may keep it this way for up to seven days. Keep live shellfish well-ventilated in the refrigerator.