For Safer Seafood Preparation

FOLLOW these steps to make sure that the fish and shellfish you eat are safe: Avoid eating raw or partly cooked seafood. Many bacteria are killed by adequately cooking the fish.

Call or write your local state Department of Public Health to find out if local fish are contaminated. These offices often issue advisories on restricted areas for commercial or sports fishing.

Be particularly aware of waters near major industrial plants or those contaminated with ``red tides.'' Do not eat raw seafood or shellfish from areas that are contaminated with either industrial chemicals or biological contaminants.

Keep all seafood well chilled, between 32 and 40 degrees F. All seafood contains some bacteria that can multiply quickly in temperatures above 40 degrees F.

Do not store unfrozen fish more than a few days. Fish and shellfish will ultimately deteriorate.

Use most frozen seafood within three months. Frozen oily fish have about half the shelf life of frozen lean fish. Use them within two months.

Keep your freezer as cold as possible, don't crowd it, and avoid opening the door unnecessarily.

Purchase fish and shellfish from reputable dealers with proper storage and handling facilities.

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