Ministry of Health issues guidelines for buying fish

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 20:00

The Ministry of Health has issued guidelines for the purchase of fish and fish products.

It comes amid fears that dead fish found in the Gulf of Paria have made their way to the markets.

The following are the guidelines:

"Whether you're buying fresh water fish or an ocean fish, a flat fish or a round one, there are some common indicators of freshness:

• The eyes should be clear, bright, and slightly bulging. If they are cloudy or sunk into the fish's head, take a pass on that one.

• The gills should be bright red.

• The flesh should be firm and resistant. If your finger leaves an indention in the flesh, that means it's more than a day old.

• The scales should adhere tightly to the fish.

• The fish should smell like the sea - clean, fresh, and briny. Avoid fish that smell of ammonia or that smell overly "fishy."

• The fish should have a good overall appearance. This means no cuts or bruises, fins and tails are flexible, and the fish is moist.

If you buy your fish pre-cut into portions, it can be a bit harder to assess its freshness. In general, cut pieces of fish should be shiny and moist with no discoloration. It should still smell briny and ocean-like, and not "fishy."