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Oct 3, 2010 10:00 AM

Defrost frozen fish in original plastic packaging. Safe?

Why does my fozen salmon purchased from store in plastic wrapping warn AGAINST thawing in its original plastic wrap?

I've seen some packing that says remove from plastic, place on plate, and cover with plastic wrap.

What's the difference?

It's certainly much more convenient to just move it from freezer to fridge overnight, and open and cook the next day.

Is it dangerous to do so?


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  1. Does no one defrost frozen fish in the original plastic wrapping?

    1 Reply
    1. re: mike2401

      Yes... I do...maybe I'm a heathen but I've never had a problem with it. Ive done it with tilapia, swai, cod...I'd just recommend smelling it when you open it and using it within 1-2 days after defrosting.

    2. I don't often buy frozen fish in plastic wrapping, but the few times I've had to defrost frozen wrapped fish, I always do it in the original wrapping. I've never heard of doing otherwise UNLESS one was planning of thawing in the microwave. There are plastic wraps that are not microwave safe.

      1. The 2 pound package of frozen shrimp I sometimes buy says to thaw the whole bag at once, in the packaging. I have a family of two, unless you count pets, so you better believe I've broken that little instruction. No one's gotten sick yet. I think sometimes these instructions are just so much legalese to protect the company, but often defy common practice as well as common sense.

        4 Replies
        1. re: amyzan

          Pls let me share my family method:
          (1) buy big package of frozen seafood is aok
          (2) when i get home usually the food is thawed already
          (3) if it is shrimps, i separate them into several piles with just about the right size for my family to cook in a single dish. Then i wrap eqch pile in plastic/aluminum wrap and put in the freezer until it's time to cook.
          (4) if it is whole fish, i cut it up into smaller pieces and wrap them individually just like i wrap the shrimps.

          For us, this preserve the freshness as much as we can while we dont get have to endure the not-so-nice feeling of having to eat too much of something at once.


          1. re: Dolcin1

            I thought re-freezing is dangerous?

            1. re: mike2401

              as far as i know, refreezing defrosted frozen products is discouraged but i've never looked into the science of it.

              1. re: mike2401

                properly defrosted (i.e., in refrigerator or cooler) may not be dangerous, but changes in texture will occur

          2. The reason for the warning is that many people thaw their seafoods and meats in the microwave. Some types of plastic wrap and microwaves go together like fresh garlic in EVOO and room tempterature. Bad combo.

            If you are defrosting intelligently (in the fridge like most Chowhounds do), don't worry about the plastic wrap.

            1. I've always wondered about those warnings too. I almost always put the frozen fish, in its original wrapper, in the fridge.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mels

                when i compliantly followed directions and removed from plastic, and put on plate in fridge, it ended up in a pool of water, so i'm not sure it was any less water logged.