High street fishmongers beat supermarkets for fish freshness – claim – Fishupdate.com

High street fishmongers beat supermarkets for fish freshness – claim Published:  20 November, 2013

INDEPENDENT fishmongers have come way on top of the supermarkets when it comes to fish freshness, a national newspaper investigation has revealed.

The well known food journalist Rose Prince, writing in the Daily Mail, says her fantasy of ‘fresh’ fish sold in supermarkets was just that – a fantasy. She said most people would accept that the concept of fresh fish was that it should be three or four days old at the most. But much of it sold in supermarket was caught almost three weeks previously.  She said that while it may not be off or toxic it was “certainly fading in the twilight of its sellable life”.

The  Mail sent samples of cod, plaice and salmon from the big four supermarkets Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s   for testing  by a fish technician based on the Aberdeen Torry Testing Scale. The paper claims that of the 12 supermarket samples a third failed to meet the minimum level of acceptability of ten days since the fish was caught. another six supermarket samples were hovering around the minimum levels of acceptability.The marks for white fish freshness averaged 7.5 to five  out of ten and slightly higher seven out of ten for salmon. Sainsbury was the supermarket with the best record with marks not far behind that of the fishmonger.

In contrast all the samples from independent fishmongers scored highly in the testing with marks of eight or nine out of ten. It should also be noted that most fishmongerts get their supplies from coastal fish markets such as Grimsby.

However, it should be stressed that all the fish tested were safe to eat, and fell within the Food Standards Agency guidelines, so there is nothing wrong with fish from the supermarket.

Tesco told the newspaper it wasn’t a fair comparison because fish from the fishmonger was being compared with pre-packed fresh fish. Presumably the process of packing the fish and distributing it will automatically introduce a delay between catching and selling the fish that the independent fishmonger will not face. Morrisons said it was disappointed with the results as it prides itself on the qualify of the fresh fish. It said that because it owns its own processing plant  in Grimsby it can get a fish from the sea to the shelves in 24 hours.