Tips For Eyeing and Buying Fresh Fish - Red Lobster - Media Kit

Media Kit

Red Lobster's Tips for Eyeing and Buying Fresh Fish

ORLANDO , Fla. — Buying fresh fish makes all the difference when cooking at home, but many people are stumped by what to look for. With Red Lobster Executive Chef Anette Grecchi Gray's tips on how to "eye and buy" fresh fish, you'll know how to spot fresh fish next time you visit your local market:

  • The fish's eyes should be clear. If the eyes are cloudy, it was probably harvested more than five days ago and is beginning to get old.

  • The interior gills should be bright red. If the gills are pink or brownish gray, it has either been mishandled or is getting old.

  • There should be no offensive odor. Fresh seafood does not smell offensive. Generally speaking, it should smell moist and fresh, comparable to a cut cucumber or melon. If there is an unusual odor, it is probably old and should not be purchased.

  • It should be firm. The flesh should be firm and elastic to the touch — it should “spring back” into place. If an indentation remains after touched, it is beginning to get soft and is probably old.

  • Fillets or steak cuts should look moist and firm.

  • Don't forget to check for bruises. Dark red spots that appear on fillets indicate bruises, which are caused by mishandling. These fillets are still edible, but do not measure up to the highest quality standards.

Download Grilled Salmon photo

Grilled Salmon
download photo

Photo cutline:You know it's fresh when the fish "springs back" into place when touched.
Credit: Red Lobster


A large degree of gapping, or the separation of flesh in a fillet, is a good indication the fillet is getting old and should not be consumed. While the layers of meat should not separate or “gap” significantly, a minor gap is acceptable.

Did You Know:

According to the National Fisheries Institute, the average American eats more than 15 pounds of seafood each year. Eating seafood rich in Omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week benefits the hearts of healthy people, as well as those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

For more information, please visit our Fresh Seafood at Home section.

# # #