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How to Select Wild Salmon

Fresh

Step 1

Inspect a whole salmon for discoloration, and avoid fish that is green or yellow. Check the edges for drying or darkening. Do not buy dry or dark fish with a “mushy” appearance.

Step 2

Look at the flesh and the gills. The flesh should appear firm and shiny, while the gills should be bright red and without slime.

Step 3

Check the eyes of the salmon. The eyes should be clear and dark, not cloudy or milky. The eyes should not be sunk in.

Step 4

Smell the salmon. The fish should smell fresh like the ocean and a little salty. It should not smell fishy, ammonia-like or sour.

Step 5

Press your finger lightly on the fish to determine how firm it is. A fresh salmon when pressed in will spring back and retain its shape. If a dent remains, do not buy it.

Frozen

Step 1

Inspect the packaging. Do not purchase any salmon with torn, open, punctured or crushed packaging.

Step 2

Select a package from below the “freeze line.” The Food and Drug Administration recommends that you avoid the packages at the top and back of a store's freezer shelf.

Step 3

Look for frost or ice crystals on the fish, which could mean the salmon has been thawed and refrozen or stored for too long. Avoid these packages.

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