Buying fresh meat, fish, and shellfish

 Smell is a good indicator of freshness. Meat should be pink or red.Whole fish should be shiny, with reddish gills and clear, bulging eyes.
 

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 ● Avoid packages of meat with lots of liquid – the meat may be dry as a result of losing moisture.
 
● Choose beef that is red, not brown, with fat that is white, not yellow. Some meat display cases use fluorescent lights to make the
meat look redder. Check the colour away from artificial light.
 
● Look for lamb and pork with a pink to pale red colour, little fat and a smooth, firm texture. Visible bone ends in pork should be red: the whiter the tips of the bone, the older the animal.
 
● Chicken should have unblemished skin and flesh.Test the breastbone on whole birds: the more flexible it is, the younger the bird and the more tender the flesh.
 
● Avoid buying endangered fish species and those that are caught by harmful methods, such as long lines, which snare other animals.
 
● Select fish fillets that look firm and springy. Avoid discoloured or limp flesh. Moistness is not a reliable indicator of age, as fish are often sprayed with water to make them look fresh.
 
● When selecting live mussels, oysters and clams, their shells should be tightly closed, or close up when tapped.
 
● Check the flesh of shucked mussels, oysters and clams. It should be shiny and plump, and there should be little liquid in the shell. Scallops should be dry, plump, creamy in colour and sweet-smelling.

● When buying raw prawns, try to select ones that look firm. Limp prawns are old prawns.
 
● If buying live crabs, check that they are indeed alive – they should be moving their legs.
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