Handling and Storage

Starting with the freshest, highest quality seafood, we handle each piece with the utmost care

Starting with the freshest, highest quality seafood, we handle each piece with the utmost care. Here are some methods we use to ensure you can enjoy seafood safely, at the peak of flavor.

  1. Our fishmongers handle all fresh seafood in walk-in refrigerators, keeping all seafood on fresh ice. Live lobsters are kept in cold-water tanks, energetic and kicking when we fill your order.
  2. We package seafood orders in Citarella coated paper and clear plastic bags. Shipping orders are placed in insulated polystyrene boxes with ice packs to ensure you only receive “Citarella fresh” products.
  3. To enjoy the Handling-storage-insidefreshest seafood, please consume within 2 days of purchase. Keep your delicious order fresh in the coldest part of the fridge, usually in the back near the freezer.
  4. If not consumed within 2 days, please take care to freeze the item in an airtight package. Divide large orders into small, portion-size packages so you can thaw and enjoy as needed. Rather than allowing the item to lose quality, frozen seafood can be thawed in the refrigerator or, in a rush, under clean dripping water and retain their original charm. Once thawed, please do not re-freeze; consume or discard immediately.
  5. Do not freeze any shellfish. Shellfish should be removed from packaging and stored in an empty bowl in the refrigerator, for use within 24 to 48 hours.
  6. Be sure to clean surfaces like countertops and cutting boards thoroughly with a sanitizing agent before and after preparing fresh seafood. Diligently cleaning will prevent germs from crossing to your cooked dishes!
  7. For our fresh finfish, prepare by removing from the packaging and rinsing in cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel and you’re ready to begin cooking!
  8. Tips:
    • Date and label your freezer packages. Masking tape and permanent marker will hold up to ice crystals, and will be clear and easy to read.
    • Discard frozen fish after 2-3 months.
    • The meats removed from oysters, clams, lobsters, crabs, etc can be frozen. Their shells can be used immediately for flavorful stocks or sauces, which can then be frozen.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at our Customer Service line at 212-874-0383. We are happy to help you experience Citarella’s quality seafood selection.