Not every order arrives hard frozen

The Fish Society | 05.03.2022

Dear Fish Society
I received my order today (order #625294).
The box was in good shape - the layers in the box from bottom to top were like this: ice cubes still solid, mackerels again very solid, anchovies which started to defrost with still ice on it and the dry ice plastic bag without any dry ice left.
I have purchased a couple of times before and the fish were always in good frozen shape and this time it wasn’t the case. I hesitate to cook the anchovies.
I really love your service - please take this as a constructive feedback :)


Hi Atakan
Thanks for being a good customer. In return you get chapter and verse on your soft anchovies and defrosted deliveries in general...  Are you ready?
The starting point is the fully defrosted fish is sold in every supermarket from Marks & Spencer downwards with advice that the fish may be refrozen when you get home.So you don't need to rely on my word alone to understand that it is safe to refreeze defrosted fish. As long as it has always been kept cool.

You have had "frozen solid" deliveries from us so far. These might mislead you as to what we offer, because part defrosted deliveries are not abnormal. Frankly, it is impossible at any reasonable cost to ensure your fish will arrive hard frozen every time. Indeed we advise you of this on the delivery page on our website.
Factors that affect just how frozen you delivery is OR SEEMS TO BE when it arrives include:
  • the fish you have chosen: for instance
    • squid rings are a lot harder to keep frozen than a pack of fillet steaks
    • battered scampi may appear to be soft just because the batter itself never freezes solid.
  • the amount of fish in your order: with the best will in the world it is a challenge to keep two 100g packs of sashimi frozen
  • the weather: we tackle summer by using extra dry ice or gel ice, but vagaries such as November temperatures five degrees above normal are more of a challenge
  • normal delivery delays: this didn't happen to you but DPD might deliver six hours or even 24 hours late.
So we do not set ourselves the impossible objective of guaranteeing that every delivery will arrive hard frozen.
Instead we guarantee that every delivery will arrive cold and at a suitable temperature to put in your freezer. If it doesn't we will replace it.
One ever-present problem is that many customers have been brought up to believe that You should never refreeze a defrosted product.
This is a good motto if your mission is to protect 60 million people including some who would leave food on their kitchen surface for days and then refreeze it. But as you can see from the defrosted fish on sale in every supermarket, in controlled circumstances, the motto does not apply.
Of course, in an ideal world, nothing would ever be defrosted then refrozen, for refreezing undoubtedly degrades the food if only very slightly.
But we are in the real world and we do our best. So we pack to delivery frozen if all goes well (as it usually does). But if there is a defrost, let's not sweat about it.
Atakan, thankyou for being a good customer. I hope the explanation above helps you understand why we need our customers to understand that hard frozen every time is not a realistic expectation.
All the best
Alistair Blair
Next Smoked fish customer day

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