Controls on the food market are strengthened during the Lent period by the Unified Food Control Body with a constant focus on educating consumers, protecting them from unfair practices and ensuring the availability of safe food.

At the same time, as the period of Lent and especially the three days of Clean Monday, has been associated with the consumption of specific fasting foods, EFET provides useful advice for safe consumption.


Cephalopods (e.g. octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, cuttlefish)

In the market we find them either fresh, frozen or thawed.

When fresh, we pay attention to:

– Not to have an unpleasant smell, ammonia smell or any other smell, foreign to the product, but to give off the characteristic smell of the sea.

– The surface of the body should be moist and shiny, while the tentacles and suction cups should be able to withstand light pulling and not be easily detached.

– The flesh should be firm, elastic and shiny while the eyes should be shiny, lively without spots.

Differences between squids and squids

To avoid any possible deception, since the value of squid is more than double that of thrapsal, it is good to keep in mind the differences in characteristics between squids and thrapsal.

There is a characteristic morphological difference between squids and squids: in the form of their fin. Squids have a diamond-shaped fin that runs the length of their body, while the fin in thrapsals is triangular in shape and more flattened. When the two species are exposed fresh on ice it is easy to tell them apart, because the squids have ten tentacles of similar length, while the squids have two characteristic tentacles longer than the remaining eight.

Frozen (packaged or bulk) cephalopods should not be sold with an altered color, and are usually covered by a layer of ice. After thawing, the contents should have the color and smell of the fresh product.

Thawed catches, when sold, must have a clear indication of their thawed state, on the sales sign, in addition to the indications on their packaging.

Crustaceans (eg mussels, quinces, shiners, oysters, clams, scallops)

Since they are sold in shell they must be live and this is shown by:

– Shells that must be closed and very difficult to open or if they are partially open with the least pressure on their shell to close themselves hermetically.

– The contents should be moist, clean and odorless.

– The flesh must be moist, firmly attached to the shell (with the prick of a pin or with a few drops of lemon to cause contraction of the body).

As for shelled mussels sold on ice, their flesh should be shiny, firm and smell of the sea. Mussels are also sold frozen in or out of shell.

Shellfish (eg shrimp, crayfish, lobster, crab)

We find them on the market either fresh, frozen or thawed.

The fresh ones should:

– Not to have an unpleasant smell, but to give off the characteristic smell of the sea.

– Their legs should be firmly attached to the body and hard.

– The membrane of the chest should be stretched, durable and transparent.

– The head and chest should be light in color, not black in color and should not have black spots.

– Have reflex movements in the eyes, antennae and legs when alive.

In general, be aware that fresh shrimp slip easily from the hand.

Sea urchins

Sea urchins must be alive at the time of purchase, which is easily distinguished by the movement of their spines.

When choosing canned fish that is stored in the refrigerator or outside the refrigerator, make sure that it is intact and sealed, without dents or bulges.

Other Lenten dishes

Other popular Lenten dishes are halva (special attention to allergens), pickles and taramas.

The tarama comes in the form of a paste and must have a uniform color. Possible spoilage in tarama is identified by the appearance of mold, dryness, rancidity, bitter or sour taste.