Frequently Asked Questions

Food Safety, Product Specific, Storage & Handling

Product Specific

  1. A.  The Acme products are a traditional line of smoked fish and herring products which employ the curing and smoking methods that have been part of our recipe for generations.  This includes items that many families have enjoyed during family gathering, special celebrations, and around the holidays. The Blue Hill Bay line is the all-natural line of smoked fish and herring that are produced employing European curing and smoking techniques. Blue Hill Bay products also include a diverse selection of wild-caught smoked salmon products. The Ruby Bay brand is most recent addition to the Acme family of brands. This brand blends traditional and innovative techniques to deliver new and innovative flavors and products. 

  2. The cream is naturally acidic and breaks down the proteins of the Herring when they are combined, making the texture of the fish softer than its original state.

  3. A: No, chubs are their own species.  However, they belong to a similar family and do bear a resemblance, albeit much smaller. 

  4. A: If the herring is covered in brine (juice in the bottle) it can last between 10 to 15 days in a well working refrigerator once opened.  If not, it can last between 5 to 7 days like any fish. 

  5. A: Lox is derived from the foreign words 'laks', 'lachs', or 'lax', which mean "salmon".  Here in the U.S. the phrase 'lox' has been adopted as a generic term for any type cured salmon, but most often people use it to refer to smoked salmon. True authentic lox is salt cured salmon and never smoked.  Lox is much saltier than smoked salmon, but has a similar consistency and appearance.  Most retailers are conditioned to give smoked salmon when someone asks for lox, but if you have a saltier pallette, try asking for "salty lox".  For more information about terms used in our world, visit the Glossary in the Academy page.


  6. A: No, our Ruby Bay salmon jerky is shelf stable. However, once opened it must be consumed within 5 days. For extended storage, the jerky can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.


  7. A: Eating smoked fish by itself is always delicious, but there are hundreds of ways that smoked fish and herring can also be enjoyed. Take a look at our great and easy to follow recipes to get some more ideas.

  8. A: There is no alcohol in the pickled herring.  A trace amount of wine is ceremoniously added to each batch of brine, but it is quickly absorbed by the vinegar mixture.  There is no detectable alcohol in any of our herring products.

  9. A: Here at Acme, we source the highest quality, premium grade salmon that will give us the best tasting smoked salmon possible. As a result, we source from both responsibly farmed Atlantic salmon and sustainably harvested wild salmon from suppliers that adhere to the strictest standards available (BAP, MSC, etc.). Further, we only source our salmon from the most pristine waters possible. The truth is that wild salmon stocks have declined over the decades and farmed salmon now constitutes 70% of world’s salmon.


  1. A. All of our smoked fish products are kosher except sturgeon.

  2. A:  A fish must contain scales, bones, and fins in order to be Kosher. For more information about Kosher standards, please visit our Kosher and Quality Standards section.

  3. A: Yes, all of our products are Kosher for Passover with the exception of the David Burke Pastrami Nova Salmon

    Each year prior to the Passover Production season The Kof-K goes to great lengths to insure that the plant is cleaned and prepared to have Kosher for Passover products. At Acme we are proud to have our products available for Passover use so you never have to take a break from enjoying our products.

  4. A: Each individual package will bear a Kosher for Passover sticker. The Whitefish Salads will have a laser print on the lid with the inscription “Kosher for Passover”

Nutritional, Product Specific

  1. A. Blue Hill Bay Whitefish Spread and Blue Hill Bay Baked Salmon Spread are made with mayonnaise, which may contain preservatives.

Storage & Handling

  1. A. When serving smoked fish, do not allow it to remain at room temperature (for example, as part of a buffet) for more than three hours.

  2. A. Once opened, fresh and vacuum-packaged smoked fish should be consumed within 5 days. The shelf life of un-opened, vacuum-packaged smoked fish varies.  It is always best to consume before 'best by' date marked on package.  Smoked salmon packs can be stored FROZEN for extended shelf life for a few months and when removed from the freezer should be placed in refrigerator during the thawing process.  Smoked fish, because it is a ready-to-eat food, should not be stored with raw food products.

  3. A. Fresh and vacuum-packaged cold smoked salmon can be frozen for a few months. Re-freezing smoked fish a second time is not recommended, as it adversely affects the quality of the product including deteriorating color, moisture and texture.  Frozen smoked salmon should be thawed in a refrigerator at 40ºF or below.  We have drafted some important recommendations when freezing smoked fish.  Please visit the  Do-It-Yourself section for more information.

  4. A:  Whitefish salad is best when consumed within 5 days after opening.  Keep all salads refrigerated as freezing will separate the mayonnaise. 

  5. A: Freezing herring may cause the glass jar to break or change the texture and appearance of the herring.  While our herring products have extended shelf life, one alternative is re-pack the herring in a plastic container or in a zip-lock (freezer-type) plastic bag.  Please be aware that the cream in the cream-herring may separate if stored frozen.

  6. A: Product is best consumed prior to the Best by, or Sell by date. Once the Best by, or Sell by date has been reached, product should be consumed within 5 days. Once the product is opened, product should be consumed within 5 days as well for products that have not reached the Sell by, or Best by date. Also, keep in mind that placing the product in a zip-lock bag is highly recommended to avoid excessive moisture loss.

  7. A:  For a few months. However, we have drafted some important recommendations when freezing smoked fish. Please visit our Do-It-Yourself section to see the best way to freeze smoked fish.

  8. A:  Never store vacuum-packed smoked fish at room temperature.  When vacuum-packed smoked fish is purchased at a store, store the items in a refrigerator as soon as possible.  When serving smoked fish, make sure you open the vacuum package first and do not allow the items to remain at room temperature for more than one hour.



  1. A. Acme, Blue Hill Bay, or Ruby Bay products are available at supermarkets, delis, gourmet and specialty stores nationwide, as well as through several catalog and on-line retailers. For the store nearest you, please go to the section “Where to buy” on this web site.

  2. A: 8AM until 1PM every friday. Remember, it is cash only. For more information and directions, visit the Fish Friday's page.


  3. A:  Our smoked fish is available in many supermarkets, club stores, appetizing stores, and specialty establishments throughout the country.  To find a store near you, visit our store locator.  If you aren't able to find what you're looking for, ask customer service to bring in Acme smoked fish!  Also note that many of our products are sold and available anonymously in food service establishments like bagel stores, restaurants, delis, etc. 


Food Safety

  1. A: If you are pregnant, we recommend that you consult with your doctor before eating seafood products.

  2. A: Almost all of our products are gluten free except for three.  The Chopped Herring Salad, Smoked Fish Dip, and Smoked Salmon/Tuna Poke Bowls contain gluten.


  3. A: All fish that we produce are free from parasites. Acme takes a series of measures to eliminate and prevent the risk of parasites in our products. All seafood vendors are required to comply with a number of standards and regulations related to parasite prevention. Aquaculture vendors are able to control the food that fish consume. All of our wild caught fish are frozen for at least 7 days to eliminate the presence of parasites. Brining, cooking, and smoking are additional critical control processes used to eliminate this risk.

  4. A:  We would strongly recommend that you discard the jar. This product must be refrigerated at all times.


  5. A: We recommend to consume smoked salmon within 5 days to ensure a fresh eating experience. For an extended shelf life, put a portion that will not be consumed within 5 days in the freezer.  Divide the remaining product into portions that will last 5 days and double wrap them in plastic or a zip lock type bags.  From a food safety standpoint, although there is nothing inherently dangerous about smoked salmon, bacteria growth can occur the longer smoked salmon is exposed to the ambient environment.  It is crucial to store smoked salmon under 40 degrees in a well working refrigerator.  

  6. A: Yes! All of our smoked fish is ready to eat and requires no additional cooking. While it may be enjoyed directly from the package, it can also be added into your favorite recipes.

  7. A:  Yes, Farmed salmon is not only safe to eat, it is very good for you.  At Acme we source our farm raised salmon from only the best vendors, knowing the conditions that the fish grow and what they are being fed.  This type of Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, premature births, and arthritis symptoms. In addition, salmon is low in saturated fat and high in protein. Farm-raised salmon is one of the most available and affordable sources of these healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Visit our Academy section to learn more about this important Fish Fact.


  1. A: The FDA has specific requirements for the amount of salt in smoked seafood. This requirement is based upon the concern for food safety.  We must add a minimum amount of salt to smoked fish in order to make sure that it is safe to eat. 


  2. A: Eating smoked fish is a great source of protein and other nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.  The health benefits of eating seafood are well documented, when consumed in moderation.  Visit our Academy section to learn more Fish Facts that elaborate about these health benefits.

Food Safety, Product Specific, Storage & Handling

  1. A: Once opened, we recommend consuming the herring within 10 days. Although the pickled herring can last longer than 10 days, we have taken in to consideration that consumers often times do not have ideal conditions when handling the product after opening. The use of unproperly sanitzed utensils and the change in temperture level (ex: when displaying the product for a long period of time in room temperature) will effect the shelf life of this product. This product must be refrigerated at all times.



  1. A: Around 35 herring fillets are packed to a gallon. 

  2. A: Because pre-sliced smoked salmon is a random weight product, the answer varies.  Generally, a slice of smoked salmon weighs about 1 oz. so on average, a side of pre-sliced smoked salmon can have about 40 slices.


  3. A: Around 200 pieces 

  4. A: Bulk pack trout fillets weigh 1 lb. and generally, about 8 fillets to a board. 

  5. A: There are 6-8 pieces of whitefish to a box.

  6. A: The expiration date is the date an item is ensured to be edible.  A sell-by date is the date the stores are suggesting to take an item off the shelves. We have began to phase out 'sell-by' dates and date our products with a 'Best By', which can be interpreted the same as a expiration date. 

Product Specific, Wholesaler

  1. A: Nova Snacks are small tidbit end pieces of the fish as they pass through the slicing machine. They are too small to put in the regular Nova sliced packages so they are sold for a reduced price.  Nova snacks are best used in scrambled eggs, blended with cream cheese, or other Salad type dishes. 

  2. A: There are many theories as to why Chubs are in short supply.  Chubs are fished in the Great Lakes which have had a species of Zebra Mussels introduced by passing ships.  Unfortunately, these mussels have dominated the Chub food supply and their numbers have dwindled.  Some Chubs still exist, but they are harder to catch and generally unprofitable for fishermen.  Acme continuously looks to source chubs but it is often inconsistent in supply.


  3. A: Spice: Anise, capsicum, caraway, cardamom, cassia, clove leaf, dill weed, paprika, pimento leaf. 

Food Safety, Wholesaler

  1. A: No, none of our products contain any form of nuts.  

Nutritional, Product Specific, Wholesaler

  1. A: We label our use of dextrose in our Ruby Bay Jerky “corn syrup solids” as we believe this is a more precise description. They are often mistakenly confused with High Fructose Corn Syrup which contains both fructose and dextrose (mostly fructose). Ruby Bay follows traditional methods of jerky manufactured by utilizing corn syrup solids, (dextrose) to preserve the color and appearance of the final product. We use well less than one half of one percent which adds an insignificant amount of calories and has no impact on the nutritional label.  

Kosher, Wholesaler

  1. A: Most items are Kosher except for Sturgeon and Kippers.

  2. A: No, all of our products are not Kosher for Passover, listing provided below.

    Each year prior to the Passover Production season The Kof-K goes to great lengths to insure that the plant is cleaned and prepared to have Kosher for Passover products. At Acme we are proud to have our products available for Passover use so you never have to take a break from enjoying our products.

    Brand Product Stocked Kosher for Passover
    ACME Retail Smoked Salmon Yes
    BHB & RB Retail Smoked Salmon Available upon large order request
    Acme Wholesale Bulk Available upon large order request
    BHB Wholesale Bulk Available upon large order request
    All Salads Yes
    ACME Hot Smoked Yes
    ACME Herring Yes
    BHB Herring Only Wine Dill and Cream


  3. A: Each individual package will bear a Kosher for Passover sticker. The Whitefish Salads will have a laser print on the lid with the inscription “Kosher for Passover”

Food Safety, Storage & Handling, Wholesaler

  1. A: No. The oil in the mayonnaise will separate if frozen.

  2. A: Yes, nova is safe to freeze for a few months but it may lose a little of red color and vibrant taste.  Fresh nova is always best fresh, but it is also okay to freeze.