How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge? Here Are 3 Key Label Info To Keep You Healthy!

Salmon is known for its amazing taste, quick cook time and plenty of nutritional benefits. It’s a versatile source of protein that absorbs flavours well.

Like chicken, salmon can also go from raw to cooked and served within 30 minutes.

But how long does salmon last in the fridge?

Can you freeze salmon like you freeze chicken?

Find answers to all your questions in this article so that you can safely and more often cook this nutritional delicacy.

How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?

Raw Salmon

If raw, salmon will last for no more than 1 to 2 days. After that, it should be transferred to a freezer.

A day over the 2-day mark and salmon will start to lose all of its freshness, even if kept in a perfectly working fridge. This is due to the high amount of fat present in fish like salmon, mackerel and the likes.

It is, therefore, best to purchase fresh salmon from a fish market, the same day you want to cook it. Or if you are going to make the fish in the next three days or more after purchasing, then its best to freeze it and defrost it on the day you want to cook it.

It is… best to purchase fresh salmon from a fish market, the same day you want to cook it

Another option is to purchase frozen salmon from a supermarket, no more than a couple of days before you intend to cook it, and keep it in the fridge and let it defrost. The defrosting will take up to 1 to 2 days depending on the thickness of the salmon. This means that by the time you want to cook it, it will be defrosted and ready to throw on the pan, without much of a difference in its taste and freshness.

raw salmon

 Cooked Salmon

Cooked salmon can be kept for no more than 4 days, as advised by the United States Departments of food and agriculture services.

Many people suggest that cooked salmon can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days, but this is really stretching it. By the 7th day not only will your fish turn absolutely stale, but it may also even have a colony of bacterial growth. The flesh will start to taste and feel weird, along with the possible growth of fungus.

Cooked salmon

So it is highly necessary to finish any salmon leftovers by the 4th day.

That being said, salmon kept in the fridge for over 4 days doesn’t go bad, until the 7th-day mark. But nonetheless, you will experience a stark difference in both its flavour and texture.

How To Store Salmon In The Fridge – The Right Way?

To increase salmon’s fridge life, make sure that it is kept in a sealable Tupperware, that is airtight.

This will keep the fish away from bacterial growth as well as drying.

Fish also tends to absorb the smells of other foods kept in the fridge. So it’s necessary to seal it with a cling wrap to keep smelling it fresh and well fishy.

Raw salmon can last, without going bad, up to a year if kept frozen at a constant 0 degrees

How Long Does Salmon Last In The Freezer?

–      Raw Salmon:

Raw salmon can last, without going bad, up to a year if kept frozen at a constant 0 degrees without fail.

But that doesn’t mean that it will remain fresh till then.

Usually, the freshness of raw salmon starts to deteriorate after the first 3 months of freezing. That too if the salmon is frozen properly, following the right guidelines.

Otherwise, it may just take less than a month for the salmon to turn stale.

With proper packaging, raw salmon can last upto 9 months in a freezer without going bad. However, the ideal time to keep raw salmon stored in the freezer is before three months because at that point it is the freshest.

Cooked Salmon:

Cooked salmon stays fresh for as long as raw salmon if only packaged properly. To savour it at its best, eat it within the first three months. However, even after the 3-month mark, the salmon is good to eat but it may have lost its freshness. While it may not taste absolutely stale, you will see some difference in flavour and texture.

If you don’t mind some difference in taste and texture, then it’s good to eat for up to 9 months.

Did you know sushi-grade salmon is also frozen and then thawed before use, to keep the freshness, flavour and texture intact?

You may also like: 5 Steps to Preserve, Process and Pack Smoked Catfish

How To Store Salmon In The Freezer – The Right Way?

Freezer burns are the worst nightmare for any fish lover. They make the fish dry and taste absolutely stale.

So in order to keep the salmon tasting fresh and juicy, even after months, make sure to package it with care.

While wrapping in freezer paper, or putting in an airtight box is the common way of freezing fish, I prefer to vacuum seal salmon.

People also prefer to wrap salmon in lots of foil paper, to avoid spoilage and freezer burns.

Vacuum sealing however not just results in a fresh-tasting product even after weeks, but there are no signs of drying or freezer burns either. A vacuum seal will also keep any unwanted odour away from absorbing into the salmon flesh.

It also takes far less space than any other method and keeps the freezer looking organized.

How To Tell If The Salmon Has Gone Bad?

Smell Test:

The easiest way to determine if salmon has gone bad is to do the smell test.

  • Fish have their own distinct smell, but any smell that is overpowering is not a good sign. Sniff the fish before cooking. If there is even the slightest bit of sour smell coming from the salmon, toss it in the bin right away. You may not be able to catch a Rancid fish by looking at it, but smelling it will help get a definitive answer.

 Sight Test:

If your fish passes the smell test, move to the sight test:

  • a fresh salmon looks pink. The skin has no residue or greasiness and it is clear of any marks.
  • On the other hand, a fresh salmon that has gone bad may have yellowish residue on the skin.
  • If it’s a whole fish check the gills for any sticky residue.
  • Salmon fillets should look pink on the inside and any form of discolouration or dryness means that the fish has passed the rotten stage or is on its way to rotting. Either way, toss the salmon right away!

Touch Test:

Last but not least try the touch test:

  • Press gently into the flesh of the fish and see how it reacts. If the flesh bounces back up it means that the fish is absolutely fresh and perfect for throwing at the grill.
  • But if a dimple or depression forms where you have pressed then the chances are that the fish has gone rancid and is beyond use.

how long does salmon last quote

How Long Does Salmon Stay Fresh At Room Temperature?

Whether raw or cooked, salmon will only taste fresh for 2 hours, if kept at room temperature.

Any fish that has been kept at room temperature for over 2 hours, is likely to not just taste stale but also go bad, resulting in the growth of moulds and bacteria. Which if eaten can cause severe food poisoning.

When salmon, or any other seafood, is being shipped from one place to another a cold storage van is used

This is why you will always see fish kept on large pieces of ice, whether it’s being shipped from sea or being sold in the market, fish is always preserved by keeping on ice. Because ice or low temperatures stop the growth of bacteria altogether and slow down the process of natural decomposition.

When salmon, or any other seafood, is being shipped from one place to another a cold storage van is used.

In case it is a small catch, an ice cooler is used to keep the salmon fresh.

How Long Does A Restaurant Cooked Salmon Last In The Fridge?

The general rule says that cooked salmon can last anywhere between 2 to 4 days. However, when it comes to restaurant cooked salmon, I prefer to use it within the next two days. This is because you never know for sure how fresh the salmon was when cooked.

In any case, no leftover is worth getting food poison for.

Related post – 2 Healthy Salmon Recipes -How To Make Salmon Jerky

Know The Difference Between – Best Before Date, Use Before Date and Sell Before Date:

Best Before Date:

This date, as commonly assumed, does not tell that the food has expired. It just means that the quality of the food is best before the mentioned date. It may deteriorate after this date but not go bad.

 Use Before Date:

This tells the food will expire after the given date and will not remain fit for use.

Sell Before Date:

This date informs the retailers that it should be sold before this date. It however does not mean that the food has gone bad. It still can be used for up to 8 months.

So to conclude, cooked or raw salmon requires proper packaging along with low temperatures to keep from rotting and tasting fresh up to 9 months.

If you were wondering how long does salmon last in the fridge, now you know!

So it is now time to order the freshest catch of salmon from your local grocery and enjoy this nutritional protein as often as any other protein source. We recommend at least two meals a week, to get the best value for nutrition.

So have you tried storing salmon longer then we have recommended here? What was your experience?

We love to hear from and you can share your experience with us using the comment box below.

Festus Otasowie
Festus Otasowie
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