Ah, salmon, a superfood if there ever was one. Packed with delicious flavor and nutritional benefits, salmon is a versatile fish that can be used in all kinds of dishes. Yet, like most seafood, salmon has a very short shelf life and must be cooked quickly in order to remain a superfood. How long can thawed salmon stay in the fridge? Let’s find out.
How Long Can Thawed Salmon Stay in the Fridge?
Most of the salmon you purchase from the supermarket is going to either be defrosted or frozen. The fresh seafood section is often thawed, meaning that the clock is ticking when it comes to freshness.
Once salmon has been fully defrosted, it can only be stored for two days in the refrigerator before it starts going bad.
If you want to buy salmon but don’t know when you’re going to use it, get the frozen fillets instead.
Can Salmon Last 3 Days in the Fridge?
It’s not recommended to use salmon that has spent 3 days in the fridge, even if it is vacuum-sealed.
The only time salmon can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days is when it has already been fully cooked. Raw salmon should be used within 1-2 days and thrown away on the third day.
Can You Defrost Salmon and then Refrigerate?
Yes, you can defrost salmon and keep it refrigerated for 1-2 days.
The best method for thawing salmon is to let it defrost in the fridge, making this an easy step. If you plan on making salmon for dinner, for instance, you can take the frozen salmon out of the freezer in the morning. Place the fillets in the refrigerator while you go about your day, and then when it’s time to cook dinner, you will have thawed and delicious salmon waiting to be cooked!
Can Salmon Go Bad in the Fridge?
Yes, salmon can go bad in the fridge.
You already know that thawed salmon remains good for up to 2 days in the fridge. This is due to the bacteria on the fish. Even when refrigerated, the bacteria will continue to grow. Therefore, if you bought your salmon a week ago, be sure to toss it instead of using it, regardless of how it looks. It’s dangerous. And if you bought your salmon 2 days ago but aren’t sure it’s bad, there are signs to look for.
How Can You Tell if Thawed Salmon is Bad?
There are a few ways to determine if thawed salmon has gone bad.
The first is by physical appearance. Fresh salmon is generally pink or orange in color. Salmon that has gone bad, on the other hand, will be pale or gray, and the scales will be dull. You may also notice spotting on the flesh that can be either dark or light. If you see any strange spotting that wasn’t there when you bought the fish, it’s a sure sign that it has spoiled.
Furthermore, salmon has distinguishable white lines separating the pink. This is an indicator of firmness. As the salmon begins to decay, the white lines disintegrate. So, if there are no white lines, the fish has gone bad.
Third, thawed salmon that is no longer fit for consumption will also feel mushy to the touch. It might also fall apart as you handle it. You want a firm texture in your salmon.
Lastly, salmon has a characteristic scent, but it shouldn’t be intense or foul. One whiff and you’ll know whether the salmon is edible or not. In the event that your nose wrinkles automatically, throw it away.
How to Properly Store Salmon
Salmon is delicious when it’s fresh, but you might not be able to eat it right away. Since you know salmon only keeps for 1-2 days in the fridge, what do you do to keep it longer?
Here is the proper storage method for salmon:
- Refrigerate if you plan on consuming immediately.
- If you get a fresh catch of the day, you can store your salmon in the freezer. Do this straight away.
- If the salmon is only partially defrosted, you can safely refreeze it without losing any nutritional value, taste, or texture.
- Never refreeze a fully thawed fillet of salmon. This means you can’t purchase fresh salmon from the supermarket and expect to freeze it.
- Vacuum-packed raw salmon should not be kept in the refrigerator for longer than 2 days.
- Raw salmon purchased from the grocery store can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Now that you know how long salmon keeps in the fridge, you can thaw it in a more timely manner.
If you want to thaw salmon, it’s best done overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the frozen salmon fillets from the freezer, cut the vacuum packaging, and then place the salmon—vacuum seal and all—in a shallow pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours.
If you want to preserve flavor and texture, don’t let salmon or any other seafood thaw at room temperature or in water.
Eat Your Salmon While It’s Fresh
How long can thawed salmon stay in the fridge? For peak freshness, salmon should stay in the fridge for 1-2 days. After that, it’s no longer safe for consumption and should be thrown away. If you want to keep your salmon fresher for longer, be sure to either purchase frozen salmon or freeze it immediately after purchase. That way, your salmon keeps for a few months rather than a few days.
While you should never eat bad salmon, there might come a time when you made a mistake or were accidentally served salmon that was spoiled. If you eat bad salmon, you will know. Gastrointestinal distress is most common. You may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, vomiting, nausea, fever, and weakness. This may last for a few days, but if your symptoms worsen over time, you should head to the emergency room.