How Long Does Cooked Fish Last in the Fridge? – The Fishy Truth

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We’ve all heard stories about dodgy fish causing people to be ill for ages. So it comes as no surprise that people are very cautious and against storing cooked fish. Thankfully, cooked fish is a lot safer than the raw alternative and is also surprisingly easy to store.

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Table of Contents

Storing Cooked Fish

Storing fish has always been looked at with caution due to the risk of fish being poisonous when spoiled. Cooked fish is a lot easier to store and can be done so with confidence knowing that as long as you don’t cook it stored for too long, it will be perfectly safe to eat.

(For further information about fish you can eat, our articles “can you eat saltwater catfish?” and “can you eat starfish” have all the information you could need.

Storing Cooked Fish at Room Temperature

Storing any food at room temperature can be dangerous. Room temp is such an ideal climate for bacteria to breed.

Cooked fish should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

The rate of bacterial growth suggests that after two hours, the food will have enough bacteria on it to be considered unsafe to eat.

sliced salmon meat on board

Storing Cooked Fish in the Fridge

Food storage in the fridge does not completely stop the bacteria from growing. However, it does slow it down significantly.

Storing cooked fish in the fridge will give you up to 5 days to eat it before it goes bad. Anything after these 5 days is considered to be harmful and it is recommended that you throw the fish away.

Storing Cooked Fish in the Freezer

Cooked fish can be stored in the freezer to get the longest shelf life out of it. The fish will stay fine for up to 3 months, at this point it is recommended against eating it.

If you thaw the fish and do not eat it all, it is recommended you do not refreeze the fish. Take salmon for example, and we have a blog post talking about refreezing thawed salmon. This will lead to a serious decline in quality and will also promote bacterial growth.

It is recommended that when you are freezing food, you should cut it into portions so you can thaw only what you need at any time instead of thawing the entire bit of fish.

Shelf Life Table

Room TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Shelf Lifeup to 2 hoursup to 5 daysup to 3 months

How Long Does Fresh Fish Last in the Fridge?

Fresh fish has generally the same shelf life as cooked fish, although it will have a more noticeable decrease in quality. Fresh fish should be refrigerated at all times except when it is being cooked so that it can retain its high quality and freshness.

How to tell When Cooked Fish is Bad

The best way to tell if fish has gone bad is to smell it. While it naturally smells bad, once fish has spoiled the smell will be significantly worse and will be a lot more noticeable.

If your sense of smell is not the best, inspect the fish and look for any discoloration or mold. A texture will also change so if your fish feels weird that can also be a sign that it is gone off.

FAQs on Storing Cooked Fish

How long does cooked seafood last in the fridge?

Cooked seafood can last up to 5 days in the fridge. This is because a fridge will slow down the growth of bacteria, not completely stop it.

How long is cooked fish good for?

Cooked fish can last up to 5 days in a fridge or for 3 months in a freezer. It can last up to two hours at room temperature before it is deemed unsafe to eat.

How long can cooked salmon sit out?

At room temperature, cooked salmon can be left out for up to 2 hours before it needs to be either discarded or placed in the fridge. After this time has passed, any bacteria has bred enough for it to be considered unsafe for consumption.

Can I eat cooked salmon after 5 days?

Cooked salmon is not recommended to be eaten after 5 days of storage unless it was frozen. Cooked salmon is safe to eat for up to 5 days, yet anything after this is deemed unsafe.

How do you know if cooked fish is bad?

Fish is naturally smelly, however, if the smell is worse than it normally is, this is a sign that it has gone bad.

What happens if I eat spoiled fish?

Depending on how badly spoiled the fish is, your illness can vary. Sometimes it can be just an upset stomach although other times you can get food poisoning.

How long does cooked fish last at room temperature?

Cooked fish last for up to two hours at room temperature. Bacteria can breed very quickly at this temperature so after two hours there will have been enough bacterial growth for the fish to no longer be safe to eat.

How long does fried fish last at room temperature?

Fried fish only lasts up to two hours at room temperature. At this temperature, bacteria can grow and breed very quickly and after two hours there will be enough bacteria for it to be considered unsafe to eat.

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Categorized as Journal

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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