How Long Does Fish Last In The Fridge? (And the Bad Signs)

how long does fish last in the fridge

You’ve come to the correct site if you’re wondering how long fish can keep in the refrigerator before turning bad.


The grocery shop offers a wide variety of fish and seafood. You’ll need to know the answer to the question, “How long does fish last in the fridge?” before making any purchases. It will prevent headaches and even stomachaches in the future if you store fish properly in the refrigerator, whether it is raw or cooked.


What is the Department of Agriculture of the United States’ opinion on the subject? For raw fish and seafood, they advise only one to two days; however, after cooking, you should be fine for three to four days. Why does seafood spoil more quickly in the refrigerator than other meats, like steak?


How Long Does Fish Last In The Fridge?

If properly preserved, fish can keep for three to four days in the refrigerator. Depending on whether the fish is cooked or uncooked, the duration might range from 3 to 4 days. 

Here, we’ll look at both possibilities.


How Long Do Raw and Shellfish Fish Last In The Fridge?

Only one or two days before cooking or freezing, raw fish and shellfish should be kept in the refrigerator (40 °F/4.4 °C or less). Seafood should be refrigerated for three to four days after cooking. Any frozen fish or shellfish will always be safe, but with prolonged storage, the flavor and texture may deteriorate.

 For the greatest quality, freeze cooked fish for up to three months at a temperature of 0 °F or -17.8 °C. It is advisable to use frozen raw fish within 3 to 8 months and shellfish between 3 and 12 months. Never leave seafood out for more than two hours.


How To Store Raw Fish

If you bought fillets, divide them up into serving sizes that are enough for a single meal for you or your family, if you have kids or live with them. Before placing the pieces in the refrigerator or freezer, securely wrap them in impermeable freezer paper or foil to stop air leakage.

How To Store Raw Fish

You might ask the shop to clean the intestines and scales if you bought an entire fish. This eliminates the need for you to prepare it yourself before cooking or putting it in the refrigerator. Additionally, keep them in sealed bags or containers for each serving size.


How To Freeze Fish (Raw or Cooked)

While cooked and fresh fish may only last for a few days in the refrigerator, freezing it can extend its shelf life. Place cooked or raw fish in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container to freeze. 

In order to determine when the item was initially frozen, make sure to name and date the container or bag. Plan to use raw fish within eight months and cooked fish within three months for the greatest texture and flavor.


How Long Does Cooked Fish Last In The Fridge?

Fish that has been cooked can keep for three to four days in the fridge. To keep cooked fish from absorbing any odors from the refrigerator, put it in an airtight container. Cooked fish, as opposed to raw fish, can be placed on any level in the refrigerator, save for the bottom shelf where raw meat, fish, and poultry are kept.

For instance, when kept in the refrigerator, smoked salmon can survive for around seven days. The remainder should then be consumed immediately or frozen. Fish that has been cooked may be kept forever in the freezer, although it’s preferable to eat it within a month or two.


How To Store Cooked Fish

The following things affect how long cooked fish is kept in the fridge:

  • Storage method

  • Fish type

  • Fish quality before cooking

  • Preparation technique (Whether Cured, Smoked, or Marinated)

  • Fridge temperature

Cook the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 °F. If you don’t have a food thermometer, you may see if the fish is cooked by looking to see if the flesh is clear. You have to consume cooked fish right away. Refrigerate any leftovers within two hours if you have any.

Make sure to chill batch meals quickly before refrigeration by placing them in shallow containers. Food that has been heated and is kept in deep containers can quickly develop bacteria.


How To Reheat Fish Without Running It

The main issue with reheating fish is that it can become dry and difficult to chew. Therefore, you must have a strategy for retaining moisture during heating. Set your oven to 275 Fahrenheit (135 °C). Wrap your fish in aluminum foil in a loose manner while your oven is heating. This will prevent moisture from leaking into the air and staying around your fish.

How To Reheat Fish Without Running It

Before sealing the foil over your fish, add a little splash of water if your fish is already beginning to appear a bit dry or if you have any other concerns. After your oven has heated up, place the fish in foil and bake it for around 15 minutes. Make sure your fish is completely reheated but not overdone by ensuring that the interior temperature is between 120 and 130 °F.


How To Thaw Frozen Fish

Avoid using the microwave to reheat frozen fish, just like cooked fish. The morning of the day you intend to consume the fish, place the frozen fish in the refrigerator to defrost. The fish can even be placed in the refrigerator the night before. 

Put it on the lowest shelf, just like you would when keeping fresh fish, to ensure that no escaping fish juices contaminate other foods.

How To Thaw Frozen Fish

There is another way to defrost frozen fish without using the microwave if you remember in the morning that you forgot to put the fish in the refrigerator but still want fish for supper. Your frozen fish should be in its original packaging.

Put it in a big bowl and fill it with cold water. Use cold water instead of hot, since hot water can increase bacterial development and cause textural problems. Ice-cold water will make the thawing process take too long. Until the fish is defrosted, dump and replenish the water every 20 to 30 minutes.


How To Tell If Fish Has Gone Bad

The duration of food in the refrigerator and freezer can now be determined with certainty, but it’s still a good idea to watch out for these telltale symptoms that your fish has gone bad:

  • Overly fishy smell

  • Slimy texture

  • Grayish or bluish tint

  • The flesh has lost its firmness (for raw fish)

Fish, in particular, is pricey. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think carefully about preserving your fish and planning when to consume it. You’ll spend less money, waste less food, and be safe if you keep this advice in mind.

If Fish Has Gone Bad

Final Thoughts

Fresh, raw fish from the grocery store should only be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days before being cooked or frozen. Fish should only be refrigerated for three to four days after cooking before being eaten or frozen.

Try smoking your fish if you want it to stay fresh for a long time.


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