Keeping salmon in the fridge isn’t exactly the best way to keep it fresh. When refrigerated, salmon (and other fatty fishes such as mackerel and sardines) can only last for 1-2 days. If you’re lucky, salmon’s freshness can last up to 3 days when it is refrigerated.
The next day rolls around, and you have lunch and dinner plans. Finally, you get around to eating it two days after you cooked it, but then you’re left wondering, “Is this still OK to eat?” The answer—YES. In fact, salmon lasts in the fridge for up to 3 days after it has been cooked.
After salmon is purchased, it may be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days – the “sell-by” date on the package may expire during that storage period, but the salmon will remain safe to use after the sell by date if it has been properly stored.
Spoiled salmon looks dull and has a gray tint to it compared to the bright pink of good salmon. Bad fish could also have dark spots, mold, or discoloration. Plus, bad salmon sometimes has a milky, slimy residue on it, which is a pretty clear indication you should not cook and consume it.
Spoiled fish, the result of poor food handling practices, can also cause dramatic gastrointestinal symptoms – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
But remember that salmon, like a lot of other proteins, usually has a sell by date and not a use by date or expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use foods even after the sell by date has lapsed if they have been stored properly.
According to the USDA, cooked salmon leftovers should be eaten within three to four days. However, you can technically store the leftovers for up to seven days tops, although you will be compromising both taste and safety. “The sooner you eat the leftovers, the better they’ll be,” she added.
Instead, it’s best to reheat it slowly, at a low temperature. Put the fish on a rimmed baking sheet and warm it a 275°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. Follow this tip: Go low and slow when reheating your leftover salmon fillet to ensure that it won’t dry out.
If you are using meal prep containers and have stored your easy salmon recipe well, these meals will last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Proper storage is key to maintaining freshness. Salmon can be kept for up to two days in the refrigerator. Remove the salmon from its wrappings, rinse thoroughly with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Wrap the fish tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by another layer of aluminum foil.
|Refrigerator 4ºC (40ºF)||Freezer -18ºC (0ºF)|
|Lean fish (e.g., cod, flounder)||3-4 days||6 months|
|Fatty fish (e.g., salmon)||3-4 days||2 months|
|Shellfish (e.g., clams, crab, lobster)||12-24 hours||2-4 months|
|Scallops, Shrimp, Cooked Shellfish||1-2 days||2-4 months|
When stored properly in the refrigerator, fresh fish should be cooked within two days, up to three at most, from the time it was purchased. Shelf life does vary from species to species, with some lasting slightly longer. Two days is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Another reason why fish is cooked is the risk of food poisoning. The main symptoms of food poisoning include upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Potentially harmful bacteria detected in raw fish include Listeria, Vibrio, Clostridium and Salmonella ( 14, 15, 16 ).
The white stuff on salmon is called albumin. Albumin is a protein that exists in the fish in liquid form when it’s raw, but coagulates and becomes semi-solid when you subject the salmon to heat, whether that’s in the oven, on the stove, or on the grill.
If you eat much salmon, you’ve probably noticed that gray- brown layer between the skin and the flesh. It has a pretty intense flavor. “Often times for cosmetic reasons, vendors remove it, but you can eat it. It’s perfectly safe to eat.”