How Long Is Salmon Good For In The Fridge

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How long is salmon good for in the fridge – Salmon, a delectable fish prized for its rich flavor and nutritional value, deserves the utmost care when it comes to storage. Understanding how long salmon is good for in the fridge is crucial to ensure its quality and prevent foodborne illnesses.

This comprehensive guide delves into the optimal storage practices, spoilage signs, and safety guidelines for both fresh and cooked salmon, empowering you to savor this culinary delight with confidence.

Fresh salmon, when properly refrigerated, can maintain its peak quality for 1-2 days. Cooked salmon, on the other hand, has a slightly longer shelf life of 3-4 days in the fridge. Factors such as temperature, packaging, and handling significantly influence the longevity of salmon.

Recognizing the telltale signs of spoilage, such as changes in texture, color, and odor, is essential to avoid consuming compromised fish.

Fresh Salmon Storage

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the quality and safety of fresh salmon. Understanding the optimal temperature and other factors that influence its shelf life will help you enjoy fresh salmon at its best.


Fresh salmon should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, typically the back or bottom shelf. The ideal temperature for storing fresh salmon is between 32°F (0°C) and 38°F (3°C).

Time Frames

The shelf life of fresh salmon in the fridge depends on several factors, including the initial quality of the fish, the temperature of the refrigerator, and the packaging method. Generally, fresh salmon can be kept in the refrigerator for:

  • Whole salmon:1-2 days
  • Salmon fillets:2-3 days
  • Cooked salmon:3-4 days

Factors Affecting Shelf Life, How long is salmon good for in the fridge

Certain factors can affect the shelf life of fresh salmon in the fridge:

  • Initial quality:Salmon that is fresh and properly handled will have a longer shelf life.
  • Temperature:Consistent temperatures within the recommended range are essential for maintaining quality.
  • Packaging:Vacuum-sealed or airtight packaging helps preserve freshness by limiting exposure to oxygen.

Cooked Salmon Storage


Properly storing cooked salmon in the refrigerator is crucial to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. Follow these guidelines to ensure your cooked salmon stays fresh and safe to consume.

Once cooked, allow the salmon to cool completely before refrigerating. Place the cooled salmon in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent air exposure. This helps preserve its flavor and texture.

Shelf Life

The shelf life of cooked salmon in the refrigerator varies depending on the storage conditions and the type of salmon used. As a general guideline, cooked salmon can be stored in the fridge for:

  • Freshly cooked salmon:2-3 days
  • Smoked salmon:5-7 days
  • Canned salmon:Up to 2 years (unopened)

Factors Affecting Shelf Life, How long is salmon good for in the fridge

Several factors can affect the shelf life of cooked salmon in the fridge:

  • Temperature:Keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 40°F (4°C) to slow down bacterial growth.
  • Air exposure:Minimize air exposure by tightly wrapping or storing salmon in an airtight container.
  • Type of salmon:Fatty salmon varieties, such as Chinook or Coho, have a shorter shelf life than leaner varieties like Sockeye or Pink salmon.

Signs of Spoilage

Recognizing signs of spoilage in salmon is crucial for preventing foodborne illnesses and ensuring the consumption of safe and wholesome fish. Fresh salmon should be vibrant and have a mild, ocean-like aroma. Cooked salmon should have a flaky texture and a slightly savory smell.

Spoiled salmon exhibits distinct characteristics that indicate its deterioration. These signs serve as warning signals to discard the fish and avoid potential health risks.

Physical Changes

  • Slimy Texture:Fresh salmon should have a firm and slightly moist texture. Spoiled salmon becomes slimy and excessively moist to the touch, indicating bacterial growth.
  • Discoloration:Fresh salmon typically has a vibrant pink or orange hue. Spoiled salmon may develop dull, gray, or greenish patches, signaling spoilage.
  • Mold Growth:Visible mold growth on the surface of salmon is a clear indication of spoilage. Mold spores can produce harmful toxins, making the fish unsafe for consumption.

Sensory Changes

  • Sour or Ammonia-Like Odor:Fresh salmon has a mild, ocean-like aroma. Spoiled salmon develops a strong, sour, or ammonia-like odor due to the breakdown of proteins and the production of histamine.
  • Bitter or Metallic Taste:Fresh salmon should have a slightly salty and savory taste. Spoiled salmon may develop a bitter or metallic taste, indicating spoilage.

Importance of Checking for Spoilage

Consuming spoiled salmon can lead to foodborne illnesses such as salmonella poisoning or scombroid poisoning. These illnesses can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. In severe cases, they can even be life-threatening.

Therefore, it is essential to check for signs of spoilage before consuming salmon. By carefully examining the fish for physical and sensory changes, you can avoid consuming spoiled salmon and protect your health.

Food Safety Guidelines

How long is salmon good for in the fridge

Adhering to food safety guidelines is crucial to prevent foodborne illnesses and ensure the safe consumption of salmon. These guidelines cover proper handling, storage, and preparation practices to minimize the risk of contamination and spoilage.

Consuming spoiled salmon poses significant health risks. The presence of harmful bacteria, such as Salmonellaand Vibrio, can lead to food poisoning symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, foodborne illnesses can result in hospitalization and even life-threatening complications.

Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

  • Wash hands thoroughlybefore and after handling salmon.
  • Use separate utensilsfor handling raw and cooked salmon to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Cook salmon to the proper internal temperature(145°F for fresh salmon, 165°F for frozen salmon) to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Store salmon properlyin the refrigerator or freezer to prevent spoilage.
  • Discard any salmon that shows signs of spoilage, such as an off odor, slimy texture, or discoloration.

Storage Methods: How Long Is Salmon Good For In The Fridge

How long is salmon good for in the fridge

Storing salmon properly in the refrigerator helps maintain its freshness and quality. Here are different methods for storing salmon in the fridge, along with their advantages and disadvantages:

Wrapped in Plastic Wrap


  • Protects salmon from moisture loss, preventing it from drying out.
  • Prevents cross-contamination with other foods.
  • Easy and convenient method.


  • Can trap moisture, creating a favorable environment for bacterial growth.
  • May cause the salmon to become slimy if stored for an extended period.


  1. Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap, ensuring there are no gaps or air pockets.
  3. Store the wrapped salmon in the coldest part of the refrigerator (typically the back or bottom shelf).

Stored in an Airtight Container


  • Prevents moisture loss and cross-contamination.
  • Keeps the salmon odor contained.
  • Suitable for storing larger pieces of salmon.


  • Can be bulky and take up more space in the refrigerator.
  • May not be suitable for small pieces of salmon.


  1. Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Place the salmon in an airtight container.
  3. Store the container in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Submerged in Water


  • Prevents the salmon from drying out and keeps it moist.
  • Inhibits bacterial growth.


  • Can dilute the flavor of the salmon.
  • Requires a large container or bowl.
  • May be inconvenient for small pieces of salmon.


  1. Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Place the salmon in a container or bowl.
  3. Fill the container with cold water until the salmon is completely submerged.
  4. Store the container in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Additional Tips for Storing Salmon in the Fridge

  • Store salmon on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods.
  • Avoid storing salmon near strong-smelling foods to prevent odor absorption.
  • Cook or freeze salmon within the recommended storage time to ensure optimal quality and safety.

Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum sealing salmon is an effective way to extend its shelf life by removing oxygen, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. This method creates an airtight seal around the salmon, preventing air and moisture from entering.To vacuum seal salmon, you will need a vacuum sealer and vacuum seal bags.

Place the salmon in the vacuum seal bag, leaving some space at the top for the vacuum to remove the air. Seal the bag according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips for Vacuum Sealing Salmon Effectively

  • Use high-quality vacuum seal bags specifically designed for food storage.
  • Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing to ensure a tight seal.
  • Double-seal the bag for extra protection against leaks.
  • Label the bag with the date it was sealed and the type of salmon.

Freezing Salmon

Freezing salmon is a great way to preserve its freshness and flavor for extended periods. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Choose fresh, high-quality salmon.
  • Clean and remove any bones or skin from the salmon.
  • Cut the salmon into desired portions.
  • Wrap the salmon portions individually in freezer-safe plastic wrap or vacuum-seal them.
  • Place the wrapped salmon in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • Freeze the salmon at 0°F (-18°C) or below.

Frozen salmon can be stored for up to 6 months at 0°F (-18°C) or below. However, for optimal quality, it’s recommended to consume frozen salmon within 2-3 months.

The shelf life of frozen salmon can be affected by several factors, including:

  • The freshness of the salmon when it was frozen.
  • The temperature at which the salmon is stored.
  • The packaging used to store the salmon.
  • The presence of oxygen in the storage environment.