Seafood represents a wealthy source of protein, essential fatty acids, many vitamins, minerals, and other valuable nutrients. Nevertheless, the proper handling and storage of seafood stand as critical factors. We all want to buy fresh fish food when needed, but what if we can’t? That’s why one of the most common questions we encounter is how long does seafood last in the fridge.
Here is a guide to help you determine how long can fresh fish last in the fridge and how to check if it’s good for consumption.
How Long Does Fresh Seafood Last in the Fridge? A Guide for Different Species
Raw fish has a shorter shelf life when compared with many other foods and can lead to food poisoning if not stored or handled properly. While consuming it immediately after harvest is optimal for freshness, storing the ordered fresh seafood in the fridge between 0°C and 4°C is essential if cooking it on the same day isn't possible.
The shelf life of seafood, which varies by species, determines how long it maintains its peak freshness.
Shellfish (shrimps, crab, lobster)
Cooked shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, and lobster, maintain their quality for 1-2 days when refrigerated. For raw shellfish in the shell, the same thing applies. It’s advisable to consume them within the next couple of days for optimal taste and safety.
Always store them in airtight containers to prevent cross-contamination.
Scallops and mussels
Seafoods such as scallops and mussels are considered delicate, highly perishable food and should be consumed within the following 48 hours of the day of purchase for optimal freshness. Keep them refrigerated, and if they are packaged, check the expiration date. Before cooking mussels, for instance, inspect them visually and check if any of the mussels are cracked or open by tapping on the shell. If they instantly close their shells, they are good for cooking. If not, they may be dead and may pose a health risk.
Fresh, raw oysters should be consumed as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of purchase. Store them in the fridge with a damp cloth covering them, and discard any with cracked shells or those that don’t close when tapped.
Fish filets (salmon, cod, tilapia)
Fresh fish filets can generally last in the fridge for a day or two. However, specific types like salmon may last a bit longer, up to 3 days, due to their higher oil content. Ensure they're properly wrapped or stored in airtight containers to maintain quality.
Squid and octopus
These seafood varieties should ideally be consumed over the next two days and stored in the coldest place of the refrigerator. Ensure they're well-sealed to prevent them from drying out and absorbing odors from other foods.
Speaking from experience, fresh fish, as we mentioned, whether filets or whole fish, usually lasts in the refrigerator within a 24 or 48-hour period, as opposed to cooked fish. So, how long does cooked fish last in the fridge? It’s safe to say that properly cooked fish can be stored in the fridge for around 4 days if stored in an airtight container.
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How Long Does Seafood Salad Last in the Fridge?
The amount of time that seafood salad can be kept in the fridge depends on the ingredients and storage conditions. If it contains perishable dressings like mayonnaise, it is best to consume the salad within the next day or so to avoid the risk of bacterial growth.
Always store it in an airtight container and ensure it is refrigerated at or below 40°F (4°C). If the salad has a strong fish odor or shows signs of spoilage, such as off colors or unusual texture, it is safer to throw it away rather than consume it.
It is essential to know how long does seafood last in the fridge to maintain its freshness and safety. Whether it’s cooked or raw, salmon or scallops, it’s best to store them properly and consume them as soon as possible to prevent spoilage and potential health risks. Adhering to the guidelines outlined above, it’s best to keep your seafood at 4°C and store them in airtight containers to enjoy the benefits of delicious, nutritious fish while minimizing waste and prioritizing food safety.