Can you eat fish 2 days after the use-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you eat fish 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat a fish that is past the use-by date. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad fish and the health implications of eating bad fish.

Can you eat fish 2 days after the use-by date?

So whether or not you can eat a fish that is past its use-by date, you first have to know what is a use-by date.

So the use-by date refers to the date that is marked on the packaging of the perishable food commodities and it refers to the time by which you should consume that food. 

Generally, it is advised to use the fresh fish within 1-2 days after it is purchased to enjoy its best quality. According to USDA, you should consume your fish before the use-by date.

Moreover, when it comes to the use-by date then you can use the fish that is past this date provided that it was already stored properly in the freezer (before the use-by date).

It is worth mentioning that the way you have stored your fish also impacts its shelf life. 

For instance, if your fish was stored for more than 2 hours at room temperature (or more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) then it is better to discard it as bacteria grow best at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and there are chances of your fish to be already bacteria-laden in this case.

On the other hand, the fish that is properly refrigerated the whole time at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below can be suitable to consume within 2 days after the sell-by date provided that there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.

Indicators of bad fish

Certain indicators point out bad fish, therefore you should consider the color, texture, and smell of your fish to reach a final verdict whether or not it has gone bad.

Color 

Instead of the shiny bright-colored fish, if you notice that the fish has discolored or if it is dull (having dark or brown edges) then it is an indication that the fish has gone bad and it is better to discard it.

Texture 

Fresh fish is firm to touch, so if you notice that your fish is slimy or gooey then it means that it has gone bad and it is better to discard it.

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the fish won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rather rinsing the bacteria-laden fish will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the fish that has gone bad.

Moreover, you should wash your hands properly after touching the bacteria-laden fish or else the bacteria will spread on everything your dirty hands will come in contact with.

Smell 

If you smell something pungent or if you notice a very intense fish odor while taking a sniff test of your fish then it very well means that your fish has gone bad and you should discard it.  

You can read about the shelf life of different food commodities here.

Other FAQs about Fish which you may be interested in.

How long can you keep cooked fish in the fridge?

Can you get sick from eating expired Goldfish?

Health implications of eating bad fish

Consumption of bad fish can result in many food-borne illnesses. It can also result in anisakiasis,  which can happen if you eat a fish (undercooked or raw) with a parasitic worm in it that can attach to your esophagus, stomach, or intestine and can result in food poisoning that is characterized by abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Therefore if you have accidentally consumed bad or undercooked fish and now are suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, then you should immediately take medical help and try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and dizziness that vomiting can otherwise result in.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you eat fish 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat a fish that is past the use-by date. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad fish and the health implications of eating bad fish.

Citations

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/food/8908886/food-last-longer-sell-by-date/

https://www.seafoodexperts.com.au/use-by-and-best-before-dates/

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-tell-egg-fish-beef-chicken-bad-spoiled-expired-2018-8#fresh-vegetables-turn-yellow-when-theyre-going-bad-7

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.