Can you freeze sushi-grade tuna?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze sushi-grade tuna?”, and how long can you keep sushi-grade fish frozen?

Can you freeze sushi-grade tuna?

Yes, you can freeze sushi-grade tuna but it is not recommended to do so. As per the FDA guidelines, you should consume the sushi-grade tuna immediately after catching and preparing it. 

You can refrigerate the sushi-grade tuna in a pinch but not for more than 2 days. Storing the freshly caught tuna in the fridge or freezer for prolonged periods buys enough time for the harmful microbes to grow to unacceptable levels.

How long can you keep sushi-grade fish frozen?

If frozen at a steady temperature of -4° F, frozen sushi-grade fish can last about a week. If you want to store the sushi-grade fish for about 14-15 hours, freeze it at -31° F.

Frozen sushi-grade fish will last for years if stored correctly but you also need to consider the type of fish that you intend to freeze. Some types of fish freeze better than others.

How to tell if raw tuna is bad?

A foul smell, unusual discoloration, and a slimy texture is obvious indication of spoilage in tuna. You can delay the tuna spoilage by accurately storing the fish in the freezer.

How do you properly store sushi-grade tuna to eat later?

Sushi-grade fish, even of the best quality, should not be kept for more than 2 days in the fridge. If you do not have a choice, you can wrap the sushi-grade fish in cling film and put it in an air-tight container for refrigerating. 

Doing this won’t stop the bacteria from growing but it will prevent the fish from drying out before you are ready to use it.

How long does sushi-grade fish last in the fridge?

Ideally, the sushi-grade fish should last about 2 days in the fridge if stored at a consistent temperature of 41F. 

However, the shelf-life of the sushi-grade fish in the fridge is greatly influenced by the freshness of the fish when it was stored and how long did it take you to bring it home. 

How can you tell if sushi-grade fish has gone bad?

The bad smell of the spoiled sushi-grade fish cannot be ignored. If the fish gives off a fishy smell, discard it immediately. If you stored the fish after assembling it into sushi, you need to look for limp seaweed paper and a dull color to confirm spoilage.

What is sashimi?

Sashimi is not to be confused with sushi. Sashimi is raw and thinly sliced meat, any kind of meat including fish. On the other hand, sushi is a complete meal including raw or cooked fish, seaweed, veggies, vinegared rice, and other optional ingredients. For both sushi and sashimi, the aspect of food safety is very important since both involve the preparation of raw meat. 

Raw fish vs Sashimi-grade fish 

Sashimi-grade fish has to be premium quality for it to be consumed raw. Sashimi-grade fish undergoes all the food safety pre-requisites to ensure that raw meat does not act as a vehicle for foodborne illnesses. Sashimi-grade fish is readily available at some supermarkets or specialty markets.

The fresher the fish, the lower its chances of bacterial contamination. However, fresh fish is highly likely to not have undergone any parasite-killing step. The freshwater fish must be stored at the correct freezing temperatures recommended by the FDA for it to be deemed safe for consumption. 

Due to the lack of absolute regulations, you must always purchase your sashimi-grade sushi from a certified supplier. You could be putting your health at risk if you buy sashimi-grade fish from an unauthorized supplier. 

Freezing freshly caught fish 

You can safely prepare and freeze your fresh-caught sashimi-grade fish at home even if you do not have a commercial freezer. But what marks commercial freezers the best choice for freezing raw meat or fish? 

When the food is frozen quickly, the water in the food does not have sufficient time to form large crystals, so it freezes into multiple small-sized ice crystals. Small ice crystals do less damage to your food than the large hards of ice crystals. 

Since the commercial freezers operate at very low temperatures, they quickly bring down the temperature of your food, preserving it, without damaging its structure at the cellular level. That is why the raw meat frozen in commercial freezers retains its quality after thawing.

Your home freezer should operate at a temperature of at least -4F for it to kill all the harmful bacteria and parasites in the raw meat or fish. 


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze sushi-grade tuna?”, and how long can you keep sushi-grade fish frozen?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.