Can you put unopened tuna in the fridge? (3 Helpful Tips)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you put unopened tuna in the fridge? We will discuss how to store unopened cans and pouches of tuna and how to handle them after opening. We will also discuss the signs that tell if tuna has spoiled.

Can you put unopened tuna in the fridge?

Vacuum-sealed pouches of tuna must be put in the fridge or the freezer before and after opening.

You do not need to put unopened tuna cans in the fridge. Canned tuna should be placed in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. 

A good place is your pantry or the wine cellar or a cool and dark cupboard. A high temperature will make your canned tuna spoil quicker than it should. 

Why refrain from keeping an unopened can of tuna in the fridge?

Even though a sealed can of tuna does not belong in the fridge, it is not potentially bad unless you leave it there for months on end. Moisture in the fridge can cause it to rust.

When cans rust, tiny holes form on the surface of the metal which allows bacteria to enter and can spoil tuna.

If the inside of the tuna can rusts, it can affect the quality of the fish as well as its safety. 

Fish, unless canned, must be kept in the freezer or the fridge if you plan on eating it within three days. 

Will tuna go bad in the fridge?

An open tuna can, fresh tuna, or cooked tuna will go bad in the fridge after 3-6 days. Cooking, handling, and storage are crucial to how long tuna stays good in the fridge.

Fresh raw tuna will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Cooked tuna fish however will go bad in 3 or 4 days in the fridge.

Tuna will not go bad as quickly in the freezer. Whether it be cooked or uncooked tuna, freezing it is good for long-term storage to prevent it from going bad for about three months. 

How to tell if tuna has gone bad?

Spoiled tuna will change its smell, texture, or color. An off-odor or a slimy texture is a good indicator of the condition of tuna. When tuna spoils, it will give off a strong, fishy odor or the tuna will have green or brown streaks. 

Seafood such as tuna fish is home to microorganisms that can cause food poisoning. It is advised to store tuna fish at low temperatures as room temperature can cause your meat to spoil prematurely. 

To stay on the safe side, examine your fish before you consume it. If the signs suggest that tuna has spoiled, throw it away. 

How to prevent tuna from going bad? 

To prevent tuna from going bad, follow the tips mentioned below: 

  • Keep tuna in the fridge in an air-tight container. Raw and cooked tuna must be stored in the fridge at all times while canned tuna needs to be placed in a cool and dry place such as your pantry or cupboard.
  • Leave your seafood in its original packaging until you are ready to consume them. If you open it up before you need to, you are only exposing the meat to environmental contaminants.
  • Do not thaw at room temperature or in the microwave unless you must consume it immediately. Instead, leave it in the refrigerator overnight or longer to let the tuna fish thaw.
  • The variables that account for the shelf-life of tuna fish are; its packaging and the state of the environment. To stay on the safe side, examine your fish before you consume it.

Why does tuna fish go bad?

Exposing seafood to temperatures between 40 F to 140 F encourages bacterial growth. If you leave tuna at a temperature greater than 90 Fahrenheit, the fish will become unsafe within an hour.

According to USDA, the temperature of 40 F to 140 F is labeled as The Danger Zone. This range of temperature encourages bacterial growth.  Spoilage is usually a quality issue in its initial stage and does not cause illness. 

All kinds of seafood have a short shelf life due to their high water and nutritional content. Hence, if you leave fresh tuna out of the fridge for longer than two hours, discard them promptly. 

You can halt the bacterial growth that takes place on your protein once again, but you cannot reverse the toxic secretions of the bacteria that have been thriving on your tuna.

Other FAQs about Tuna that you may be interested in.

Can you eat san marino corned tuna without cooking?

How long does fresh tuna last in the fridge? 

How long does canned tuna last in the fridge?

Can you cook ahi tuna all the way through?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you put unopened tuna in the fridge? We discussed how to store unopened cans and pouches of tuna and how to handle them after opening. We also discussed the signs that tell if tuna has spoiled.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18562
https://www.mashed.com/291196/youve-been-storing-canned-tuna-all-wrong/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.