How long can fresh salmon stay in the fridge? (+7 storage guidelines)

In this article, we will answer the question, “How long is fresh salmon good in the fridge?”, and How to tell If salmon has gone bad?

How long is fresh salmon good in the fridge? 

Fresh, raw salmon can only last for 1 – 2 days in the refrigerator. To extend its shelf life for a few days, you can cook it. Cooked salmon lasts slightly more than uncooked salmon in the refrigerator. As per USDA guidelines, cooked salmon stored in the fridge should be consumed within 3 – 4 days. It may as well last for a week, but the quality gets compromised.

An exposure of 2 hours at room temperature means that the salmon has gone bad. It is also best to store the salmon in the refrigerator in its original packing. There is no need to expose the salmon to outside air unless it is ready to be cooked. 

How to properly store salmon? 

  • If you want to store salmon for a day or two, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator. Now the thing is knowing when to put the salmon in the fridge, and when to freeze it. Storing salmon on the kitchen shelf is never an option. 
  • This is because the salmon will go bad after 2 hours if left in the pantry. The meat group (or fish) is highly nutritious and it generally has a very short shelf life. When it comes to fish, the stakes are even higher! 
  • Therefore, you should always avoid keeping fish at room temperature under all circumstances. At room temperature, the bacteria show maximum growth. When you provide these microorganisms with highly nutritious food such as fish, chances are that they will multiply faster than you can imagine. 
  • On the other hand, if you want to store salmon for the long term. it is best to store it in the freezer. Now storing food products in the freezer isn’t as easy as it sounds. 
  • Unlike the refrigerator, when you store fish in the freezer, it is better to overwrap the original packing with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or cling wrap. You can also use freezer bags for this purpose. Storing salmon in the fridge will prolong the shelf life of the salmon by 2-3 months. 
  • Remember, you should always thaw and consume the salmon on the same day otherwise it will go bad.
  • Once you have cooked your salmon, then the shelf life is different. A cooked salmon will last for about 3-4 days in the fridge. However, if you put that cooked salmon in the freezer, it might just last 3-4 more months. 

Also, keep in mind that the shelf life mentioned here is for the best quality salmon. You can even store it for longer durations at a constant temperature of 0°F.

Other FAQs about Salmon which you may be interested in.

Can you get sick from eating raw salmon?

How to tell if canned salmon is bad?

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

How to thaw frozen salmon?

Thawing frozen salmon is not as easy as it sounds. You can not just put frozen salmon out on the kitchen shelf and wait for it to thaw. You will need to make sure that the salmon is properly enclosed in plastic wrapping before doing so. 

Here’s how you can do it; take a large flat pan/container and fill it with cold water. Now place your salmon without removing the plastic wrap (note that we talked about wrapping the salmon in plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer). Your salmon should be defrosted in an hour. In order to keep track of it, check by gently poking your salmon with a finger to see if it has gone soft or not after 30 minutes.

Here’s another bonus tip, if you are actually short of time and want to cook the frozen salmon, you can do that. Yes! You can cook salmon from frozen. All you need to do is take care of the cooking time because frozen salmon will take just a little bit longer than fresh. Season the salmon accordingly and enjoy a freshly cooked meal without having to worry about the taste or texture of the salmon.

How to tell if salmon has gone bad?

There are various ways by which you can tell if your salmon has gone bad. 

  1. First, you can tell this by checking the smell that it is giving off. If you notice a pungent, sour, stale smell, it means that your salmon has gone bad and it is time to discard it. 
  1. Moreover, like discussed above, if your salmon has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it is probably best to throw it away because there will inevitably be a change in flavor and possible chances of contamination by microorganisms. 


In this article, we answered the question, “How long is fresh salmon good in the fridge?”, and How to tell If salmon has gone bad?


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