How long is tuna fish good for in the refrigerator? (+3 easy signs)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long is tuna fish good for in the refrigerator?”, and how to freeze-store tuna fish?

How long is tuna fish good for in the refrigerator?

An opened can of tuna only lasts 1-2 days in the fridge at a steady temperature of 4 degrees or below. After opening the can, tuna should be transferred to an air-tight container or plastic bag before storing it in the fridge.

Freezing the canned tuna will extend its shelf-life. Read on if you want to know how to freeze store canned tuna fish.

How to freeze tuna?


Wash the raw tuna thoroughly. Pat dry the tuna using a paper towel. It is important to get rid of all the surface moisture because it will spoil the texture and flavor of tuna when frozen. The other method is to freeze-store raw tuna after dipping it in an acidic solution.

To prepare the solution, add 1Tsp ascorbic acid and ½ cup of salt to a quarter cup of water. Dip the tuna fish in this solution and let it stay for about 5 minutes. Then wrap the fish tightly with a plastic sheet or aluminum foil. You can also put it in a freezer bag. Keep the wrapped tuna in the freezer. For defrosting, place the frozen tuna in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. 


Canned tuna should never be stored in its original metal packaging. Transfer the tuna from its original container and put it in a zip-lock or a freezer bag. The metal will not protect the tuna from freezer burn. 


Cooked tuna as in the form of tuna salad can be stored in the freezer. Simply toss the leftover tuna in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air from the bag and keep it in the freezer. Do not forget to label the bag.  Store in small batches to avoid defrosting bulk when you need it.

How to make the best tuna?


To make the best tuna steak, it is important to buy prime quality tuna steaks. Make sure the flesh is firm and dark red. Raw tuna should have a pleasant sea-breeze scent and not fishy.


Marinating tuna with your favorite spices and herbs will add mild complementary flavors to the pungent-smelling tuna. Tuna steaks can be cooked to rare or only from the outside leaving the inside raw as in Tataki.

Tun has a high oil content but dries out quickly. It requires to be heated on high heat for short time. Tuna can be cooked under vacuum, lightly fried in oil, grilled, or simmered in a sauce. 

Recipes to try with tuna steak

Other FAQs about Tuna which you may be interested in.

Can you eat tuna steak raw?

How long can you keep tuna salad?

How to tell if tuna salad is bad?

Tuna salad made with mayo should never be stored for extended periods of time. Mayo contains eggs. Meat and eggs do not last long in the fridge. Look for the following signs if you are unsure if the salad is spoiled or safe to eat.

  • You can immediately tell if the tuna salad is bad or not by looking at it. If you notice discolored spots or patches on the salad surface, toss it in the bin immediately. The spots could be green or brown.
  • Tuna already has a strong fishy taste. Therefore, smelling the salad to test if it is spoiled or not doesn’t sound very reliable. One should always go with the gut feeling. If something smells off about the tuna salad, throw it away.
  • Always label the container before storing anything so you know you have to consume the salad within 3-5 days. Past 3-5 days of storage, it is best to not consume the salad as there are high chances of contamination and spoilage.

How to safely eat raw tuna?

Freezing and cooking procedures can eliminate the parasites and risk of food-borne illnesses that result from eating raw tuna. The FDA recommends freezing tuna according to the following guidelines for the safe consumption of tuna.

  • Freeze at -4℉/-20℃ or below for 7 days
  • Freeze at -31°F/-35°C or below until solid and keeping at -31°F/-35°C or below for 15 hours
  • Freeze at -31°F/-35°C or below until solid and keeping at -4°F/-20°C or below for 24 hours

Frozen tuna should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Defrosting on the counter increases the risk of contamination and food-borne illnesses.


In this article, we answered the question “How long is tuna fish good for in the refrigerator?”, and how to freeze-store canned tuna fish?