Shelf Life of

fish last

Shelf Life of Fish

Fish – how long does fish last? The shelf life of fish depends on a variety of factors, such as the sell by date the preparation method and how the fish was stored. Because of its abundance, proven health benefits and concentration of protein, fish is a great main dish choice. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids (also known as the good cholesterol) which are proven to lower the risk of heart disease and help with numerous other health problems. So, how long does fish last? When properly stored, the shelf life of fish past its sell by date is approximately …

Pantry Fridge Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Salmon lasts for 1-2 Days 6-9 Months
Cod lasts for 1-2 Days 6-9 Months
Halibut lasts for 1-2 Days 6-9 Months
Ono lasts for 1-2 Days 6-9 Months
Tilapia lasts for 1-2 Days 6-9 Months
Catfish lasts for 1-2 Days 6-9 Months
Cooked Fish lasts for 5-6 Days 6-9 Months
Smoked Salmon lasts for 5-7 Days 3-6 Months
Canned Tuna lasts for 2-5 Years 5-7 Days
Sardines last for 2-5 Years 5-7 Days

Of course, fish lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But remember, fish, like a lot of other proteins, usually has a sell by date and not a use by date or expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use fish even after the sell by date has lapsed.

How to tell if fish is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness.
Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your fish has gone bad. Some common traits of bad fish are a slimy, milky flesh (a thick, slippery coating) and a fishy smell. This is hard because fish is smelly and slimy by nature, but these traits become much more pronounced when fish has gone bad.
There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled food, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your food prior to the eat by date.

For more information on canned fish products, including when to toss, see our canned meat page.

How to store fish to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of fish. You can help keep it fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator immediately after use. Once prepared, fish should be stored in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. All fish should be constantly refrigerated or kept on ice at all times.
For a long-term option, you can freeze your fish while preserving its taste if you use a freezer safe container.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How long is fish good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does fish last? That depends. How long does rice last? In general, fish lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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What are our shelf life resources?

Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of fish.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the shelf life of fish information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion. So, how long will food last? Let’s find out!