Shelf Life of

How Long Does Sushi Last? How Long Does Sashimi Last?

Fresh Sushi

History of Sushi – Before we get to the question of how long does Sushi last, it has a rich history worth exploring.  Sushi, a favorite Japanese cuisine, has become extremely popular in the U.S. in recent years and consists of raw fish and cooked vinegared rice. The origin of sushi  began in Southeast Asia, but todays version was created by Hanaya Yohei (1799-1858) as a form of fast food to be eaten soon after purchase with ones hands.  The first appearance of Sushi in America was in 1953, served at the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Sashimi, a Japanese delicacy, is fresh fish served sliced very thin without the vinegar rice that defines sushi. So now you know the history, How long does Sushi Last? Sushi, as it is prepared with fresh fish, is intended to be eaten within 24 hours of preparation.

When properly stored in the refrigerator, fresh Sushi and Sashimi last for the time periods indicated in the table below:

After Preparation
Sushi lasts for 24 Hours
Sashimi lasts for 24 Hours
Poke lasts for 24 Hours

Because sushi and sashimi are consumed raw, the bacteria may grow and become dangerous if left out. Thus, regardless of any dates, you should NOT eat sushi or sashimi beyond their 24 hour expiration.
Some sushi is prepared with cooked fish, such as the California roll which uses cooked crab meat, the Philadelphia roll which uses smoked salmon and the tempura shrimp roll which uses deep fried shrimp. If the seafood is cooked, it can be eaten for a day or two beyond the 24 hours, but the quality decreases quickly with each day mostly due to the rice losing moisture and becoming hard.

Sushi Safety Information

Proper storage for sushi and sashimi extremely important. If making sushi at home, you need to begin with the freshest sushi grade fish – nothing found in a normal grocery store. The fish must be frozen for at least 24 hours to kill parasites that might still be on the fish. Once the fish is properly thawed you want to eat it raw within 24 hours or the risk of bacteria will become great. Also, be sure to enforce a very strict 4 hour rule once the fish is at room temperature (if it sits out for 4 hours, you must then cook the fish or toss it out).

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

Beyond saving money, practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness.  Basically if it smells at all like fish, it is too old to consume raw… remember, 24 hours. There are, of course, dangerous health risks associated with spoiled sushi and spoiled sashimi, so always remember to practice food safety and eat your sushi and sashimi prior to its expiration.

How to store Sushi and sashimi to maximize its shelf life?

Food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of food. Pack the sushi tightly together and wrap in plastic wrap before placing into an airtight container in the refrigerator. Same thing for sashimi, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in an airtight container in the fridge.

Interesting facts about the shelf life of Sushi:

  • Since it is meant to be consumed fresh, it’s difficult if you don’t live on an island so a visit to a reputable sushi bar where you can watch them make it is a great place to get it fresh. Yet sushi rolls with cooked fish can be amazing homemade, check our blog post on how to make sushi for instructions on making rolls.

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 What are our shelf life resources?

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

 *An important note about the expiration date of Sushi …

Although the sushi shelf life and sashimi shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is published as a guidance tool and in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified health care provider. Please eat responsibly.