How Long will Fresh Fish Last in the Fridge?

There are a few things to remember about how long fresh fish lasts in the refrigerator, regardless of the sort of fish you’re preparing. In addition to storing your fish in an air-tight container, it’s also important to ensure you’re not keeping it past the use-by date.

How Long Will Fresh Fish Last in the Fridge (2)

How Long will Fresh Fish Last in the Fridge?

Fresh fish can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days. Whether you purchased it from the grocery store or your neighbourhood fishmonger, please put it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Fresh fish must have a pleasant aroma similar to the water they originated from. The fillet or whole fish should be thrown out if it smells fishy, sour, or ammonia-like. If discolouration, darkening, or drying around the margins of the fillet, the fish should also be discarded. The eyes of a whole fish should be clear and not hazy if you bought it.

Place raw fish on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. Ensure your refrigerator is set at a safe temperature of 40°F or lower to prevent bacterial growth. The “Danger Zone,” or the range between 40°F and 140°F, is where bacteria proliferate quickly. If you open your refrigerator regularly, you might also keep your fish in the fridge with ice or ice packs. Before icing, wrap any cut fish or fillets stored in plastic wrap. There is no need to wrap the fish in advance.

Cooked Fish

Whether you buy fish at the supermarket or get a meal at a restaurant, you’ll want to keep it fresh and safe. Keeping it in the fridge can make the difference between enjoying it now or having it go bad.

Some fish can last as long as four days in the fridge. The shelf life of fish can be affected by several factors, including the type of fish, its original freshness, and how you store it.

While raw fish can last up to four months in the freezer, cooked fish has a shorter shelf life. The fridge should have a temperature of at least 36 degrees. This helps to prevent harmful bacteria from forming. In addition, you should store cooked fish in a sealed container to prevent any bacteria from growing.

Unlike meat, fish is a good source of unsaturated fats. These fats react with oxygen more quickly than saturated fats, leading to a quicker onset of spoilage.

It’s also important to store cooked fish in an airtight container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. It’s also a good idea to freeze leftovers. This helps to keep them fresh for longer periods.

Another factor that affects the length of time fish lasts is the quality. Some fish, such as tilapia, have a lower chance of going bad and may last longer than other species.


Getting rid of scales can be tricky. You’ll need a sharp knife, rubber gloves, and patience. But when it’s done, you’ll be rewarded with a healthy dose of collagen and healthy fats.

Fish have scales because they provide a protective barrier between the inner parts of the fish and the outside world. Scales contain a healthy dose of collagen, which helps improve your bones and joints. Collagen is also known to promote stronger nails and hair.

A good scale will have a nice, crisp texture and add some zing to your fried fish. Scales will also protect the inner parts of the fish, which helps keep it fresher land longer.

Some fish have scales that are so small they don’t need to be removed. A good rule of thumb is to remove 90% of the scales. This will make your fish easier to cook. Scales can also become a barrier between the fish and the pan. You should also wash the scales to get them off.

You can also use fish scale jelly. This is a natural, tasty way to get some of the collagen and healthy fats you can find in fish scales.

When storing fish, it’s important to know how long it will last. You can usually get away with keeping ungutted fish in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, and some fish can last up to two weeks. But it would help if you did not keep it for longer than a week. If you keep your fish in the refrigerator for longer than that, it could start to smell fishy and develop harmful bacteria.

Avoid Keeping Fish Past the Use-by Date

Keeping fresh fish past the use-by date can result in food poisoning. This is because bacteria can grow slowly at refrigeration temperatures. The risk is most common among the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms are rarely seen in healthy adults.

If you are storing cooked or raw fish, it is best to put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cooked fish will last up to five or six days past the sell-by date.

Raw fish will start to go bad about two days after the sell-by date. A milky colour and a slimy layer of liquid will form over the fish. This is a sign that the fish is spoiling.

Fish should be stored in an airtight container to keep out contamination. When purchasing fish from the store, check its packaging to determine the sell-by date. Once you have determined the sell-by date, please write it down.

Fish can be frozen to delay its expiry. This allows it to last for up to six months. Frozen fish can also be cooked. It is best to store cooked fish in an airtight container to keep out bacteria. Fish stored for months in the freezer will develop freezer burn.

Fresh fish should be discarded within two days of the sell-by date. The fish should not smell fishy or sour or have a milky or slimy coating. These signs of deterioration will help you determine whether the fish is safe to eat.

How Long does Cooked Fish Last in the Fridge?

If properly stored, cooked fish can stay in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Take note of how long cooked fish can keep in the fridge if you are meal-prepping with fish. Fish can easily spoil, as was already mentioned.

Even though cooking it can slightly lengthen its shelf life, it still has a shorter lifespan than other meats like cooked bacon, ribs, and chicken.

Cooked fish should be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The meat might keep in the refrigerator for longer than four days if it was salted or smoked before cooking.

For instance, smoked salmon can last for about seven days when kept in the refrigerator.

The remainder should then be consumed immediately or frozen.

Fish cooked can be kept indefinitely in the freezer, but it’s best to eat it within a month or two.

Cooked Fish Safety Handling Tips

The following things affect how long cooked fish is kept in the fridge:

  • Storage strategy
  • Type of fish
  • Quality of fish before cooking
  • Procedure for preparation
  • Refrigerator temperature

Cook fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. If you don’t have a food thermometer, you can see if the fish is cooked by looking to see if the flesh is clear.

You ought to consume cooked fish right away. Refrigerate any leftovers within two hours if you have any.

Make sure to cool batch meals quickly before refrigeration by placing them in shallow containers. Food that has been heated and kept in deep containers can quickly develop bacteria.

When you’re prepared to eat the cooked fish once more, you can reheat it in your microwave or remove it from the refrigerator and consume it after 30 minutes at room temperature.

Plan your meals accordingly if you’re using frozen cooked fish because it needs to thaw in the fridge overnight.

How to Tell if Fish has Gone Bad?

The duration of food in the refrigerator and freezer can now be determined with certainty, but it’s still a good idea to watch out for these telltale symptoms that your fish has gone bad:

  • very fishy odor
  • slick appearance
  • A bluish or greyish colour
  • The flesh is no longer firm (for raw fish)

Fish, in particular, is pricey, says Bucknavage. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think about preserving your fish carefully and planning when to eat it. You’ll spend less money, waste less food, and be safe if you keep this advice in mind.

Then, learn how long chicken keeps in the refrigerator and what you need to know about properly keeping produce.

Reference: Home Storage Temperatures and Consumer Handling of Refrigerated Foods in Sweden

How Long can Fish Sit Before Cleaning?

When you catch your fish, you must act quickly to preserve the quality of the catch.

Fish should be immediately bled after being removed from the water and placed in an ice slurry for best results. The slurry’s temperature should ideally stay one or two degrees below freezing. After that, the fish won’t need to be gutted for up to twenty-four hours if it stays stable.

If there is a delay, cleaning the fish might be able to happen off your boat in a more controlled setting. But make sure to clean your fish the day after you catch it. If not, its gut will result in lower quality due to the belly bursting, the development of foul odours, and the discolouration of the flesh.


While cooked fish can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days, fresh fish can only stay there for up to two days. It is best to discard fresh fish with an off-putting odour, a sour taste, or discolouration on the edges. Fish, whether raw or cooked, can be frozen to extend its shelf life and will keep for several months in the freezer.