How Long Does Raw Fish Last In The Fridge? Tips For Proper Storage

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Discover the key factors affecting how long raw fish lasts in the fridge, including storage temperature and packaging. Learn how to properly store raw fish to avoid spoilage and extend its shelf life.

Factors Affecting Raw Fish Shelf Life

Type of Fish

When it comes to the shelf life of raw fish, the type of fish plays a crucial role. Certain types of fish are more perishable than others due to their composition and fat content. For example, oily fish like salmon and mackerel tend to spoil faster than lean fish like cod or haddock. Understanding the characteristics of the fish you are dealing with can help you better manage its shelf life.

Storage Temperature

Another key factor that affects the shelf life of raw fish is the storage temperature. Fish are highly perishable and can spoil quickly if not stored at the right temperature. Ideally, raw fish should be kept refrigerated at temperatures between 32-38°F to slow down bacterial growth and maintain freshness. Fluctuations in temperature can accelerate spoilage, so it’s essential to monitor and regulate the storage conditions carefully.


The way raw fish is packaged also plays a significant role in determining its shelf life. Proper packaging can help protect the fish from external contaminants and preserve its quality. When buying raw fish, look for packages that are airtight and leak-proof to prevent exposure to air and moisture. Vacuum-sealed packaging is an excellent option as it removes air from the package, extending the shelf life of the fish.

In summary, the type of fish, storage temperature, and packaging are crucial factors that influence the shelf life of raw fish. By understanding and addressing these factors, you can ensure that your fish stays fresh for longer and reduce the risk of spoilage. Remember to choose the right type of fish, store it at the correct temperature, and use proper packaging to maximize its shelf life.

Signs of Spoiled Raw Fish

Foul Odor

Have you ever opened a package of raw fish only to be hit with a strong, unpleasant odor? This foul smell is a clear indicator that the fish has gone bad. Fresh fish should have a clean, oceanic scent, so if you detect any off-putting smells, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the fish.

Slimy Texture

When you touch raw fish, it should feel firm and slightly slippery. However, if the fish feels excessively slimy or sticky to the touch, this is a sign that it has started to spoil. The slime is a result of bacteria breaking down the fish, and consuming spoiled fish can lead to food poisoning. Trust your instincts and dispose of any fish with a slimy texture.


Fresh raw fish should have vibrant, translucent flesh that glistens in the light. Any discoloration, such as a dull, cloudy appearance or brown spots, indicates that the fish is past its prime. This discoloration is a result of oxidation and bacterial growth, both of which can compromise the safety and quality of the fish. To ensure that you are consuming safe and delicious raw fish, always inspect it for any signs of discoloration before preparing it.

Remember, when it comes to raw fish, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye out for these signs of spoilage to ensure that you are enjoying the freshest and safest seafood possible.

Proper Storage of Raw Fish

Use airtight containers

When it comes to preserving the freshness of raw fish, using airtight containers is crucial. These containers help to seal in the natural flavors and prevent any external contaminants from affecting the fish. By keeping the fish in an airtight environment, you can significantly extend its shelf life and ensure that it remains safe to consume.

Keep refrigerated at 32-38°F

Maintaining the right temperature is essential for preserving the quality of raw fish. Ideally, raw fish should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature between 32-38°F. This temperature range helps to slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent the fish from spoiling prematurely. Additionally, storing raw fish in the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the back of the bottom shelf, can help maintain its freshness for a longer period.

Use within 1-2 days

While proper storage can help extend the shelf life of raw fish, it is important to remember that fish is a highly perishable food item. To ensure optimal freshness and safety, it is recommended to consume raw fish within 1-2 days of purchase. This timeframe allows you to enjoy the fish at its peak quality and minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

In summary, using airtight containers, refrigerating raw fish at the right temperature, and consuming it within a few days are essential steps in . By following these guidelines, you can enjoy fresh and delicious raw fish while minimizing waste and ensuring food safety. Remember, the key to preserving the quality of raw fish lies in how you store and handle it.

Extending Raw Fish Shelf Life


Freezing is a highly effective method for extending the shelf life of raw fish. By lowering the temperature of the fish to below freezing, you can slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent spoilage. When freezing raw fish, it is important to do so as quickly as possible to maintain the quality and freshness of the fish. Additionally, proper packaging is essential to prevent freezer burn and maintain the flavor of the fish.

  • Make sure the raw fish is clean and dry before freezing.
  • Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • Place the wrapped fish in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container to further protect it from freezer burn and odors.
  • Label the package with the date of freezing to keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.

Vacuum Sealing

Another effective method for extending the shelf life of raw fish is vacuum sealing. Vacuum sealing removes the air from around the fish, preventing oxidation and slowing down the growth of bacteria. This helps to preserve the freshness and flavor of the fish for a longer period of time. Vacuum-sealed raw fish can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how soon you plan to use it.

  • Place the raw fish in a vacuum-seal bag or container designed for vacuum sealing.
  • Use a vacuum sealer to remove the air from the bag and create a tight seal.
  • Store the vacuum-sealed fish in the refrigerator for short-term storage or the freezer for long-term storage.
  • Make sure to label the package with the date of vacuum sealing for reference.


Marinating raw fish is not only a great way to enhance its flavor but also to extend its shelf life. The acidic ingredients in marinades, such as vinegar or citrus juice, help to break down proteins and inhibit the growth of bacteria. Marinating raw fish before cooking can also help to tenderize the flesh and infuse it with delicious flavors.

  • Choose a marinade that complements the type of fish you are using.
  • Place the raw fish in a shallow dish or resealable bag and cover it with the marinade.
  • Refrigerate the fish while marinating to keep it at a safe temperature.
  • Marinate the fish for the recommended amount of time, typically 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the recipe.

In conclusion, by utilizing methods such as freezing, vacuum sealing, and marinating, you can extend the shelf life of raw fish and enjoy it for longer periods of time. Each method offers unique benefits and can be tailored to suit your preferences and cooking needs. So, next time you buy fresh raw fish, consider these techniques to make the most out of your purchase and enjoy delicious seafood dishes at home.

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