The trick to knowing if your salmon is spoiled!


Do you know how to tell if salmon is bad? Here’s an in-depth look at the telltale signs of raw and cooked salmon.

All the salmon specialties I offered at the restaurant were always sold out, whether it was pasta, salad or just potatoes and vegetables.

This fish is also a great choice for home cooks. Fresh salmon is easy to find and rich in nutrients, but these fade as the fish ages. Plus, spoiled salmon can make you sick! Here’s how to avoid spoiled salmon.

spoiled salmon

Expiring dates

Packaged salmon should always have an expiration date. Use this date to find out when the fish will be stale. But if you buy salmon at the butcher’s counter, it won’t be labeled with a date. Use USDA guidelines instead: Raw fish can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator. Once cooked, the leftovers can be stored for three or four days in the refrigerator.


It is often mistakenly believed that fish has a fishy smell. Fresh fish has a neutral odor and this fishy aroma only increases when the salmon is in the refrigerator. If you open the package and the smell is very strong (especially if it’s acidic or ammonia-like), it’s time to throw it away.


Before cooking the salmon, gently insert a finger into the fillet. Fresh salmon should be firm and moist, and the flesh should be reborn after being pressed. When you run your hand along the fillet to check for bones, your hand should slide easily without sticking. Slimy or sticky residue, or meat that seems to want to break when pressed, are obvious signs of deterioration.


Few things taste as good as a piece of fresh salmon. It should have a bright pink-orange color and a silvery, shiny skin.

If the skin appears dull and lifeless, or if the meat has turned gray, the salmon is probably not fresh. Any dark spot or discoloration is a sign of deterioration, as is a milky white residue on the mesh. (This isn’t the white stuff you see on salmon after cooking, which is harmless).

If you’re lucky enough to find a whole salmon, look it in the eye. They should be shiny and slightly rounded. If they are sunken or dull, the salmon will taste as sad as those eyes.

What is the lifespan of salmon?

When buying fresh fish, we recommend that you make it the last item in your cart. It should be kept as cold as possible, and walking around the store at room temperature can accelerate spoilage.

Once at home, put the fish in the refrigerator as soon as possible and plan to use it within a day or two. Once the fresh fish is cooked, you will have a little more time to consume the leftovers: three or four days.


If you can’t use salmon by these dates, put it in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. It is best to use raw salmon within three months for the best quality and cooked salmon within six months. Another option is to prepare smoked salmon, which will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.

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