Does Smoked Salmon Go Bad?
Like any other perishable food, smoked salmon can go bad if not stored or handled properly. When smoked salmon is kept refrigerated, it will last for around 2-3 weeks, and if opened package, it is best to use it within 3-5 days. Expired smoked salmon will have an off smell and/or discoloration, and it should not be consumed.
This is because a number of dangerous bacteria can, and will, grow in conditions typically found during smoking of the fish. In addition to botulism and listeria, other dangerous foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella and pathogenic forms of e.coli, can be contracted by individuals who consume smoked fish that has not been properly prepared, or has been improperly handled, once smoked. It is important to know that, regardless of what method is used, smoking alone is not an effective food preserver if not properly cooked.
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If you are not planning on eating your smoked fish right away, place it in your fridge (preferably 38 degrees F or lower) or the freezer. If you keep your smoked fish in the fridge without vacuum-sealing, it should be safe to consume for up to 3 weeks. If you have the smoked fish still vacuum sealed, and expect to eat all of it in just a couple days after it is defrosted, then you may want to keep it frozen like that.
The FDA suggests smoking fish lasts up to 2 months in a freezer if stored correctly. Properly stored, unopened smoked salmon typically will last for 2 to 3 weeks, or the date listed on the package, in the refrigerator. For example, if the package says that unopened smoked salmon will last 2-3 weeks, you may be able to hold onto it for an extra 2-3 days. Generally, unopened smoked salmon will last for approximately 2-3 weeks after its expiration date, whereas when opened, it will last for approximately one week if kept correctly, refrigerated at or below 40 degrees F.
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After that expiration, quality diminishes, but you may still be able to eat smoked salmon since frozen smoked salmon stays good for an unlimited amount of time. If this salmon is close to or past its date on the label by one to two days, taste before serving. If you buy packaged salmon, but you decide to have it later, you can store it for up to seven days in a refrigerator. For salmon to maintain flavor and freshness, keep it frozen in your freezer and consume it within two or three months.
You can freeze your spoilt salmon in it is original form, if still unopened, or split it up and freeze in a freezer-safe bag. Wrapping the bag of smoked salmon with foil, plastic wrap, or in a freezer bag extends its shelf life, meaning that it may keep up to seven days. Store open salmon in its original packaging; wrap in plastic wrap over the top, or put it in a sealed plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Look at the date on the label, and if it is well past that time, or if you opened the package more than 5-10 days ago (depending on the variety), throw out spoiled salmon.
It is usually safe to eat fish several days past that date, as long as it does not exhibit any signs that it is going bad. Of course, salmon is more likely to keep well a few days past the sold-by date, depending on the general shelf life. For a typical, unpacked salmon, you will want to consume within one week after you open it, regardless of what its shelf life is. After purchasing the salmon, you can store it in a refrigerator for 1-2 days–the sell-by date on the package can expire in this time of storage, but if it is stored correctly, salmon should still be safe for consumption beyond its sell-by date.
More specifically, if you are dealing with a bag of smoked salmon without opening, keeping it refrigerated will keep it fresh for a period up to 1 week. According to USDA, you should eat your smoked salmon by its expiration date, but whether or not you plan on eating properly stored smoked salmon that is been kept at or below 40 degrees F all along is mostly based on your own decisions (you have to make your own taste assessment for the smoked salmon). It is recommended that you always store smoked salmon on a rack in the fridge, rather than on the doors, because the doors of your fridge can have lots of temperature fluctuations which may diminish the quality of the smoked salmon. Make sure the temperature of your freezer stays below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) at all times, ideally about 0 degrees F. This means the smoked salmon will not experience any expansion or contraction from temperature fluctuations.
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If you have concluded your salmon is still worth freezing, then these are the steps you should take to guarantee the best possible freshness as long as possible. Because of that, you might already be stocking up, and may wonder just how long your salmon supplies are going to last. Of course, your typical smoked salmon will last around 21 days in storage ([KSS]), but there are some other options, such as honey-smoked salmon, which may last as long as 90 days without opening ([HSF]). Salmon that is smoked warm generally has longer shelf life than cold-smoked salmon, organic smoked salmon may spoil more quickly than honey-smoked salmon, and vacuum-packed salmon has longer shelf life.
Keep your smoked salmon in your refrigerator, preferably on the lower shelf, which is typically where meats and seafood are stored, since that is going to be the cooler part of your refrigerator. If you are defrosting your salmon in a cold water dish or in the microwave, you are encouraged to heat it right away until it is up to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before eating. If you notice any signs of spoilage, your salmon is no longer safe to eat, even when it is long past its shelf life (or it does not have a shelf life listed on the package).
How do you store vacuum-sealed smoked salmon?
Keep the package unopened. Mostly smoked salmons come in vacuum-sealed packages that don’t require any special storage care. The salmon will remain fresh as long as the packet remains unopened. However, place it in a cold, dry location far from direct sunlight and heat sources.
How long does smoked salmon last unrefrigerated?
Smoked salmon is a shelf-stable product that does not need to be refrigerated until it is opened. However, once opened, smoked salmon will only last for a few days before it starts to spoil. If you have unopened, refrigerated smoked salmon, it can last for up to 2 weeks. If you have opened, refrigerated smoked salmon, it can last for up to 3 days.
Does vacuum-sealed smoked salmon go bad?
Vacuum-sealed smoked salmon will last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer. You’ll know it’s gone bad if it starts to develop a slimy or tacky texture or if it has an off smell. When in doubt, throw it out!