How to Tell if Salmon Is Bad?

Salmon is a deliciously healthy and nutritious food that can be prepared in so many ways. It can be eaten cooked or raw, and it’s often served at fish-themed restaurants with the skin still on.

However, eating spoiled seafood can make you get really sick. Salmon, in particular, is easier to identify when it has gone bad and is not good for cooking.

If you don’t know how to tell if salmon is bad, I’ll share six ways you can do that.

🤔 How do you know if salmon is bad? As with most foods, a change in color is the first thing to check. If your salmon has gone bad, it’ll turn greyish or dull in color. Other signs to look for are a slimy texture and dark spots.

It’s always a good idea to analyze these factors before you start preparing salmon.

How to Tell if Salmon Is Bad?

Below are a few tips on how to identify if salmon is good for cooking in case you have any doubts about the condition of your fish.

1. Smell

Salmon flesh should not have a strong fishy smell. The fresher the salmon, the more subtle the smell will be.

If it smells very fishy or even worse, sour, then it probably has gone bad and should be thrown away immediately.

Fish that is at least one day old will develop an ammonia-like smell. This is caused by enzymes in the fish itself, but it can be used to tell if your salmon has gone bad.

A strong ammonia-like smell is very common with older fish and should not be mistaken for a milder scent that new fish gives off.

2. Appearance

Salmon flesh should be bright red or pinkish-red in color.

Depending on how it is cooked (here’s how to tell if salmon is cooked), the color can range from bright red to pinkish-orange.

If the fish has turned mostly white or grey with a very small hint of pink or orange then it is no longer fresh and should not be consumed under any circumstances.

This is because naturally occurring enzymes within the fish cause it to oxidize when it is older.

3. Firmness

The firmness of the salmon itself should also be taken into consideration when trying to tell if the fish has gone bad.

When fresh, skinless cuts of salmon are left in the refrigerator for too long they will begin to lose their firmness and develop a mushy texture.

If you press on a cut of salmon and it becomes easily indented, this is a good indication that the fish is no longer fresh.

4. Texture

This is another important factor to consider when trying to tell whether your salmon has gone bad or not.

Before cooking, fresh cuts of skinless salmon should be smooth all the way through and feel springy if you press on them with your finger.

Once it’s been cooked, the flesh will become slightly flaky and may separate into layers. If it feels slimy or is crumbly in texture, this is an indicator of the fish being bad.

5. Inspect the Eyes

A fresh cut of salmon will have clear, glossy eyes that are filled with fluid.

If the eyes of the salmon turn sunken and cloudy, this is another indicator that it has gone bad and should not be eaten. The eyes should be slightly bulging, not sunken in.

This is because the fluid inside will begin to drain out when it goes bad.

6. Check the “Expiry” and “Sell By” Dates

It’s important to keep in mind that all grocery stores will typically put an expiration date or “sell by” date on the packaging.

However, this does not mean that you can’t eat your salmon after that day has passed.

Most fresh fish is safe to consume a day or two after the sell-by date, but it should be properly stored in the refrigerator until then.

How Long Does Salmon Last?

The shelf life of fresh, wild-caught salmon is about 4 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer. For cooked salmon, this time frame extends to 5-6 days and 2 to 3 months frozen.

Frozen salmon can last about 3-6 months. However, if you’ve thawed it out and it is not eaten within 2 days, you should refreeze it.

If you open your package of salmon and it smells bad even though it has been stored correctly, you should throw it away immediately.

If there’s only a small amount left, it should be eaten more quickly than usual since the risk of getting food poisoning increases with spoiled foods.

Related: Can You Freeze Cooked Salmon?

Final Words

It’s always important to make sure the food you’re eating is fresh and not spoiled. Here are some ways that can help consumers know they’ve bought bad salmon.

Hope this article can help you a lot to find out if your fish has gone bad. Comment below if you have anything to share. Thank you for reading!

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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