Fish is a fantastic source of protein offering a wide range of delicious dishes and provide an exceptional versatility in the kitchen.
But one question being asked by many home cooks is “how long cooked fish can be safely stored in the refrigerator”? I have taken the time out to conduct an extensive experiment to explore the storage time of ten of the most consumed fish varieties showing the methodology, observations, and presenting the results for both refrigeration and freezer storage times.
For this experiment I used Salmon, Tuna, Cod, Tilapia, Trout, Snapper, Mackerel, Halibut, Mahi-Mahi, and Catfish.
For consistency, I cooked all the fish fillets using the same method – baking at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes. Before storing the cooked fish in the fridge after cooking, I first allowed the cooked fish to cool to room temperature for about 1 to 2 hours and then place them in airtight containers or wrap them tightly in plastic wraps before storing in the refrigerator shelves ad not in the refrigerator door.
The refrigerator is then set to a consistent temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below. The containers were labelled with the date the cooked fishes were stored for me to keep track of their storage time and ensured they were not exposed to air.
Each stored fish variety was sampled at different time intervals to assess its quality and safety.
Below is a table of results recorded for each fish variety, time in the refrigerator, and time in the freezer:
Interpretation of Observations:
Based on our experiment, we observed that most cooked fish varieties can be safely stored in the refrigerator for about 1 to 3days and cooked salmon stayed in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Consuming the cooked Salmon fish after 5 days is not recommended as there is an increased risk of bacterial growth, spoilage and a noticeable decline in taste and texture. Watch out for signs showing your fish is no longer fit for consumption.
Cooked fish should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacteria can grow rapidly at temperatures between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C), known as the “danger zone.”
If the room temperature is higher than 90°F (32°C), the time limit reduces to just 1 hour. Leaving cooked or raw fish out of the fridge for too long can lead to food poisoning and other health risks.