How Long Can Raw Salmon Sit Out? (Quick Facts)

How Long Can Raw Salmon Sit Out

Salmon is one of the perishables that should not be left out at room temperature for too long.

Fish like salmon can go bad quickly if not stored properly.

So, how long can raw salmon sit out?

Raw salmon can only sit out not more than 2 hours especially at temperatures between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If raw salmon is left at room temperature for more than two hours, it should be discarded.

The main reason for this is that a warm environment provides a medium for rapid bacterial growth.

If you bought fish from the local grocer, make sure that you save them first in the freezer. Raw fish can go bad faster than meat.

Do not leave raw salmon on the counter for too long. If you leave it at room temperature for more than two hours, the salmon should not be frozen.

The best thing you can do in this case is to cook it immediately. Freezing will not kill the bacteria.

The freezing temperature will only restrain the bacteria from growing rapidly.

Can I eat raw salmon left out overnight?

You should never eat raw salmon left out overnight. It has likely been contaminated.

As mentioned, raw fish should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Leaving it on the counter overnight can certainly contaminate raw salmon.

Eating raw salmon left out overnight can cause health issues such as food poisoning. It could cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other related problems.

How long can raw salmon last in the freezer?

Raw salmon can last for about 2-3 months in the freezer. If frozen properly, salmon can last longer than 3 months.

However, it is important to note that the quality of fish may deteriorate if frozen for too long.

To enjoy the best texture and flavor, you need to consume the salmon within 1-3 months.

Another factor that can determine the shelf life of frozen salmon is the way it is stored.

Wrong handling can speed up the spoilage of the frozen fish. In this post, I will share with you some basic steps to freeze raw salmon correctly.

How to freeze raw salmon? (Quick tips)

Freezing raw salmon is easy. But if you do not do it correctly, it won’t last long in the freezer.

One of the most common issues is freezer burn. Although freezer burn deteriorates the texture of the fish, it won’t cause any harm.

Nonetheless, that’s not what you want. Your main goal of freezing raw salmon is to preserve its texture and flavor.

Here are the basic steps you can do to freeze raw salmon correctly.

Step 1: Clean the salmon

If you bought fresh salmon from fishermen or caught your salmon, it is important to clean and gut it first before freezing.

Never freeze salmon without removing the gut because it could spread bacteria pretty quickly.

Make sure that you clean the salmon thoroughly if you are planning to freeze it for future use.

Step 2: Cover with plastic wrap

Once the salmon is already clean, it is time to cover it with plastic wrap. This is easy and quick.

There is no rule on how you wrap the salmon. The process is pretty self-explanatory.

But whatever you do, do not forget to make sure that you wrap salmon in such a way that the air is pressed out.

Doing this will keep the fish safe from freezer burn. Freezer burn happens when there is air present in the container.

If you bought salmon from a grocer that comes with its original packaging, there is no need to transfer it to another container.

The best thing you can do instead is to wrap it with aluminum foil. This will be tremendously helpful in keeping the salmon safe from freezer burn.

Step 3: Seal the raw salmon

As mentioned, freezer burn can negatively affect the overall quality of frozen salmon.

But the good news is that there are things you can do to protect the frozen fish. The best thing you can do is to seal the salmon in a vacuum pack.

This is a great way to make sure that no air is left inside the packaging. With a vacuum sealer (check my recommended vacuum sealer on Amazon), you can easily and safely seal the salmon.

For the best result, read the instructions or user manual of the vacuum sealer. Just follow them and you are good to go.

If you do not have a vacuum sealer, you can just follow step number 2. Wrap the salmon with plastic and double it with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

This will ensure that the raw salmon will last long in the freezer without suffering from freezer burn.

Is it better to freeze salmon raw or cooked?

Both raw and cooked salmon can be frozen. However, cooked salmon tends to last longer in terms of quality in the freezer than raw salmon.

Raw salmon is best within 2-3 months while cooked salmon can last up to 6 months without losing quality.

After six months though, the quality of cooked salmon may start to deteriorate.

But again, many factors determine the shelf life of salmon. The power outage is one.

Remember that to keep the quality of the fish intact in the freezer, the temperature must be consistent at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

This is true for both cooked and uncooked salmon. A frequent power interruption will negatively affect frozen goods especially fish.

If a power outage lasts long, it is better to cook the frozen fish rather than keeping it in the freezer.

The other option is to transfer the frozen fish to the cooler. But if you follow this route, make sure to use dry ice and not regular ice.

This is because regular ice melts faster than dry ice. But if you do not have a cooler, just cook the fish and it will end the story.

How long can raw salmon last in the refrigerator?

Raw salmon can last in the refrigerator for about 2 days. If you thaw frozen salmon in the fridge, make sure to cook it within 2 days.

Remember that the refrigerator is not as cold as the freezer. The temperature inside the fridge can allow some bacteria to grow rapidly.

In other words, you should never leave raw salmon in the fridge for more than two days. It is not the right place to store raw fish for a long time.

Final Thoughts

Like any other perishables, raw salmon should not be left at room temperature for too long.

So, how long can raw salmon sit out? Raw salmon should not sit out for more than 2 hours.

Leaving raw fish at room temperature is risky. The fish can potentially become contaminated.

This is because bacteria can grow rapidly in warn environment. Freezing is the best way to preserve the quality of the fish.

If the salmon was out for more than two hours, it needs to be cooked immediately. Do not freeze or refrigerate it.

Remember that freezing won’t kill bacteria. It only restrains the bacterial rapid growth.

I hope this helps. If you want to learn more about freezing, visit this page.


USDA: Food Safety and Inspection Service