So just how long is ‘too long’ to save fish frozen? Fish will certainly not keep fresh flavor or structure indefinitely, for this reason it’s finest to use prior to losing its original taste and texture.

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According come USDA, raw fish should only be kept in the frozen fridge (40 °F/4.4 °C )for a preferably of 2 days prior to cooking. You have the right to store cooking seafood in the fridge for as much as 4 days. Frozen fish will be safe indefinitely; however, the flavor will change after prolonged storage. For finest quality, frozen (0 °F / -17.8 °C) cooked or baked fish for as much as 3 months. Frozen life fish is ideal within 3 come 9 months; shellfish, 3 to 12 months. For security reasons, you must never leave seafood at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Store-bought crate fish, such together tuna, will certainly last in her pantry because that as lengthy as 5 years. For home-canned fish, you have to consume it within a year. Be sure to pave the fish well. Us recommend pack individual sections in layers of plastic. Then, press the plastic to remove as much air together you can. Put the individually covering fish sections in a freezer. You deserve to weigh the plastic storage bag and label it with the name, size, and date of contents.

Buy ideal – fresh Fish and Shrimp

The idea the freezing degradation the high quality of seafood is a myth. Follow to jane Brody, health and also nutrition columnist because that NY time believes the the freshest seafood has been stored and frozen soon after harvest. However, it’s vital to to buy the appropriate fish to have actually the ultimate seafood experience.

Only purchase fish and shrimp that space refrigerated or displayed on a bed that fresh ice cream (preferably within a situation or under some cover). The color of fish have the right to be affected by different factors, including diet and also environment. That means treatment making use of a shade fixative such together carbon monoxide and other packaging processes alone is no a clean indicator that freshness.

The adhering to tips can help you do purchasing decisions:

Fish need to smell fresh and mild, not sour, fishy, or ammonia-like.A fish’s eyes have to look clear and also shiny.Whole fish must have actually firm flesh and red gills without any odor.Fresh fillets should additionally have certain flesh v red bloodlines or red meat if it’s fresh tuna. When pressed, the flesh must spring back.Fish fillets must screen no darkening, discoloration, or drying around the edges.Shrimp, lobster, and scallop flesh need to be clear through no odor and pearl-like color.Some refrigerated seafood often has time/temperature discussed on their packaging, which shows if the product has been stored in ~ the proper temperature. Constantly check this indicators and also only buy the fish if the indicator reflects that that is for sure to eat.Fresh fish marketed as “Previously Frozen” might not possess every the features of fresh fish (e.g., for sure flesh, bright eyes, red gills, flesh, or bloodlines); however, they must smell fresh and also mild, no sour, fishy, or rancid.

Choosing Shellfish

Follow these guidelines because that safely selecting shellfish:

Look for the label: examine for tag on containers or sacks of live shellfish (in the shell) and labels on packages or containers that shucked shellfish. These tags and labels have certain information around the seafood product, consisting of the processor’s certification number. This number suggests that the shellfish to be harvested or processed in compliance with national shellfish security controls.Discard Cracked/Broken Ones: You should throw away oysters, clams, and mussels if their shells are broken or cracked.Do a “Tap Test”: Live oysters, clams, and mussels will close as soon as you madness the shell. If they nothing close as soon as tapped, do not buy them.Check because that Leg Movement: Live lobsters and crabs will present some leg movement. They spoil quickly after death, so only choose live crabs and lobsters.

Choosing Frozen Seafood

Frozen seafood can spoil if the fish thaws throughout packaging and also transport and is left at warmth temperatures for extended periods before cooking.

Don’t to buy frozen fish if its package is open or crushed top top the edges.Avoid packages v clear indicators of frost or ice crystals, which method the fish has been save for prolonged periods or thawed and refrozen.Try to protect against packages where the frozen fish meat is not hard. The fish must not bend.

Store Fish Properly

Put fish on ice cream or within the frozen fridge or freezer soon after girlfriend buy it. If you want to use it within 2 days ~ purchase, store it within a clean refrigerator in ~ a temperature below 40°F. You deserve to use a comfortable refrigerator thermometer to check! Otherwise, wrap lock tightly in plastic, foil, or use moisture-proof document and keep it in the freezer.

Separate Fish for Safety

When preparing fresh or s fish, it’s important to prevent any kind of bacteria from raw seafood from dispersing to ready-to-eat foods. Take these straightforward steps to avoid cross-contamination:

When purchase unpackaged cooked fish, make sure to different it from life seafood. It should be in a separate display instance or at least blocked native the raw product through dividers.Wash your hands for 15 secs with anti-bacterial soap and hot water after touching any raw food.Wash cut boards, utensils, and dishes and also countertops through soap and also warm water in between raw foodstuffs preparation, together a fish and also ready-to-eat foods.For included protection, usage kitchen sanitizers on cut boards and also countertops after every use. Alternatively, you have the right to use a equipment of 1 tbsp unscented, fluid chlorine bleach per water gallon.If you usage food-grade plastic or non-porous cut boards, you have the right to run them, along with metal, plastic, or ceramic utensils, v the dishwasher.

Prepare Safely


Thaw frozen fish gradually by maintaining it in the refrigerator overnight. If you need to thaw fish quickly, pack it in a plastic bag and also immerse the in cold water. If you’re walk to chef the fish immediately after thawing, you can microwave it making use of the “defrost” setting and protect against the cycle if the seafood is tho icy but pliable.


Most fish have to be cooked or small to an internal temperature of 145°F. If girlfriend don’t have actually a food kitchen thermometer, there are numerous other means to determine whether her seafood is ready.

Fish: The meat is clear, soft and separates quickly with a knife

Shrimp, Crab, Scallops, and Lobster: The flesh is firm and also clear

Clams, Oysters, and also Mussels: The shells open during cooking — throw the end the ones that don’t open

Uncooked spoiled fish have the right to have a sour, fishy, rancid, or ammonia odor. These odors come to be much more powerful after cooking. If you detect any of this odors in life or cooked fish, execute not eat it. If you smell a fleeting or persistent ammonia smell in cooked fish, carry out not eat it.


Follow this guidelines as soon as your fish is cooked and ready to be served.

Never leave fish or any type of other perishable food the end of her refrigerator for more than 2 hours when temperature are over 90°F. Bacteria that reason illness grow conveniently at heat temperatures ranging between 40°F and 140°F.For party planning, keep hot fish hot and also cold fish coldTry to save cold and also chilled fish refrigerated till time to serve.Serve cold fish on ice if the is walk to continue to be out longer than an hour.

Eating raw Fish – What You must Know


It’s constantly best to chef fish thoroughly to minimize any kind of risk that food-borne illness. If you choose to eat raw seafood anyway, eating previously frozen life fish deserve to reduce health and wellness risks.

Some species of fish might contain parasites, and also freezing may kill any type of parasites that room present.

However, be conscious that freezing won’t death all harmful parasites. That’s why the safest way is to cook your seafood.

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Key health and wellness Notes

At-Risk Groups

Some civilization are in ~ a better risk because that foodborne illness, and are more likely to suffer long-term, experience hospitalization, or occasionally die. These teams include:

Pregnant womenChildrenOlder adultsPeople with endangered immune solution (such as people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes and transplant patient )

These groups should avoid these foods:

Raw or undercooked fish or food comprise raw and also undercooked seafood (sushi and sashimi) is discovered in part ceviche.Raw oysters, even if they space processed and treated after harvesting. Post-harvest therapy can remove some naturally-occurring pathogens yet can’t remove all pathogens the can reason food-borne illnessRefrigerated smoked seafood except in a cooking dish, such as a casserole. Refrigerated acting seafood (such as trout, salmon, whitefish, tuna, cod, or mackerel) come in different labels together “nova-style,” “kippered,” “lox,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” Shelf-stable or canned smoked seafood is safe and also acceptable.

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