How to Tell if Your Salmon is Still Safe to Eat or Not? You might have tasted it in restaurants. Or you might have had it at home when you were young. No matter where you ate it, you’re probably familiar with salmon. This flavorful fish is a favorite for many people. It has been featured in countless cookbooks, cooking shows, and online cooking tutorials. Many chefs love it because of how easy it is to prepare and how timeless it tastes.
Salmon is one of the healthiest fish you can buy on the market. There are countless ways to cook salmon, but it’s also loaded with nutrients the body needs. Salmond is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and B vitamins. It’s also good for the heart and can help in weight loss.
Salmon is prepared in many ways: raw, fried, baked, and stewed. Because of its mild flavor and chewy flesh, salmon is enjoyable for people of every age. So it’s no surprise many people keep this fish in their fridge.
But how long can you store your salmon? And how can you tell if your salmon has spoiled?
What Happens if You Eat Bad Salmon?
How to tell if salmon has gone bad? Just like other food products, salmon can go bad over time. If left unattended or stored improperly, salmon can become spoiled and unconsumable.
Eating bad salmon is dangerous for your health. It will most likely lead to food poisoning. Common symptoms of food poisoning include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. Your symptoms can also progress if left untreated. Food poisoning can last for a few hours to a few days. It’s also treatable at home. However, doctors may prescribe antibiotics and hospitalization if symptoms persist or worsen.
But while food poisoning is treatable, it’s still painful for those affected. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent food poisoning from eating salmon. One crucial way to reduce food poisoning is checking on your salmon before cooking it.
How to Tell if Salmon has Gone Bad?
It’s easy to spot spoiled salmon if you know what you’re looking for. You have to use your five senses to determine if your raw fish is still fresh or not. Here are three ways to tell if your salmon is still safe to eat.
There is No Strange Smell
The first red flag that you should look out for is the smell. Fresh salmon has a mild scent that is neither strong nor pungent. However, spoiled salmon will smell fishy when you bring it out of the refrigerator. A sour or ammonia smell is a sign that your fish is no longer safe for consumption.
If your salmon smells as good as the day you bought it, then feel free to cook it for the family. However, fishy-smelling salmon means it’s no longer safe for anybody to eat.
The Fish Looks Colorful and Not Dull
Salmon is known for its bright pink to orange color. If your salmon is rosy and has those iconic white lines, then it’s safe to cook it. However, if your salmon is dull and lacks those white lines, it’s not safe to consume. Discolorations are also something you need to watch out for. Grayish salmon is not safe to eat, even if you cook it. It’s highly advised to dispose of discolored salmon instead of taking the risk and eating it.
If you bought a salmon head, try looking at its eyes to ensure it’s still fresh. Fresh salmon will have clear, shiny eyes, not dull and cloudy ones. Cloudy eyes are a sign that bacteria have already contaminated them. Your best course of action is to throw your fish away.
The Flesh is Firm and Bouncy
One final thing you can look out for is your salmon’s flesh. Fresh salmon should have bouncy and firm flesh when you press it. However, your salmon is no longer fresh if it looks sunken, forms dimples, or easily breaks apart. You should also watch out for slimy films that can appear on the surface. That’s a sign of pathogens growing on your fish.
If you notice one or more of the following signs, then it’s best if you throw your salmon away. Spoiled salmon is unsafe to cook and eat. However, if none of these things apply to your salmon, you can safely prepare it for your household.
How to Properly Store Salmon to Avoid Spoilage
Salmon is similar to other meat and fish products. You can store your salmon properly to improve its shelf life and to maintain freshness. Here are tips on how you can properly preserve your salmon:
- Only buy your salmon from a reputable market or seller. And only buy what’s enough for you and your family to avoid wasting money and food.
- Salmon can stay in your fridge for a maximum of two days and in the freezer for three months. Ensure you properly wrap your fish and store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator or freezer.
- Make sure your salmon is tightly wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil to avoid freezer burns and contamination.
- Thaw your frozen salmon in the fridge. Thawing it at room temperature can encourage bacterial growth.
- Once you finished cooking and cooling your salmon, refrigerate it for future consumption.
- Seal your salmon inside an air-tight container when placing it in the fridge.
- Never leave cooked salmon on a countertop overnight.
- Cooked salmon can last up to three days inside the refrigerator. Avoid eating it beyond three days or when you smell something pungent.
Properly storing your salmon can save plenty of time and money. It can also save you and your family’s lives. Don’t forget also to handle your salmon with care. Always use a clean hand when storing and cooking your salmon. And make sure that it’s not touching other fish and meat in your freezer. With proper handling, you can serve a great salmon dinner for your family tonight!
How to Dispose of Spoiled Salmon
Sometimes, though, we make mistakes when handling our food. If you end up with spoiled salmon in the freezer or on your plate, there is only one thing you can do: you need to dispose of it.
Disposing of spoiled salmon is simple. However, that doesn’t mean you can throw your salmon away with your regular garbage load. Here are some things you want to keep in mind when throwing your fish away:
- Wear some sort of protection on your hands, like gloves. Spoiled fish contains plenty of bacteria, which can stick to your skin. Another way to avoid the spread of pathogens is by washing your hands after handling them.
- Handle your salmon with care. Because it can easily be torn, ensure you don’t accidentally drop anything on the floor.
- Wrap your salmon in its packaging to avoid the further spread of bacteria. Also, throwing your garbage out immediately when disposing of your salmon is best. The smell can spread around the house.
- Cover your trash with a lid. It can keep the fishy smell from spreading everywhere.
- Wash anything that came in contact with the salmon after disposal. This includes any surface, plate, or hands that have touched the fish.
- Never let animals near your garbage. Spoiled salmon is just as dangerous to animals as it is to humans. Also, never feed cooked salmon that has gone bad to your pets.
Immediately disposing of your bad salmon can lower the chance of food poisoning within your family. It also stops other food from being contaminated by bacteria or pathogens.
Fresh Salmon is the Safest Salmon to Eat
Salmon is a delicious fish that is versatile in the kitchen and simple to prepare. Its delicate flavor and easy-to-eat texture have made it an excellent choice for both old and young eaters. Salmon is also very healthy and perfect for those watching their health. Because of these reasons, many people buy and store salmon in their homes.
However, improper storage of salmon can lead to problems. Spoilage is one of the biggest problems. When someone eats spoiled salmon, they are at a high risk of food poisoning. Not to mention, spoiled salmon looks, smells, and tastes terrible!
Consumers can look for red flags like bad smells, sunken flesh, and dull colors. They all indicate that your salmon has gone wrong. The best thing you can do with spoiled salmon is throwing it away.
Throwing away your salmon can feel like a big hit to your pocket. However, this is the best way to keep everyone in the household safe. It also saves a lot of money on a potential hospital bill.
There is no scenario where spoiled salmon is safe to eat. Like other meat and fish, salmon has an expiry date. And eating it beyond that date can cause significant health issues. So cook and store your salmon correctly to keep everyone safe and satisfied.
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