Seafood is an excellent source of protein, vital fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and many other essential nutrients. However, it demands suitable handling and storage. In addition, seafood is more perishable than other foods due to its potential to expire fast and the risk of food contamination due to improper handling. So, how long does seafood last in the fridge?
The truth is that each species has a different shelf life. Most seafood is at its peak flavor and freshness during the first two days after being caught. The Food and Drug Administration also states that only one to two days in the refrigerator is acceptable for fresh seafood such as fish, shrimp, scallops, and squid.
Let’s get to know in detail the shelf life of different seafood when cooked & uncooked.
How Long Does Seafood Last in the Fridge?
Fish & Shellfish
According to USDA, fish and shellfish should only be refrigerated for one or two days before cooking or freezing (40 °F or less). After cooking, seafood should be refrigerated for three to four days.
Frozen seafood can be stored for a long time without worrying about spoilage, but the quality of the taste and texture will decline with time. Cooked fish should be frozen (0 °F / -17.8 °C or lower) for up to three months for optimal quality. Raw fish should be consumed within three to eight months; shellfish within three to twelve months. Never leave seafood out for over two hours.
Shucked Fresh Oysters
Shucked fresh oysters are the most celebrated shellfish because they are high in zinc-rich minerals. Oysters can be kept for 3-5 days in the refrigerator after being shucked, or they can be frozen. If you remove the oysters from their shells before freezing them, you can store them for up to three months.
Spot prawns can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days before cooking. Choose the whole frozen spot prawns if you won’t be able to cook them within three days.
Whole spot prawns can be purchased frozen and flash-frozen at sea, allowing them to be stored in your freezer for up to a year. The risk of spoilage is minimized if you serve it soon after it has thawed.
Fresh octopus will remain fresh in the refrigerator for less than 72 hours. Therefore, you can either prepare it within a day or freeze it for up to two months. However, the cooked octopus can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
But if you choose octopus that was flash-frozen at sea, you can keep it in your freezer for up to nine months without sacrificing flavor or quality.
Shrimps & Scallops
Raw scallops and shrimp can be refrigerated for two days in a firmly sealed container. If they cannot be consumed within two days, it is recommended to freeze them. They preserve their quality, freshness, and flavor for around six months. Cooked shrimp can last up to three days in the refrigerator.
How long does cooked seafood last in the fridge?
According to USDA, fish and other seafood that has been cooked properly can be securely stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. The growth of bacteria can be slowed down by refrigeration, but it is not completely stopped by it.
For this cause, it is important to ensure that food is consumed within the allotted amount of time before it either goes bad or poses a health risk.
How long does seafood chowder last in the fridge?
Upon being cooked, fish chowder will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator. Fish chowder, once cooked, can be stored in the freezer for a long time if it is frozen in airtight containers or sturdy freezer bags.
How long may fish chowder be stored in the freezer once it has been cooked? The product remains safe to consume even after being stored longer than the optimal quality period of 4 to 6 months.
Fish chowder that was thawed in the refrigerator can be stored for an additional three to four days before being reheated, but fish chowder that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be consumed immediately.
How long does seafood boil last in the fridge?
You can store your seafood boil in the fridge for up to two days. After cooking, the seafood boil should be cooled down as soon as possible and then stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The most efficient cooling method is placing it in an ice bath or adding ice cubes.
How long does seafood salad last in the fridge?
When sealed in an airtight container, seafood salad will keep in the fridge for up to four days. However, you shouldn’t put this salad in the freezer. Because it is made with mayonnaise, the dish will have an unpleasant texture once it thaws.