How Long Can Cooked Fish Stay In the Refrigerator?

When you get home from a long day at work and all you feel like doing is flinging your coat on the rack, kicking off your shoes, and diving into the fridge.

Sometimes those plans don’t always go as smoothly as one might hope. It’s not a catastrophe if you find yourself with some leftover fish—but how long can cooked fish stay in the refrigerator?

If you’re anything like me, having leftovers isn’t something that happens often. But when it does happen, I make sure to take special care of them. After all, who wants to throw away perfectly good food?

Keeping things cool and dry remains crucial when it comes to storing leftovers for any length of time.

When does fish go bad in the fridge?

In this article you will learn exactly how long cooked fish can stay in the refrigerator without it going bad and causing any harm to you or you family.

The real key is in the preparation and the type of fish. Let’s dive in shall we?

How Long Does Cooked Fish Last in the Fridge?

Fish and other seafood that has been cooked can be securely kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Bacterial growth is slowed but not stopped by refrigeration.

Food should thus be consumed as soon as possible to avoid spoilage or potential hazard.

How to Store Cooked Fish?

How long can cooked fish stay in the Fridge?

To help the fish cool more rapidly to the right temperature, store it in a shallow covered container. It always helps to take aluminum foil and first wrap the fish. This is to keep any juices that may leak out and keeping everything against the fish to contain flavor.

When wrapping it you want to try and make it air tight as possible. Think to yourself, the more oxygen that gets to the fish, the faster it goes bad. This is the same concept of canned goods.

After it is successfully wrapped, then place it into either a zip lock bag or sealable shallow container.

3 Days: The Short Answer

As I mentioned earlier the short answer and to be on the safe side. It’s 3 days. 3 days as how long you can keep your cooked fish in the refrigerator without it going bad, or making you sick when eating it.

This is a good rule of thumb for those that do not want to “chance things” and can live on the safe side.

Keep in mind, when you are storing your fish, if you have it exposed and poorly contained before you even put it in the fridge then it could be bad almost right away. So definitely watch out for that.

4 Days: Lean Fish Stays Fresh Longer

Now, 4 days is kind of the half way of no return point. This for a lot of fish is the last leg. If you don’t eat a fish after 4 days of storing it in the fridge and you poorly wrapped it, you can eat it, but don’t let it go one more day.

Some examples of low-calorie, high-protein fish, that can last longer and will make you will feel safer eating after 4 days would include:

Tilapia, Cod, Flounder, and Sole

This fish typically have less than 120 calories per 3-ounce serving and stay fresh a little bit longer.

5 Days: Salmon and Other Rich Fish

Salmon and other fish might be tastier slapped together with mayonnaise, but they’ll stay good longer If you don’t refrigerate them Immediately after cooking. Let me explain…

If you let fish like Salmon cool to room temperature and then wrap intentionally tight and seal it up well, it can last for much longer than if you threw it in the refrigerator hot off the plate.

See, when you put a hot fish right in the fridge to cool it accelerates the bacteria growth on the fish which causes it to go spoil more quickly.

6 Days: Tuna and Other Rich Dark Fish

You will still be good to go with tuna and other rich dark fish and will stay good for a few days if you wrap them up well before putting them in a bag to refrigerate.

Day 6, is the absolute last day to eat fish that has been cooked and refrigerated. Tuna is the best fish to last the longest.

So if you have Tuna that is 8 days old, throw that out and do not consume it.

However, 6 day old Tuna that has been well wrapped and refrigerated properly? Go right ahead, it won’t kill you. Dogs’ gotta eat.


In the end, if you have cooked fish in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, you are good to eat it. 5 – 6 days, be careful and pay very close attention to what type of fish you have as well as how it is stored.

Thank you so much for taking a look at my blog. Here at Grill Charms we do our due diligence to provide you with as much value as possible in the grilling niche. Have a great day!

John Rinder
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