raw salmon

Can you Eat Salmon Cold? (What you Should Know)

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I recently made my favorite honey garlic salmon recipe, and I wanted to eat it cold. Since I was unsure if it was okay to eat cold salmon, I picked up research to gain some clarity.

So, can you eat salmon cold? You can eat raw salmon, but make sure it is farm salmon. If it is salmon from the wild you should freeze it first to kill parasites and bacteria. You can also safely eat cooked leftover salmon directly from the fridge, but it should be eaten within 3 days.

Like any other fish, Salmon is highly perishable, causing people to wonder how long it is safe to store them. Discover useful tips for refrigerating your leftover salmon and how best to reheat them.

Can you Eat Leftover Salmon Cold from the fridge?

Yes, you can eat leftover salmon from the fridge as long as it is still fresh. Make sure that the fish have not stayed more than three days in your fridge. If the fish was in good shape when cooked, it should last in your fridge for up to 3 days. You’ll know the fish is good if it has no smell and the skin is firm.

Unfortunately, you can never say how fresh the salmon was before being cooked when you dine out. In this case, try to eat any leftover salmon you may bring home within two days.

How long can you store cooked salmon in the fridge?

Just like chicken, salmon can be prepared in many different ways. It’s best to eat cooked salmon within 3 to 4 days. However, you can store any leftovers you may have in your fridge for up to 7 days. You can refrigerate your leftover salmon for seven days tops. 

After seven days, your fish would have undergone some changes in texture. According to the FDA Food Code, you should not store cooked fish in your fridge longer than seven days. Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria that thrive in refrigerator temperatures, can grow on fish stored for more than one week.

It is advisable to eat leftover salmon as soon as possible. While storing in your fridge, ensure to put the fish in airtight containers to keep them fresh. 

Always keep track of when your refrigerated fish was cooked by labeling the container. A “use by” date will remind you to eat the fish before it spoils.

You should lookout for any signs of mold or odors that may occur with time. If you feel like the salmon is unsafe to eat, don’t hesitate to throw it out. Your health will thank you for doing that.

Can you eat cooked salmon that has been cooled down at room temperature?

Salmon, like other fish, is very perishable. That’s why keeping it unrefrigerated for long is a bad idea. While cooling your fish at room temperature, you shouldn’t leave it out longer than you can manage.

Cooked Salmon

Cooking your salmon to 145°F can kill or seriously damage pathogens in it. After cooking, your fish should not sit out for more than two hours before you refrigerate, freeze, or discard. 

Before Cooking

Raw fish spoils easily, so don’t keep them out for too long. Don’t allow your raw salmon to stay unrefrigerated for more than two hours before you cook it. Always buy your fish last when shopping, and refrigerate it as soon as you get home.

Other Precautions

Ensure that the surface where you’re preparing your salmon is clean. Wash all utensils, cutting boards, counters, and your hands with soap and hot water before you start.

Once you finish cooking, package your salmon and refrigerate it. You can wrap it with plastic wrap and then put it in a sealable container.

Don’t forget your utensils on the tray containing the salmon, as they can promote spoilage if they’re contaminated.

What kind of salmon should you buy to eat raw?

Salmon farm

First of all, check if the salmon you’re looking to buy is farm salmon before taking it home from the grocery store. Try to find out when and where the fish was caught before buying it. The fishmonger at the grocery store should be able to provide this information. You can ask him if it’s okay to eat the fish raw.

Alternatively, opt for the farm-raised salmon in the freezer. The FDA has certain guidelines for how to handle fish that can be eaten raw. While those guidelines don’t determine the fish’s quality, consumers can tell if a fish is safe to eat raw. If a seller deems his fish safe to eat raw, he labels it “sushi-grade.”

So if you trust the seller, you can buy the fish and consume it raw. According to the FDA’s guidelines for consuming raw fish, it should be deeply frozen before anyone eats it. So, you should ensure that any fish you want to eat raw has been frozen to -31°F.

Can you eat wild salmon raw?

The answer is yes! However, you must confirm that your fish has been frozen in a way that follows FDA’s freezing guidelines. If yes, then you can eat your salmon raw. Your taste buds will surely thank you! 

How to tell if the salmon is spoiled

The first way to know if your salmon has spoilt is by looking at it. A good salmon has a bright pink color, but you’ll notice a change in coloration if it has gone bad. Spoiled salmon has a gray tint and a full coloration. You may also notice mold formation and dark spots on the fish.

If your salmon has a slimy residue on it, you should throw it out. Lastly, when the fish develops a bad smell, it’s no longer good for consumption.

Should you reheat cooked salmon

As long as your cooked salmon has not stayed more than seven days in your fridge, you can reheat it. But while at it, don’t make the mistake of turning up the heat. If you do, the salmon will dry up and become overcooked. The best way to reheat your leftover salmon is slowly and at a low temperature.

Warm the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet for about 15 minutes. You can use a 275°F oven, but keep the heat between 125°F and 130°F.

Reheat your leftover salmon slowly and in low heat to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Remember to add some moisture and some water while at it.

Tips for storing salmon

If you want to keep your fish fresh, you must store it properly. Thankfully, that can be done easily with the tips below.

  • The best time to eat refrigerated salmon is within two days of storing.
  • Take the fish out of its wrappings and rinse it well with cold water. Once you finish, pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Use a layer of plastic to wrap the salmon tightly and then wrap it again with aluminum foil.
  • You may add lemon slices before wrapping it up to give it that nice lemon taste.
  • Put it in the coolest part of your refrigerator. In most cases, it’s the bottom drawer.
  • Ensure that your refrigerator is at the right temperature – around 32°F

Is it safe to eat cold salmon during pregnancy?

A pregnant woman can enjoy hot smoked salmon, heated to about 165°F or shelf-stable forms. But if a woman eats cold smoked salmon, she puts herself at risk of Listeria infections and tapeworm. It’s not safe to eat uncooked cold-smoked salmon during pregnancy, and pregnant women should never try it.


Salmon is healthy and can be prepared in many different ways using different recipes. You can eat it hot or cold, depending on how you like it. But don’t allow your fish to stay out for so long before you eat it. It’s best to consume your salmon within two hours of sitting.

And when there are leftovers, you can refrigerate and reheat them slowly and in low heat. If you love salmon, follow these guidelines, and enjoy your meal.

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