Perhaps you’ve heard that you should eat smoked salmon on the day you buy it or freeze it to make the most of its delicious flavor and health perks. But do you really need to schlep to the shops or thaw a few slices every day for your morning scrambled eggs, or will vacuum sealed smoked salmon stay good in the fridge?
Unopened vacuum-sealed hot-smoked salmon will last in the fridge for two weeks, provided it is within its expiry date and stays refrigerated at all times. An opened vacuum-sealed pack of hot-smoked salmon kept continuously refrigerated will last one week.
How long refrigerated vacuum sealed smoked salmon stays safe to eat, and tasty depends on its expiry date, whether it’s still sealed or has been opened, and whether it’s stayed refrigerated or has been in and out of the fridge. You’re about to find out how long smoked salmon will stay fresh in your fridge under all these conditions.
How Long Does Smoked Salmon Stay Good In The Fridge?
Here’s a look at how long vacuum-sealed smoked salmon will last in the fridge under different handling and storage conditions.
How Long Does Unopened Smoked Salmon Last In The Fridge?
Unopened vacuum-sealed hot-smoked salmon that’s been refrigerated at all times should generally stay good in the fridge for about two weeks. Vacuum-sealed cold-smoked salmon has a shorter shelf life, about one week in the fridge.
If your smoked salmon has an expiry date on the packaging, the fish should stay in top condition until that date if kept refrigerated.
How Long Does Opened Smoked Salmon Last In The Fridge?
If you take special care of your opened vacuum pack of smoked salmon, it should stay safe to eat for about a week.
The special care you’d need to take to keep your opened smoked salmon good for seven days involves the following steps:
- Keep the salmon in the fridge at all times.
- Wrap the salmon tightly. If the packaging the fish came in is resealable, keep it in its original packaging, sealing it tightly. You could also wrap a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil around the packaging. Another option is a tightly closing freezer bag.
Can You Eat Refrigerated Smoked Salmon Past Its Expiry Date?
Smoked salmon’s taste and texture will be best before its expiry date. So, if you look for full flavor and just-right texture in your smoked salmon, eat it by this date.
Suppose your smoked salmon gets lost in your fridge until a day or two after it’s officially had it. Well, provided you’ve kept it in the fridge the whole time, you can still safely eat it. If refrigerated nonstop, smoked salmon is still good to eat (though not as yum) two to three days after its expiry date.
How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last Out Of The Fridge?
Bacteria quickly take hold of unrefrigerated perishable foods like fish. Play it safe by never leaving your smoked salmon at room temperature for longer than two hours.
The two-hour-max limit applies to your salmon’s journey from supermarket fridge to your fridge. Take an ice-filled cooler with you to the shops, so your smoked salmon stays cool. And get it into the fridge as soon as you get home.
Why Is It Essential To Keep Smoked Salmon Refrigerated?
To protect yourself from food poisoning, you need to refrigerate smoked salmon in all its forms. However, it’s especially important that you keep vacuum-sealed smoked salmon in the fridge at all times.
Vacuum sealing smoked salmon reduces the amount of oxygen packaged with the fish. This packaging method boosts salmon’s shelf life by protecting against bacteria that need air to live.
But there’s a problem. An air-restricted environment is the perfect breeding ground for other food-poisoning microorganisms. These organisms will only have a chance to take over if you leave your smoked salmon at room temperature for too long. So, as long as you keep your fish in the fridge, it should stay safe to eat.
How To Properly Refrigerate Your Smoked Salmon
Keeping smoked salmon in the fridge is a must-do, so why not refrigerate your fish most effectively? Here are tips for refrigeration success:
- Don’t store your smoked salmon in one of your fridge’s door compartments, as these aren’t as consistently cool as the other fridge areas.
- Keep your smoked salmon in the coldest part of your fridge. The temperatures are lowest at the back, so put your salmon deep inside your fridge. Whether the top or bottom shelf is cooler depends on your fridge. If you’ve got an ice maker at the top of your fridge, the top shelf is the coldest. Otherwise, the bottom shelf is your best bet, as cold air sinks.
- Check that your fridge is at the ideal temperature for keeping perishable food fresh: 37° F.
- Try to open your fridge as few times as you can, quickly grab what you need, and tightly close the door.
How Can You Tell That Smoked Salmon Has Gone Bad?
Here’s a checklist to help you spot signs that smoked salmon has spoiled:
|Loose Vacuum packaging,|
Dull or greenish color,
Strong fishy smell,
I’ve written a more in-depth article on how to tell when smoked salmon goes bad.
The first rule with vacuum-sealed smoked salmon is to keep it refrigerated. Your smoked salmon shouldn’t be out of the fridge for longer than two hours. So, remember to take your cooler along next time you go fishing at the supermarket.
If it stays refrigerated, unopened vacuum-sealed smoked salmon should stay good in the fridge for two weeks. An opened pack should last in the fridge for a week (make sure you reseal the vacuum packaging or wrap the package tightly with plastic wrap or foil).