how long can i keep raw salmon in the fridge

How long can I keep raw salmon in the fridge? When your idea of enjoying seafood is about adding more salmon to your diet, it is natural to look for a way to store it longer.

Salmon is a delicious and healthy option for fish lovers.

It is extremely nutritious, providing not just high-quality animal protein, but also antioxidants, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

So, when you want to add more of this “superfood” to your diet, you may be wondering, “how long can fresh salmon be refrigerated?”

In most cases, you can store raw salmon bought from the supermarket for a couple of days, but it may sometimes last up to 3 days at most in the fridge. 

Eating Salmon to Boost Your Health

eat the salmon to boost health

Including salmon in your diet comes with various interesting health benefits.

From reducing weight and lowering cholesterol to enhancing cognitive function and building stronger bones, salmon can work wonders for your overall health. 

Moreover, it may also help protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation.

However, all these benefits come your way when you buy fresh salmon, store it properly, and cook it in the right way. 

And remember that how closely you follow storage guidelines will always affect the quality and taste of salmon. 

How Long Can I Keep Raw Salmon in the Fridge?

how long to keep the salmon

It is hard to give a clear answer to this question, as you just cannot stick to any one-size-fits-all approach here.

It can be complicated to answer because of the variability in the quality of salmon. 

Buying from Supermarket

The shelf life of raw salmon purchased from a supermarket is typically only two days.

This is because of the lengthy processing steps involved in getting salmon from the ocean to the market.

The seafood may not appear in stores for twenty to thirty days. 

Buying from Stores

buy from stores

Things may be different though, in the case of store-bought fish.

Some sellers have now managed to flip the script on the conventional supply chain and can begin processing freshly caught salmon quite quickly. 

But, even in that case, you may not be able to considerably extend the shelf life of your salmon in the fridge.

Even store-bought salmon may only stay good for up to 4-5 days. 

Leaving Salmon at Room Temperature

Can you leave raw salmon at room temperature? Yes, you can, but not for very long.

You need to understand that bacteria thrive well at room temperature; in fact, they can grow quickly in temperatures ranging from 40F to 140F.  

It is important to discard salmon within this temperature range if it stays out for a couple of hours. 

Freezing Raw Salmon to Extend Its Shelf Life

freezing raw salmon

If you really want to extend the shelf life of salmon, you will be better off leaving it in the freezer.

To extend the salmon’s storage life in the freezer, double-wrap the original retail packaging.

For this, you can always make use of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper. 

Thawing and Refreezing Salmon

If you thaw salmon in the refrigerator, you can make it last another couple of days before cooking.

However, you will not have this luxury if you defrost it in the microwave, in that you will have to cook it right away.

By the way, it is okay to refreeze fish that has been previously frozen and then thawed.

Tip: Be sure to remove moisture when thawing and refreezing salmon to keep its texture, freshness, and flavor intact. 

Eating Salmon Safely After Storage

eating the salmon in fridge

If you follow proper storage guidelines, it is possible to keep salmon fresh for up to five days in some cases.

Waiting any longer than this would cause the fish to spoil.

Therefore, it is better to play it safe and cook the salmon after 3 days of storing it in the fridge. 

What Leads to Spoilage When Storing Salmon?

The temperature at which you store the fish matters a lot.

Ultimately, you have to consider the “danger zone” which is when bacteria begin to multiply in food.

Airtight containers are recommended for storing perishable goods in the fridge since bacteria thrive in the presence of oxygen.

In most cases, you should not leave your salmon at 35F for longer than 24 hours.

If that is the temperature in your fridge, you need to ensure that you do not wait longer than 24 hours to cook it.

If you leave it in your fridge for longer than 48 hours, you have to be very careful when consuming it. You have to look for any signs of spoilage before using it.   

Keeping Raw Salmon Fresh in the Fridge

keep the raw salmon in fridge

Most people may not know that proper preparation is the first step in keeping fresh salmon in fridge and maximizing its shelf life. 

For instance, you may preserve your raw salmon for a longer period of time and enhance its flavor by seasoning it with salt.

It does not matter if you prepare salmon for storing or eating for dinner, salting will always help.

Simply fillet some salmon, sprinkle it with salt, and lay it out on a tray.

This method also enhances the salmon’s umami flavor by naturally removing superfluous moisture.

Next up, simply wash the fillets under running water to get rid of the salt and pat them dry. 

Guidelines to Store Raw Salmon in the Fridge

guidelines in storing salmon

 Remember, it is always better to store raw salmon in the freezer.

But, if you buy frozen salmon, you can thaw it first and store it in the fridge in case you plan to cook it soon.

For this, simply get a large plastic bag and place your fillet in it. Then, seal it while making sure you do not leave any air in it. 

Understand that removing the air from the bag is critical.

To do it properly, you can use the following technique:

  • Take a large bowl and fill it with water.
  • Take the plastic bag while making sure the seal is still open.
  • Lower the bag into the bowl.
  • Keep dipping the bagged salmon and it will get the air out.
  • Stop lowering the bag when the water is close to the seal.
  • Now, seal the bag and store it in the fridge.

When storing salmon, remember that it requires refrigeration at a temperature of 32F.

Since the average temperature in a household refrigerator is 38F, this is not always the best environment for storing raw salmon.

Tip: A good idea to store salmon in the fridge is to place it on top of a roasting pan filled with ice cubes. 

Buy Fresh Salmon for an Extended Shelf Life

buy a fresh salmon

No matter how careful you are with storage guidelines, you will not be able to make your salmon last long if it was not fresh to start with.

Buying the best quality salmon is essential if you want it to retain its flavor for a long time. How do you identify fresh salmon? 

Well, look for its color, texture, and smell.

The freshest salmon fillets will have a vibrant orange hue and plenty of white marbling.

There should be some firmness when you touch the fillet. If a salmon fillet has a dry, chalky appearance, or if you see any cracks, or “flaking” of flesh, it is best to avoid it.

Tip: To get the freshest salmon, you may want to avoid buying it from the grocery store and order it from the fisherman instead. 

Reasons to Avoid Eating Spoiled Salmon

the reason to avoid salmon

You may have already understood the fact that salmon usually lasts a couple of days at best in the fridge.

Any longer than this, and you may have spoiled salmon on your hand.

The problem is that not many people are equipped with the knowledge to tell if salmon has already gone bad.

Therefore, you should need to play it safe and discard it if it has been in the fridge for 48 hours or longer.

Yes, it may or may not be bad, but you should not take any chances.

The reason is that both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria can grow and contaminate your salmon.

Pathogens can be extremely dangerous and cause serious issues.

But, even non-pathogens have the potential to cause digestive problems, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
the reason to avoid

Sometimes, it can lead to allergic reactions, which can cause issues, such as:

  • Swelling of the lips, throat, and face
  • Hives
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rashes
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing

Pathogens can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, resulting in dehydration and hypotension. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure.

Tip: Be sure to avoid fish that looks slimy or has signs of flaking, and always buy raw fish from someone who handles it with clean hands. 


How long can I keep raw salmon in the fridge? Well, it depends on how fresh the salmon was when you first bought it from the store.

But, ultimately, the temperature matters a lot, and it is never ideal in your fridge.

Nevertheless, you can keep raw salmon for up to 24-48 hours in the fridge. Be sure to discard it if you notice any signs of spoilage.