If you've recently returned from a fishing trip with a cooler full of fresh fish, or even if you just got home from your local grocery store with a single filet, knowing how long can raw fish stay in the fridge, where, and how to store it to keep it fresh until you’re ready to prepare it is important.
Here, we're going over how to properly store raw fish in the refrigerator.
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In this article, we’ll cover:
Where Should You Store Raw Fish in a Refrigerator?
Fresh fish is susceptible to bacteria growth if there are drastic temperature fluctuations, so to avoid spoilage, it's best to place your fresh fish at the back of the fridge. Storing it toward the rear is ideal because the back of a fridge has less temperature variations than the front will.
In addition, you should store fish towards the bottom-most part of the fridge to eliminate any leakage from cross-contaminating other food items. If possible, the best place to store your raw fish is in an empty refrigerator drawer, which will keep it at the coldest temperature possible and avoid almost any possibility of cross-contamination.
Where Should You NOT Store Raw Fish in a Refrigerator?
If you have enough room, try not to store your raw fish on the same shelf as other food items. Fish is known for leaking, and if that liquid comes in contact with any other meats or vegetables, it can ruin them.
Also, storing your fish on a higher shelf in the fridge should be avoided if you can, so that any leaked juices don’t spill to the lower parts of the refrigerator.
FAQs About Storing Raw Fish
What temperature should fish be stored in a fridge?
If you're wondering, can you keep raw fish in the fridge, the answer is clearly yes, as long as it’s the right temperature. A refrigerator should ideally be set at between 35 - 38°F (1.6 - 3.3°C) for optimal cooling – although anything 40°F (4.4°C) or lower is technically acceptable.
How long does raw fish last in the fridge?
Raw fish fridge life is 2 - 5 days, which is much shorter than other meats like beef, pork, or chicken. Fresh mackerel, bluefish, and sardines are considered safe for 3 days, while you can keep fresh tuna, trout, flounder, salmon, bass, and swordfish for up to 5 days.
How do you store seafood in the fridge?
Most food safety experts suggest that you remove fish from its packaging when you get home from the store. Then, place the fish in an airtight container before storing it in the fridge. Keeping fish in a sealed container will prevent leaks, control odor, and keep bacteria away. This is a huge factor in answering the question: how long can raw fish stay in the fridge.
Where should raw meat, seafood, and poultry be stored so they don't contaminate other foods in the refrigerator?
Where do you store raw fish in a refrigerator so it's safe? Fish should be stored at the lowest point in the fridge, whether that's the bottom shelf or in an empty drawer. Place any raw meat or poultry on the shelf or shelves above the raw fish.
Regardless of the type you buy, it's important to know where you should store raw fish in a refrigerator so it stays fresh and safe until you’re ready to prepare and serve it. Not only is it necessary to keep fish in the proper place, you also want to keep it in the right container. Proper storage and placement will prevent food spoilage, illness, and cross-contamination.
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