Just like other foods, salmon is perishable. However, its durability is mainly dependent on how you store it. You must keep fresh salmon in a fridge or freezer to retain its freshness. If you don’t have the appliances to do that, you can smoke your salmon for it to last long. Besides, it is one of the cheapest options out there.
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Does Smoked Salmon Go Bad?
Yes, smoked salmon go bad but after some time. Depending on where you store, it may even last for months. So if you’re wondering about smoked salmon safety, it lasts between 1-2 weeks when stored under normal conditions. However, exposing it to high humidity or dump places could hasten its expiry.
Always ensure you store it in a cool, dry pantry or shelf with no direct exposure to sunlight or heat source. Additionally, keeping smoked salmon in a fridge or freezer can assure you months of freshness. You can also get between six and nine months of freshness when kept in a freezer.
How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last?
Smoked salmon comes in different stages and durability levels. In the introductory stages, you may think that all smoked salmon is the same. However, that is not the case. All smoked salmon don’t last the obvious two to three weeks after packaging.
Even though typical smoked salmon has a shelf life of 21 days, there are advanced smoking options that excellently boost salmons’ durability. For instance, honey smoked salmon lasts for 90 days when kept under normal conditions and unopened.
Also, popular brands like the Sea Bear’s smoked salmon boast a shelf life of 4 years, of course, if the package stays intact. However, we believe that you wouldn’t want to keep a salmon package unopened in the house for that long. For the sake of extremely weird cases, expert packagers have made it possible for smoked salmons to last long.
For your convenience and easy remembrance, all smoked salmons come with an expiry date on their packages. Thus, you don’t have to experience a challenge mastering which type lasts how long when you are shopping. The chart below shows approximate shelf-life periods of smoked salmon under different conditions;
|Up to 21 days||Up to 9 months||Up to 7 weeks|
|Fresh salmon||Up to 5 days||Up to 8 months||
|Up to 2 days||7-9 months||
Up to 1 week
4 Tips to Tell If Smoked Salmon Has Gone Bad
As we mentioned earlier, it is common for smoked salmon to go bad. Therefore, it would be best if you mastered the different techniques of identifying spoilt salmon at your fingertips. Luckily enough, it is pretty straightforward telling whether smoked salmon is safe for consumption or not. Here are some of our tips:
- Always look for visual cues on the salmon: – We insist on this because it can develop molds, especially when you have opened the package and stored it for more than seven days. Consuming molded salmon can have adverse effects on your general health. Even worse, it is riskier and more dangerous to people with an allergy to mold.
- Look out for is the change of color and the presence of a slime: – Whenever you notice large areas of the salmon changing their original color, it is an indication that the salmon is spoilt. In many scenarios, the salmon turns dull or greenish, depending on the storage conditions. In whatever conditions, significant color changes should ring an alarm. However, minimal discolorations on some parts of the smoked salmon are normal. Thus, you always be keen when using this method.
- Check for a change in smell: – Salmon enthusiasts usually know how fresh smoked salmon smells like. An odd smell emanating from the fridge or pantry could indicate that the salmon has exceeded its shelf life. Remember that, for any food to taste great, the smell is always a top consideration. If the salmon has an awful odor, you can be sure that it won’t taste nice when cooked.
- Check the ‘best before’ tag on the salmon package to judge its freshness: – When your salmon has gone beyond its usage dates by at least seven days, it is high time you discard it. Even though it might still be okay for usage, consuming it within the printed dates assures your great taste.
Tips to Store Smoked Salmon
You can influence how long smoked salmon stays fresh in many ways. Interestingly, some brands stay fresh only for countable days while others last years.
However, the most common way to extend the smoked salmon’s freshness period is by storing it well. There are numerous modern and old-school methods that allow you to consume the salmon even beyond its expiration dates. And for that reason, here we will offer you a few tips on how best to store your smoked salmon.
- Keep the package unopened: – Most smoked salmons come in vacuum-sealed packages that do not require any special storage attention. As long as the package stays unopened, the salmon will stay fresh. However, you should keep the package in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. A perfect place to store the salmon would be the pantry or your kitchen shelf. Provided the room temperature is leveled, and air circulation assured, the salmon will stay fresh for a good time. However, note that the package must stay unopened for the best result.
- Store in the fridge: – If the vacuum seal in the package is broken, the smoked salmon won’t stay fresh for long. So, it would be best if you kept the leftovers in a fridge. Note that you should remove the leftovers from the original package and wrap them properly using a decent seal. However, if you are short of seals, you can use plastic bags to wrap the salmon. Wrapping the leftovers helps contain the moisture and smell. Besides, no one would love the whole fridge smelling like smoked salmon.
- Keep it in the freezer: – Since the fridge is only suitable for guarding smoked salmon for quite a short period. If you want to keep your smoked salmon fresh for months, you should keep it in a freezer to keep it fresh for three months or even more. However, this storage method is ideal for people who purchase their stock in bulk and don’t regularly shop.
Freezing can be short-term or long-term. When you expect to remove the salmon from the freezer after some days, you can freeze it as packaged. However, if the freezing is long-term, you might need to portion the salmon and place each piece in a separate freezer bag
Besides, it might be a tiresome task cutting out a portion from the whole salmon each time you need it. Remember to squeeze as much air as possible from the freezer bags before putting them in the freezer. Additionally, you should seal the bags tightly and stick tags for easy identification.
That said, it is worth noting that not all companies sell their smoked salmon refrigerated. In such scenarios, you should be keen on reading the packaging instructions. If the packaging states that you can store the smoked salmon conveniently at room temperature, there is no need to freeze it.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Smoked Salmon
There are various health risks associated with consuming expired smoked salmon. The contamination levels in expired salmon are quite high. Consequently, you can easily suffer stomach problems brought about by food poisoning. Contamination can occur during any stage of storage.
Further, expired smoked salmon is likely to contain high levels of harmful bacterium known as listeria. It is generally impossible to lack traces of this bacterium, even on freshly smoked salmon. However, fresh salmon contains relatively low levels that can’t cause significant harm to your body. The toxic levels of the bacterium continue increasing the expiry date approaches. You should be wary of the listeria infection and avoid it as much as possible.
The presence of the bacterium in the fish is caused by less heat during cold smoking. Besides, the salmon is not well cooked by heat during the smoking process to allow it to produce the characteristic delicate texture that salmon enthusiasts love. However, hot smoking kills all the bacteria, making it safe for your consumption.
Additionally, expired smoked salmon could cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset. It is not worth taking the risk as the treatment costs could escalate to higher figures. We always advise people to discard the smoked salmon when they notice alarming signs or when it has passed its expiration date.
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
Salmon is among the most perishable meats on the market. Thankfully, smoked salmon can be frozen to extend its durability. Smoked salmon oxidizes much slower than fresh ones; thus, it can stay in the freezer much longer without expiring. Besides, freezing smoked salmon is a logical way of increasing its freshness durability.
Though smoked salmon holds up extremely fine in the freezer, you need to exercise lots of attention when freezing it. Following the right criteria boosts the salmon in maintaining its color, flavor, and texture. Further, it determines how well your smoked salmon will freeze.
Smoked salmon has unsaturated fatty acids, commonly referred to as Omega-3, in excess. Though very crucial to your health, fats are more prone to oxidation. When the oxygen mixes with the fats, they create unpleasant fish flavors that can cause repulsion. To avoid this, ensure that you expose the salmon to as little oxygen as possibly practical. Interestingly, you can achieve this simply by keeping salmon in air-tight bags.
Also, it would be best if you froze the smoked salmon in the early stages of its freshness to assure you of extended periods of brilliance. However, freezing the salmon on the brink of expiring might end up you with potentially rancid results.
Smoked salmon, just like any other fish type, is highly perishable. Depending on the storage conditions, it can go bad after some days or stay fresh for many months. Hopefully, you’ll find this article helpful because it discusses in depth the various ways you can use to maximize the freshness period of your smoked salmon.