By Dana Poblete

Salmon is one of the richest and most nutritious seafood options out there—not to mention it's pretty quick and easy to make. What's not to love? Well, improper storage could ruin everything that's so great about it. Bad salmon means a higher risk of being exposed to dangerous pathogens. Being aware of several identifying factors can help you avoid bad or spoiled salmon and minimize your chances of contracting a food-borne illness.

Raw salmon on the wooden board
credit: AlexPro9500/iStock/GettyImages
Raw salmon

In some cases, harmful bacteria can be present on salmon without any visible signs of spoilage. These bacteria can lead to unpleasant, sometimes dangerous, food-borne illnesses. That's why you should only purchase salmon from a reputable purveyor like a supermarket or seafood market, which must follow strict testing and food-safety protocols.

Safe storage is key to reducing the chances of spoilage. Here are some tips:

  • Store fresh salmon in the refrigerator immediately after purchasing.

  • Cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for no more than two days after purchasing.

  • Packaged fresh salmon lasts for only 1 to 2 days after the "best before" date.

  • Store salmon in the freezer for longer term storage. Wrap the salmon well in moisture-proof paper, plastic wrap, or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Store in the freezer for no more than six to nine months past the "best before" date.