Salmon, with its rich, fatty flesh and large flakes of meat, makes for a tasty, fast-to-make and nutritious meal. However, improper storage of salmon increases your risk of being exposed to dangerous pathogens, which can cause food-borne illness. Being aware of several identifying factors can help you avoid bad or spoiled salmon, minimizing your chances of contracting a food-borne illness.

In some cases, harmful bacteria can be present on salmon without any visible signs of spoilage. These bacteria can lead to unpleasant, or in some cases, dangerous, food-borne illnesses. To avoid possible exposure to these pathogens — which you can’t see or test for personally — only purchase salmon from a reputable purveyor. Buy from only from a supermarket or seafood market, as these places must follow strict testing and food safety protocols.

Safe storage is key to reducing the chances of fresh salmon spoilage. To safely store salmon, keep it in the refrigerator and:

  • Store fresh salmon in the fridge immediately after purchasing.

  • Cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for no more than 2 days after purchasing.

  • Packaged fresh salmon will last for only 1 to 2 days after the best before date printed on the package.

For longer term storage, store fresh salmon in the freezer following these tips:

  • Wrap the salmon well in moisture-proof paper, plastic wrap or in a sealed plastic bag.

  • Store for no more than 6 to 9 months past the best before date printed on the package.