How To Tell If Salmon Is Bad – 6 Signs

What’s not to like in a salmon? You can eat it raw or cooked. When it’s a staple food in your kitchen, you may want to keep the salmon fresh to avoid any health risks. Food poisoning is a dire circumstance that you may face when you ingest a bad salmon.

The easiest way to tell if a food is bad is always to check the label in its packaging. Look for the “expiration date” or “consume before date” to make sure that your food is still good to eat. Further, to avoid the risk of eating bad salmon, here are some tips and indicators that you should look out for before eating it.
So, how to tell if raw salmon is bad?

Foul Odor

When buying salmon, you can tell that it has already gone bad when it has a strong smell. A little sniff, and you can already know that it has gone bad by its foul odor. If it smells like ammonia, don’t buy it.

A fresh salmon has a mild scent like that of an ocean. Sometimes, it doesn’t have any scent at all.

Grey Skin and Slimy Coating

Take a good look at the salmon if its color is pink or orange. A good salmon has a vibrant color. If a salmon is greyish at the store, even if it doesn’t have that foul smell, the chances are it has already gone bad. On top of this, you can observe a slimy coating on its texture. Take note that a good salmon is moist but not slimy. You may also observe molds on some parts of the fish that look like black or green spots.

Clay Like Flesh

Do a quick finger test. Press the salmon if its flesh would bounce back. If yes, it is still a good salmon. A bad salmon will feel like its meat is falling apart. When you press a bad salmon, it creates a dent in its flesh. A bad salmon is comparable to a lump of clay.

Discolored eyes

A fresh salmon has bright or clear eyes and slightly bulging from sockets. If you can observe that it has cloudy eyes, bacteria have started to grow already on the fish– a sign that the salmon is not fresh and not safe to consume. You may also observe that there is redness or discoloration around its eyes.

No Clear White Lines

A fresh salmon has defined white lines running through its flesh. Meanwhile, a grey line all over its body indicates that it is already harmful and not safe to eat.

Sour or Off-Taste

Knowing what a bad salmon tastes like can be a disturbing experience. Don’t attempt to cook it when you have established that a salmon has any of the signs stated earlier. Throw them immediately.

When you take a bite on your salmon and taste overly fishy, this is already a bad salmon. It may also taste sour or moldy, which is not how a fresh salmon should taste.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Salmon?

Food poisoning symptoms can escalate quickly after a few minutes or even a day right after you consume them. Often, food poisoning has the following symptoms:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Tummy or abdominal ache (or stomach cramps)
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fever

These symptoms can be experienced within minutes after eating a bad salmon but can last several days if not treated. If the discomfort does not go away after two days, seek medical advice as soon as possible. The doctor may order several tests to know the cause of why you develop such symptoms.

You may feel dehydrated from severe diarrhea and vomiting. In extreme cases, food poisoning can even cause death.

How to Tell If Smoked Salmon Is Bad

Who doesn’t want to eat food that won’t require you any preparation but is also tasty? In this case, smoked salmon is your go-to salmon dish.

Smoked salmon are strips of salmon that are cured with either hot or cold smoke. It can last for a more extended period of one to two weeks than a raw salmon. So, with this said, does smoked salmon still go bad? Yes, it does. Even smoked salmon still spoils after a long time.

Of course, its life would always depend on how you store it. Usually, a packed smoked salmon would last up to two weeks when stored at a cool temperature or inside your refrigerator. Once opened, it can only last up to a week.

Check the Expiry Date

Before consuming any food, the expiry date as printed on its label, it’s always safe to rely on these dates to avoid any untoward food poisoning. Although some may argue that you can still eat food past their expiry date, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Moldy Texture

A smoked salmon should not appear moldy when it is still inside its packaging. You may observe green or dark spots in some parts.

It Tastes Off and Smells Off

The moment you open its packaging, and it smells too fishy, it may have been already gone bad. If it smells bad, it will also taste bad. As salmon is known for its mild scent, an off smell is already a red flag for you to throw away your smoked salmon.

Storage Tips on How to Store Salmon

Salmon can cost a little extra than other fishes that you can find in a grocery store or the market. Here are some tips on how to properly store your salmon so that your money won’t go to waste.

Store Inside A Refrigerator

Keep your salmon inside a refrigerator to keep it fresh and last for 1 to 2 days. But before you store it inside your refrigerator, make sure that it is washed thoroughly with water, pat dry, and wrap tightly, or you may keep it in an air-tight container. Just like any other fish, an unrefrigerated raw salmon would only last for two hours before it gets bad.

Store Inside A Freezer

If you still can’t consume your salmon after two days, transfer these to your freezer to avoid spoilage. When frozen, it can last for up to three months. However, you must note that the longer your salmon stays inside your freezer, its quality lessens over time.

Order Vacuum-Sealed Salmon

If you can foresee that you may stock the salmon longer than expected, a fresh vacuum-sealed salmon then placed in a freezer may last up to eight months. You will be surprised that when you cook it, it will still taste fresh.

We all want fresh salmon, don’t we? Ideally, when you buy a raw salmon, it is advised that you cook it within two hours to have that fresh taste still.

Take note that when you’re in doubt if the salmon is still fresh or not, look for any of the signs listed above and don’t attempt to eat it. Food poisoning is severe and may cost you more money if you happen to ingest a bad salmon.