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In this post, I am going to discuss how to tell if Salmon is Bad to eat. Salmon is a fish that may appeal to people who say they don’t like fish. But, unlike any other fish, it has a unique taste. A rich, meaty dish like this could get people to leave behind their chicken, beef, or pork eating habits for a while. A salmon is a saltwater fish that is native to Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and California. The versatile nature of salmon makes it ideal for many preparations, including poaching, grilling, roasting, broiling, smoking, or pickling. In addition, their presence can be found in salads and tartare, burgers, and pasta.


Types of Salmon 

Pink salmon is the first type of salmon. This type of salmon is called humpy due to the large hump they develop near the spawning season. Around this time, males also start developing hooked noses. 

The following species is the dog salmon, which developed camouflage patterns and hooked noses during the mating season. 

The next species on the list is the silver salmon. In addition to its narrower tail and white gums, the dog salmon sockeye is smaller and has smaller pupils than other salmon.


Lastly, we have king salmon. This species of salmon is quite significant. In most ways, they are similar to coho, except for their size. 

Why is it Important to Spot Bad Salmon?

“How to tell if Salmon is Bad”, is a basic question for people who generally prepare salmon at home. Never eat any meat or fish that has gone bad, has been left out, or has been improperly refrigerated. You may develop mild illnesses such as a tummy ache or even severe ones such as parasitical infections such as trichinosis after you consume contaminated food.
When fish or meat is not properly stored- whether by the producers, stores, or you- it leads to bacteria and parasites spreading like wildfire. Salmon cooked in its natural state might get rid of some of the germs, but other germs will remain in the fish, along with the toxins it produces, to make you sick.


How to Tell if Salmon is Bad

Checking salmon’s freshness and finding out if it’s safe to consume involves many different methods. Here are some things that give an answer to your question, ” How to tell if Salmon is Bad”?

  • Odor:

Our first check before eating or cooking anything is usually aroma. However, it is pretty challenging to find out when it comes to fish. If we talk about the aroma of salmon, if it is safe, it always smells fresh and reminds you of the sea. On the other hand, if the salmon smells sour, you should discard it. It will taste like ammonia when it is bad. This is because while salmon decomposes, ammonia-like substances are produced.

  • Visual Signs:

You will find a fresh salmon pink in color. Discoloration or dryness should not be present. There is usually a white sticky residue on bad salmon, especially near or around the gills. 

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  • Firmness:

Salmon that recovers after being pressed firmly is suitable for eating. However, it is not a good indication if pressing leaves a mark on salmon or does not restore its shape.  

  • Eyes:

The eyes of salmon should always be clear and live. As a result, black-eye salmon is usually a sign that a fish has outlived its utility. 

  • Shiny:

The best salmon should always shine. From the moment you see it, your cut should be clean and metallic.

  • Gills:

Check the color under the gills. Ideally, it should be ruby red. Furthermore, you can eat it until it turns pink. After that, the color usually turns into brown, grey, or eventually black. The color of your salmon shows that it’s spoiled and also knows how to tell if Salmon is Bad. 

How Should Salmon Be Stored?

  • All salmon should be refrigerated between 0˚C – 4˚C.
  • To ensure fresh salmon is safe to eat, use it within two days of purchase.
  •  Use smoked salmon by the date on the package. Be sure to handle and store the product appropriately, refrigerate between 0˚C – 4˚C and consume within 72 hours of opening.
  • Refrigerate any unused fresh salmon in a freezer bag or a vacuum-sealed bag. The fresh salmon should be marked with a date, and it can be stored in the freezer for 3 months.
  • If you want to preserve the highest quality of smoked salmon, you should not freeze it.
  • You can defrost fresh salmon by placing it in a refrigerator overnight after it has been frozen.

I hope this article proves to be helpful for you and clearly answers your question, ” How to tell if Salmon is Bad”.


Bottom Line

Maintaining the quality of your salmon is paramount for a healthy and enjoyable dining experience. By understanding the signs of spoilage, you can confidently select fresh salmon, whether from the market or your local fishmonger. Paying attention to visual cues, such as color and texture, as well as detecting any off-putting odors, ensures that your salmon dishes are not only delicious but also safe to consume. As you savor the nutritional benefits of this omega-3-rich fish, let this guide serve as your ally in creating a healthy meal that nourishes both body and palate.



How can I tell if salmon is spoiled by smell?

Spoiled salmon emits a distinct, pungent odor that is often described as sour, ammonia-like, or fishy in an unpleasant way. Fresh salmon should have a clean, sea-like scent.

What color should fresh salmon be?

Fresh salmon should have a vibrant, pink-orange hue. Any changes in color, such as dullness or browning, can indicate spoilage.

Can I eat salmon after the expiration date if it smells okay?

It’s not recommended to consume salmon after its expiration date, even if it appears and smells fine. The expiration date is a crucial guideline for food safety, and consuming expired products poses risks.

Is it safe to eat salmon with a slimy texture?

A slimy texture on salmon is a strong indicator of spoilage. Fresh salmon should have a smooth, moist surface. If it feels slimy or slippery, it’s best to discard it to avoid potential health risks.

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