How Long Does Tuna Last in the Fridge?

Have you ever asked yourself, “How long does tuna last in the fridge?” It’s a common question in many households, especially for those who love this versatile, nutritious fish. Whether it’s canned, fresh, or cooked into a tuna salad, understanding its shelf life is essential for maintaining both its taste and safety.

The Importance of Proper Storage

Storing tuna properly is crucial for preserving its freshness and preventing spoilage. An opened canned tuna can last for a few days in the fridge, while fresh tuna may only stay good for one to two days. But don’t worry! With the right storage methods, you can extend the life of your tuna, ensuring that your favorite recipes are never out of reach.

3 Key Takeaways

  • Proper storage is essential for extending the shelf life of tuna, with opened canned tuna lasting 3-4 days in the fridge, and fresh tuna lasting 1-2 days, or up to two months if stored in the freezer.
  • Tuna salad, when stored in an airtight container in the fridge, can last between 3-5 days, but should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Recognizing when tuna has gone bad is crucial for food safety, with signs including a sour or fishy smell, a dull color, and a slimy texture.

How Long Is Canned Tuna Good for Once Opened?

Once you’ve opened a can of tuna, you’ve got about 3-4 days to enjoy it if stored in the fridge. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods. On the other hand, unopened canned tuna boasts an impressive shelf life, staying good at room temperature for a couple of years!

Fresh Tuna and its Shelf Life

Fresh tuna is a treat, but it doesn’t last as long as its canned counterpart. Once you’ve brought home fresh tuna from the store, it’s best consumed within a day or two, stored in the fridge. However, if you wrap it in duty freezer bags and store it in the freezer, it can maintain peak quality for up to two months!

Quick Tips for Storing Tuna

  • For canned tuna, keep it in a cool, dry place until it’s opened. After opening it, store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Fresh tuna should be refrigerated and consumed within a couple of days.
  • To freeze fresh tuna, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty freezer bags or airtight containers.

Varieties of Tuna and Their Shelf Life

Different types of tuna may have different shelf lives.

Albacore Tuna

Albacore, often found in canned tuna, can last up to four days in the fridge once it’s been opened and properly stored.

Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tuna, a popular choice for sushi, should be eaten as fresh as possible, typically within a day of purchase if stored in the fridge.

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna, another sushi favorite, also has a short fridge life of 1-2 days. But remember, freezing can extend this!

➡️Try this tasty recipe, Simple Tuna Poke Nachos

How to Safely Store Tuna Salad in the Fridge

Tuna salad, a mix of canned tuna, mayonnaise, and other ingredients, has a fridge life of about 3-5 days when stored in an airtight container. Remember, the fresher the ingredients you use, the longer your salad will last. Don’t leave your tuna salad at room temperature for more than two hours, as this can cause it to spoil quickly.

The Role of Olive Oil in Preserving Tuna

You might not know this, but olive oil can help preserve the flavor and texture of tuna. If you’re storing opened canned tuna in the fridge, consider covering it with a layer of olive oil in an airtight container. This creates a barrier, keeping your tuna moist and delicious until you’re ready to use it.

Signs That Your Tuna Has Gone Bad

Understanding how long tuna lasts is one thing, but knowing how to identify when it’s gone bad is equally important. Bad tuna may develop a sour or fishy smell, a dull color, and a slimy texture. When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard any tuna you suspect has spoiled.

Steps to Freeze Tuna

Freezing tuna can greatly extend its life. Here’s how:

Step 1 – Prep Your Tuna

Whether it’s fresh or cooked, make sure your tuna is completely cooled before freezing.

Step 2 – Pack It Right

Place the tuna in freezer bags or airtight containers. If you’re freezing fresh tuna, consider adding a splash of water or olive oil to prevent freezer burn.

Step 3 – Label and Freeze

Always label your tuna with the date before placing it in the freezer. This way, you’ll know how long it’s been stored.

Thawing Your Frozen Tuna

When you’re ready to use your frozen tuna, thaw it in the fridge overnight. This slow thawing process helps maintain the tuna’s texture and flavor. Remember, never refreeze tuna once it’s been thawed.

➡️Be sure to out this related article on How to Reheat Ahi Tuna

How Long Should Tuna Salad Be Kept in the Freezer?

While freezing is great for fresh or cooked tuna, tuna salad is a different story. Due to its mayonnaise content, freezing tuna salad isn’t recommended. The mayo can separate and become watery once thawed, negatively affecting the taste and texture of your salad.

Handy Hacks for Tuna Storage

  • Freeze fresh tuna in small portions, so you can thaw only what you need.
  • Adding a label with the date on your stored tuna can help keep track of its freshness.
  • Always smell and visually inspect tuna before eating, regardless of its ‘use-by’ date.

Health Benefits of Tuna Fish

Tuna fish isn’t just tasty; it’s packed with health benefits too! It’s a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Regularly including tuna in your diet can contribute to heart health, boost brain function, and even support weight loss.


So, the next time you find yourself pondering, “How long does tuna last in the fridge,” remember that proper storage is key. Whether it’s canned, fresh, or part of a tasty tuna salad, knowing how to store your tuna can make all the difference in its shelf life and quality.

While we’re on the topic of fish, have you ever wondered about the difference between Red Drum vs Black Drum? These two fish types are both popular choices for seafood enthusiasts. Stay tuned for more on that in our next article! Keep exploring, and keep enjoying the culinary delights of the sea!

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