Food preservation

How to Tell If Salmon Is Bad

Salmon is one of the world’s healthiest foods. Not only is it tasty but just like any other white meat, eating Salmon is one of the simplest and best ways to improve your health and provide your body with crucial nutrients.

Salmon supplies minerals such as zinc, phosphorous, iron, and niacin as well as vitamins like vitamin B6 and B12, in addition to containing healthy fats.

Salmon is full of protein which is not only important in rebuilding and repairing cells in the body, it also provides essential amino acids without which the body may not function properly.


In fact, protein is one of the three key most important components of a healthy diet and for a well-functioning body.

Salmon is full of Selenium, which is a mineral that helps your thyroid to function properly as well as boost your immune system.

It also has antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals which are harmful chemicals produced in response to aging, pollution, and other external contaminants.

An ounce of Salmon contains 44 micrograms which are essential for the body.

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Salmon also contains phosphorous, a mineral that works well with calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth as well as ensure the proper functioning of kidneys and nerves.

Many health practitioners recommend having at least 700 milligrams of phosphorus per day.

Eating Salmon will provide you with the right amount of phosphorus for your bodily needs.

Salmon also contains potassium which helps with the functioning of your muscles, promoting a healthy digestive system and keeping your heart healthy.

Being an ocean creature, Salmon also contains sodium which ensures proper blood flow and the health of your nervous system.

Topping up on all the amazing health benefits of Salmon is the fact that it contains healthy fats.

Salmon is a source of unsaturated fats that are healthy types of fats that can help you protect your health.

Healthy fats are important in normalizing heartbeats and reduce inflammation.

For instance, three ounces of Salmon supply at least 4.9 milligrams of unsaturated fats that are healthy for your heart.

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How does it smell?


Just like any other type of food, the smell is a strong indicator of the freshness or staleness of food.  First, you must learn how to use the sense of smell as a pointer to food.

It is important to note that even when fresh, fish always smells ‘fishy’. The smell is usually salty, mildly, and ‘smells of the sea’.

However, when Salmon starts rotting, protein in the fish start to decompose due to the actions of bacteria and parasites.

This makes the smell start changing significantly to that of a sour smell just like ammonia.

The smell may be quite pungent and piercing to the nose. Salmon that is completely rotten will also have a very nasty smell, and you will not even want to taste it.

Using your intuition, you can be able to notice Salmon which is bad.

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How Does Bad Salmon Taste and Look?


Our eyes are the best and most efficient senses we have.

At its freshest and best state, Salmon is appealing to the eye and appetizing whether cooked or raw.

The flesh of the fish should appear pinkish with very fine white lines, with the fat in the animal running through it. Salmon that looks like this is safe for consumption and fresh.

Salmon that is bad on the other hand, is duller in color as opposed to its rosy and pinkish color. In fact, the bad salmon has a greyish color which is a strong indicator of its bad state.

If you have bought a whole Salmon, consider checking its eyes and the color of its skin. Ideally, healthy Salmon should have large eyes with a dark pupils, while bulging outwards a little.

What Happens When you Eat Bad Salmon?


However, if the Salmon’s eyes appear whitish or slimy, the fish has become rotten. Also check whether the eyes appear sunken, as this is a key pointer of whether the fish has gone bad.

Eating bad salmon can lead to food poisoning since the food will be full of pathogens and bacteria. Some of the symptoms of food poisoning include headache, diarrhea, blurred vision, flushed skin, and itchiness.

If you are a fan of the whole salmon, you should also consider checking if the gills of the fish are well-cleaned.

When the gills are extremely sticky, too white or appear stringy, it could be a strong pointer that the fish is not safe for consumption.

Also evaluate the fish keenly to see if there are any mold, any unusual residues or discoloration on the fish.

If you find any of these, throw it away as it is not safe for eating. Dark spots on your fish are also an indicator that the fish is probably not safe for consumption.

If you are also purchasing Salmon from the store, check for expiry and manufacturing dates. If the fish is past its date, do not consume it as it is probably bad.

If you are not sure, inquire whether the fish is safe for consumption. If it does not look and smell good, it most likely isn’t.

How it feels


Touching your fish is another way of finding out whether the fish is okay and safe for eating. If you cannot identify whether your fish is safe for eating by smell or sight, use your fingers.

You should take the Salmon and press it down lightly, being careful not to tear it apart.

If you remove your finger and the fish springs back up, this is a good indicator that the Salmon is fresh and safe for consumption.

This is just like pressing against the flesh of your arm.

However even after pressing the fish with your fingers and it does not spring back up but rather remains dimpled, then this shows that the fish is not fresh and should not be consumed.

When you touch the fish and feel it’s very sticky or even slimy, do not consume it as the fish may have gone bad.

You certainly would not want to risk your health by consuming bad fish. Good Salmon should be firm but not fragile.

When the Salmon is frozen, check that it’s not soggy or have any liquid around it.

How to Store Salmon Correctly


If you have bought Salmon, you should store it correctly so that it doesn’t go bad. Even if there is no way to make bad fish good again, you can take precautions to ensure the fish you purchase has a longer storage life.

Here is how you should store your Salmon to ensure a longer shelf life:

Firstly, you should ensure the fish you purchase is fresh from the get-go. If possible, identify a suitable vendor from where you can purchase the freshest fish possible.

As stated above, you should use your senses of smell, sight, and touch to assess the Salmon for any signs of staleness.

Your intuition is always right and if something does not smell or look right, there is a high probability that it’s not.

If possible, always try to find out where your fish comes from and when it was caught. While this may look like a trivial matter, it is actually important.

You would probably not be comfortable to consume fish which was caught more than three months back. Always opt for fresh, recently caught fish.

When you purchase Salmon, you should consider storing it as soon as possible. Do not wait for extended periods before refrigerating the Salmon as it could go back.

If you have got the salmon from a store, it is advisable to head straight home and refrigerate it first.

When you are storing Salmon, you should consider packing it suitable plastic wraps then storing them in packaging that can be re-sealed, then tighten it to make sure it’s airtight.

When you have wrapped your container like this, place it in the refrigerator or freezer possibly away from other foods.

You should note that while raw Salmon can stay fresh in the fridge for two days maximum, it can remain fresh in the freezer for up to two months.

It is also advisable not to let raw salmon stay on a surface counter for more than a few minutes without proper storage.

3 Alternatives to Salmon

Tilapia Fish.


A good alternative to Salmon can be Tilapia.

This freshwater fish, while it may not look like Salmon, is tasty and nutritious just like Salmon.

It is packed with numerous nutrients and vitamins like Salmon and will offer you all the amazing health benefits that the former does.



Another alternative would be tuna. Just like salmon, this is a sea fish and tastes just as great as Salmon does.

Especially if you prefer canned Salmon, canned Tuna would be a great alternative as they are more widely available compared to Salmon.

Red Herring.


You can also consider taking red herring as a good alternative to Salmon. Just like the latter, red herring fish has a wide array of nutritional benefits that Salmon has.

Red herring fish is also widely available in the market and is also an affordable option.


That you are more aware of how to tell whether Salmon is good or not, and how to check for fresh and stale Salmon, you are better able to identify and make the right choices.

Do not consume bad salmon as it can be very dangerous to your health.

Even as you prepare your favorite Salmon dish, use the freshest Salmon, and make the best recipes.

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