How Long Can Smoked Salmon Sit Out?

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This information might interest you if you’re planning a party or want to know how long you can keep smoked salmon out. So, how long can smoked salmon sit out? The general rule is that it should only be kept at room temperature for a short time.

This is because smoked salmon is perishable and can quickly spoil if left in the open air for too long. The bacteria that cause food poisoning can grow in hours, making it dangerous to consume.

So, it’s best to keep it refrigerated until ready to serve. And, if you’re serving smoked salmon at an outdoor event on a hot day, it’s essential to keep it in a cooler and leave it out for only an hour.

So, below we have a quick rundown on the shelf life of smoked salmon!

How long can smoked salmon sit out

How Long Can Smoked Salmon Sit Out?

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), smoked salmon can sit out for no more than 2 hours before it needs to be refrigerated or discarded. The FDA states, “Perishable foods, such as seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, can become dangerous to eat if left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.”

The temperature range between 40°F to 140°F is known as the “Danger Zone,” and it’s the temperature range in which bacteria grow most quickly.

How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last After Opened?

Smoked salmon has a longer shelf life than other types of salmon due to the smoking process, which only slows down, not eliminates, the growth of bacteria.

Once opened, smoked salmon should be consumed within 3 to 7 days if stored properly in the refrigerator.

To extend its shelf life, follow these steps:

  • Store the smoked salmon in its original packaging or wrap it tightly and adequately in plastic wrap. You can also use aluminum foil.
  • Keep it below 40°F (4°C) in the refrigerator.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by using a clean knife or utensils each time you serve the salmon.
  • Discard the smoked salmon immediately if you notice any spoilage, such as a strong, fishy odor or discoloration.

It’s best to consume the smoked salmon within a week of opening, as its flavor and texture may deteriorate over time. If you notice any off odors or flavors, or if the fish appears slimy or discolored, it’s best to discard it as these are signs of spoilage.

How To Tell If Smoked Salmon Is Bad?

Here are some signs to look out for to determine if smoked salmon has gone bad:

Smell: Smoked salmon should have a mild, salty, and smoky aroma. If it has a strong or rancid odor, it’s likely past its prime.

Texture: Fresh smoked salmon should be firm and slightly moist. It may have gone bad if it’s slimy or feels slippery to the touch.

Appearance: Look for any signs of discoloration, such as a gray or yellow tinge, which can indicate spoilage. The flesh should also be uniform in color and not have any brown or black spots.

Taste: If unsure, take a small bite of the smoked salmon. If it has a rancid or sour taste, it’s likely no longer safe to eat.

If you have any doubts about the freshness of your smoked salmon, it’s best to discard it and err on the side of caution. Consuming spoiled fish can cause food poisoning and other serious health problems.

What does smoked salmon taste like

Factors Affecting The Shelf Life Of Smoked Salmon

Temperature, humidity, exposure to air, and packaging type are prominent factors that can affect the smoked salmon’s shelf life. By following good storage practices and paying attention to these factors, you can help to increase the shelf life of smoked salmon.

Smoked salmon should be kept packaged for as long as feasible, and its shelf life can increase.

Recommended safe storage time for smoked salmon

  • At room temperature: Storing smoked salmon at room temperature is not recommended because it can cause the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause spoilage.
  • In the refrigerator: Smoked salmon should not be left at room temperature and stored in the fridge.
  • In the freezer: While it is possible to freeze smoked salmon, the texture and flavor may change due to the freezing process. If you decide to freeze smoked salmon, consuming it within 3 to 4 months is best.
How to freeze smoked salon

How to Freeze Smoked Salmon?

Here’s how you can freeze smoked salmon:

Wrap the salmon: Wrap the smoked salmon tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. You can also place the salmon in an airtight freezer-safe bag.

Label the salmon: Label the salmon with the date it was frozen to track how long it has been in the freezer.

Place in the freezer: Place the wrapped salmon in the freezer, making sure it’s as flat as possible, so it freezes evenly.

Thawing: When ready to use the frozen salmon, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw. It’s best to thaw it slowly over a day or two to help maintain its texture and flavor.

Using the salmon: Once it has thawed, eat it immediately. Do not refreeze thawed salmon.

Following these steps, you can freeze smoked salmon and enjoy it later. Monitor the date and consume it within 3 to 4 months for best results. When you’re ready to use the frozen salmon, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator and not at room temperature, as this will help to reduce the risk of spoilage.


In short, smoked salmon should not sit out for more than 2 hours at room temperature due to the risk of spoilage and foodborne illness. Smoked salmon should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to extend its shelf life. To freeze smoked salmon, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. The recommended safe storage time for smoked salmon in the refrigerator is 3- 7 days after opening. To determine if smoked salmon is bad, look for signs of spoilage, such as a strong fishy odor, slimy texture, or discoloration. Smoked salmon has a rich, salty, and smoky flavor. When thawing frozen salmon, it’s best to do so slowly in the refrigerator.


What Does Smoked Salmon Taste Like?

Smoked salmon has a rich, smoky flavor with a slightly salty taste. The texture of smoked salmon is typically silky and flaky.

What Happens If I Eat Smoked Salmon That Has Been Sitting Out For Too Long?

If you eat smoked salmon that has been sitting out for too long, you risk food poisoning and other serious health problems. Some symptoms of food poisoning from consuming spoiled salmon include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

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About author
I love enjoying good food. Since you can't always find good food in the middle of nowhere. I've been on a mission to learn all I can about pairing multi-faceted flavors together and cooking delicious food myself. Founder of flavrstream.
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