How To Tell If Fish Is Bad: 6 Easy Ways to Determine

One of the most confusing food questions is, “How To Tell If Fish Is Bad?”

This is a question that many people ask in their kitchen, and it’s not one that we can give a straight answer to because there are multiple factors to consider.

The reason why it’s important to check if fish is spoiled or not is that if you consume a piece of fish that’s not good, you’ll get sick.

This article will show you how to tell if fish has gone bad, how long it last in the fridge, and what happens if you consume bad fish.

How To Tell If Fish Is Bad?

There are a few ways to tell if fish is bad:

1. Smell

The first thing you can do is smell the fish, and it’s a good idea to get into the habit of smelling your food before you cook it.

If the fish smells terrible and you have no idea why or how that happened, you should not eat it.

You would be better off throwing out the fish and getting a new one. There are some cases where there may be no noticeable odor, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t spoiled.

2. Appearance

The next thing that you can do is check to see if the color of the fish has changed, either in potency or shade. If there is any indication that it has gone bad, then you should not eat it.

Some examples are that the flesh inside has turned gray, there is green slime on the fish, and possibly white film on the meat.

If you are eating browned fish and notice that it’s suddenly become a darker shade of brown, then it’s probably time to throw it away.

Of course, there are some cases where even though something has gone bad in appearance, that doesn’t mean that it cannot be saved for consumption.

How To Tell If Fish Is Bad
How To Tell If Fish Is Bad

3. Texture

The next thing that you can do is feel the fish. This can be done by poking it with a fork or even just your finger, but if you feel any wiggle, you should not eat it. You should be able to tell if your fish is spoiled or bad from the way that it feels in your hand.

You shouldn’t have any wiggle, and if your fish has a slimy texture, then you should throw it away immediately because there could be bacteria inside of it, and that’s what causes the sliminess.

4. Color

If you think your fish’s color has changed, it may have spoiled. Some cases where this could happen are when the flesh inside has turned brown or even black, and there is no way to salvage it.

If you’ve noticed a discoloration in the skin, then this is another sign that the fish might have spoiled. If your fish is pink or red and looks dark rather bright, then you should throw it away because harmful bacteria could grow on top of the meat, which would give off a bad smell and make things worse.

5. Touch

If you can, then try to touch the fish. If there is slime or slimy, you should throw it away. This can happen if your food was frozen or if you left the fish out and it thawed, both of which are not good.

Some signs that your fish might have gone bad can be foam or mold on top of it; this is a big sign not to eat the fish and throw it away immediately.

6. Expiration Date

The last thing that you can do is check for an expiration date on the fish, especially if it’s a type of meat that doesn’t require refrigeration.

If there is an expiry date on the fish, then that would be a good indication that it’s spoiled and you should not eat it

How To Tell If Fish is Bad ~ Educational | Tips and Techniques.

How Long Does Fish Last In The Fridge?

Fish will generally last in the fridge for 1-2 days, depending on the type of fish and how it has been stored.

Freshly caught fish will generally last a little longer than fish that has been previously frozen. Fish can last in the freezer for several months, depending on the type of fish and how it has been packaged.

Can You Eat Spoiled Fish If You Cook It?

If you cook the fish, then you can eat it even if it’s spoiled, but at the same time, you should be aware of the possibility of getting food poisoning.

If you would like to test your food for bacteria, you can use a meat thermometer and ensure that the internal temperature is above 160 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.

What Happens If You Eat Fish That Has Gone Bad?

If you eat spoiled fish, then there is a chance that it could make you sick. This may not happen right away, but between 12 and 24 hours after eating the bad fish, your body might give signs that something is wrong.

The first signs that something might be wrong are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms might be even more severe if a person is already suffering from a protein deficiency.


There are some factors to consider when trying to determine if fish is bad, but based on this article, you should be able to tell if it’s spoiled or not. If you start getting sick from the fish or if your fish has signs of spoilage, then throw it away immediately.

One of the most important things that you can do is just smell the fish before cooking it and make sure that there is nothing wrong with it. If you are unsure about something, then don’t eat it and get something new that is a little fresher.

Thanks for reading this article on “How To Tell If Fish Is Bad?” I hope that you have a good time reading my blog.

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Hello! I'm Naznin Aktar, the food enthusiast and recipe curator at Naznin's Kitchen. Want to turn everyday ingredients into extraordinary dishes? Explore Naznin's Kitchen for a collection of recipes that are sure to inspire your inner chef and delight your loved ones.
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