Tuna is a very popular fish that is often cooked and served with rice. It can be eaten as an entrée or side dish, but it is also used in sandwiches and salads. Most of the time, people would eat raw tuna with dressing on it.
But today, we will discuss how long you should keep tuna salad in the fridge before it gets bad. Whether it is raw tuna salad or canned tuna salad, both of them have shelf lives that only last within a certain period. Also, we have written down the proper storage tips to keep the quality at its best.
How Long Should Tuna Salad Be Kept in the Fridge
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, tuna salad only lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. If you are looking for ways to extend the shelf life of tuna salad, then you need to know how long it lasts in the refrigerator and freezer. Since tuna salad contains mayonnaise, which has a short shelf life, you need to ensure that you do not let it stay too long in the fridge.
If you want to store it longer than usual, you can add some fresh herbs like parsley and basil. These herbs can help preserve the flavor and texture of the tuna salad. However, if you use these herbs, you need to remember to remove them from the mixture once they start losing their color.
How to Safely Store Tuna Salad in the Fridge
Here are the best things that you can do to keep the best quality and follow proper storage conditions of your tuna product:
1. The first thing you need to do when storing it is to separate the ingredients. You cannot mix all the ingredients together because this will cause the oil to leak out of the tuna product. Instead, you should divide the tuna into two portions: one portion for the salad and another portion for the dressing. This way, you can easily take out the tuna salad without having any mess.
2. Use either an airtight container, glass container with lid, or a sealed plastic container to prevent spoiled foods and leakage. It should be stored at a temperature of 39°F or below.
3. Make sure that you put the container in the back of the refrigerator. This is where cold air tends to accumulate. Cold air does not allow bacteria to grow, so it helps to keep the food safe.
4. To avoid condensation forming on the surface of the tuna salad, place a piece of paper towel over the top of the container. This prevents moisture from coming in contact with the tuna salad.
5. When using plastic containers, always label the contents clearly. This will help you identify what is inside the container later on. Labeling it with a date is also a good idea.
6. Keep the tuna salad away from other items in the refrigerator. This includes vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy products.
7. To avoid condensation forming on the surface of the tuna salad, place a piece of paper towel over the top of the container. This prevents moisture from coming in contact with the tuna salad.
8. When using plastic containers, always label the contents clearly. This will help you identify what is inside the container later on. Labeling it with a date is also a good idea.
9. Keep the tuna salad away from other items in the refrigerator. It includes vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy products.
How Long Should Tuna Salad Be Kept in the Freezer
You can freeze tuna salad for safety for up to 6 months to keep its flavor and texture. But there are still some things that you need to consider when freezing it.
1. You need to thaw the frozen tuna salad thoroughly before serving it. Thawing it is important because it allows the flavors to blend well. Frozen tuna salad tends to get lumpy after being defrosted. So, you need to work quickly when thawing it.
2. You need to ensure that the tuna salad stays cool while it is in the freezer. Otherwise, the ice crystals might form in the tuna salad. This makes it difficult to serve when ready.
3. You need to make sure that you pack the tuna salad tightly. This will minimize the amount of space between the layers of the tuna salad.
If you have toppings like grapes on your tuna salad – see how long grapes last in the fridge.
How to Store Tuna Salad in the Freezer
These are the proper steps in maintaining proper storage conditions of your salad in the freezer:
1. Use a plastic or glass airtight container.
2. Label the container clearly with the name of the recipe and the date you prepared the dish.
3. Put the container in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. Do not put it in the door because this may lead to condensation.
4. Freeze the tuna salad as soon as possible. Freeze the tuna salad in individual servings. This will help you save time when taking it out of the freezer.
5. Always write down the date you made the tuna salad. This will help you remember how long it has been in the freezer. Also, label the container clearly with the name of the recipe. This will help you find the right item when you want to use it again.
6. After a few days, check the consistency of the tuna salad. If it has become too soft, then you need to transfer it to a new container.
How to Tell if Tuna Salad Has Gone Bad
If you use canned food tuna on the recipe, there are chances that the main ingredient will get spoiled longer than fresh tuna. In addition, if you notice any signs of spoilage in your tuna salad, then you should throw it out. These include:
A strong smell
- Dark color
- Mold growing on the surface
- Changes of taste
Can I Eat a Three-Day Old Tuna Salad
Yes, you can eat a three-day-old tuna salad. However, you need to be careful about the expiration dates. Make sure that you do not consume anything past these dates. To make sure that the tuna product is safe, just refer to the signs of spoilage above.
Can I Eat a Week-Old Tuna Salad
Yes, you can eat a week-old tuna salad as long as it has been covered and kept at a food-safe temperature of less than 39F. Just follow the same guidelines that apply to a three-day-old tuna salad.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Tuna Salad
Yes. You can get food poisoning from tuna salad if it is not well-prepared, stored for a longer time than required, and has contamination. If you are using raw tuna for the salad, make sure that you bought it from a clean supermarket to get rid of pathogenic bacteria. Also, never forget to wash and pat dry it well before serving. Moreover, scombroid foodborne illness is common from eating spoiled fish, hence you should practice proper food safety when eating seafood like raw tuna or canned tuna.
What Type of Canned Tuna is the Best Choice For Tuna Salad
You can choose among different types of canned tuna depending on what kind of flavor you prefer. Here are some 3 options:
1. Tuna packed in olive oil
This type of tuna contains fewer calories than other kinds of tuna. It also provides more Omega 3 fatty acids. This means that it is healthier than regular tuna. However, it does have a stronger fishy taste.
2. Tuna packed in water
This type of tuna is very mild tasting. It usually comes in small cans. It is best for salads and sandwiches.
3. Tuna packed in tomato juice
This type of tuna is great for making tuna salad. It is low in fat and sodium. If you want to add more healthy flavor to your salad, this would be a great option.
How long is tuna salad good in the fridge with mayo?
A tuna salad with mayo only lasts for at least 3 days in the refrigerator. A maximum of 7 days can do if it is stored properly and placed in an airtight container.
How long can tuna salad sit out under 70 degrees Fahrenheit?
The shelf life of tuna salad can sit out for no more than 2 hours under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Technically, 70 degrees Fahrenheit is within the room temperature thus, a salad or raw fish cannot sit out for a long time due to vulnerability from food contamination.
Can tuna be kept at room temperature?
Tuna can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours without affecting its quality and food safety.