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Thread: How long can you keep smoked salmon in the fridge?

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    Default How long can you keep smoked salmon in the fridge?

    How long can you safely keep smoked salmon, packaged in sandwich baggies, in the refrigerator? I have read online that it only keeps for 5 days!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    How long can you safely keep smoked salmon, packaged in sandwich baggies, in the refrigerator? I have read online that it only keeps for 5 days!
    Depends on exactly how it was processed. About 5 days would be the limit for me.
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    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    I don't know how long you should keep it, but I know how long I have kept it. Literally weeks if well wrapped. Mine is pretty salty. YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    How long can you safely keep smoked salmon, packaged in sandwich baggies, in the refrigerator? I have read online that it only keeps for 5 days!
    Smoked salmon around here doesn't last 5 days...it gets eaten! If you use a Foodsaver and seal it up it will last longer, maybe a couple weeks in the fridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    I don't know how long you should keep it, but I know how long I have kept it. Literally weeks if well wrapped. Mine is pretty salty. YMMV.
    How you wrap it has no bearing on how long you can keep it in the fridge. What does matter is the sanitation level of the equipment used as well as the process used/end product. Wrapping is an issue for the freezer.

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    After five days send it to me for proper disposal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    How you wrap it has no bearing on how long you can keep it in the fridge. What does matter is the sanitation level of the equipment used as well as the process used/end product. Wrapping is an issue for the freezer.
    I beg to differ, but I have done a fridge test on smoked salmon...it will last two or three times longer if it is sealed properly in a FoodSaver type sealer, as it removes the air that bacteria needs to grow, of course it is always a good thing to keep things clean & sanitary also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    I beg to differ, but I have done a fridge test on smoked salmon...it will last two or three times longer if it is sealed properly in a FoodSaver type sealer, as it removes the air that bacteria needs to grow, of course it is always a good thing to keep things clean & sanitary also.
    I don't know about your fridge tests that you did, but the tests done in the FDA lab are conclusive.

    Not all bacteria need oxygen to grow. Anerobic bacteria such as Clostridium Bolutinum is a serious hazard not to be taken lightly. Vacuum packing does not negate the need for safe food handling practices, such as proper storage of potentially hazardous foods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    I don't know about your fridge tests that you did, but the tests done in the FDA lab are conclusive.

    Not all bacteria need oxygen to grow. Anerobic bacteria such as Clostridium Bolutinum is a serious hazard not to be taken lightly. Vacuum packing does not negate the need for safe food handling practices, such as proper storage of potentially hazardous foods.
    I guess that's where the salt & smoke comes in, don't want to sit here and argue with you about tests done in a FDA lab as they don't do enough tests on the food we are buying & eating from the store. Like I said, smoked salmon around here gets eaten before there's a chance of it going bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    I guess that's where the salt & smoke comes in, don't want to sit here and argue with you about tests done in a FDA lab as they don't do enough tests on the food we are buying & eating from the store. Like I said, smoked salmon around here gets eaten before there's a chance of it going bad.
    Whatever. They (FDA) do plenty of tests...it's the processors that choose not to follow the rules/cut corners and then products go out and make people sick. The science is there.

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    Portion it, vacuum pack the portions, and toss'm in the deep freeze. If they're not still great a couple of years later your process has some room to improve.
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    Never heard of 5 days, I've always heard 2 weeks. Personally, I've had bigger batches take up to 3 weeks to get consumed. Just using ziploc bags for storage. I have never run into an issue with smoked salmon spoilage. But I also prefer to use a heavy brine and hot smoke to "well done". Should go without saying, but I'm OCD on clean, sanitized equipment.
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    Default How long can you keep smoked salmon in the fridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Never heard of 5 days, I've always heard 2 weeks. Personally, I've had bigger batches take up to 3 weeks to get consumed. Just using ziploc bags for storage. I have never run into an issue with smoked salmon spoilage. But I also prefer to use a heavy brine and hot smoke to "well done". Should go without saying, but I'm OCD on clean, sanitized equipment.
    Yeah, I have found the same thing. I have eaten it three weeks after sitting in a ziplock in the fridge and have been fine. It only takes once I guess, but it's never even smelled bad or anything. To each their own though.

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    If there's any substantial amount of salt used in the brining phase (i.e., not something that was merely cooked in a hot smoker, but not actually brined), and the fish has been smoked properly, then 5 days would be an extremely short life span. Heck!! We keep moose marinara sauce for 3-5 days before we turn it into moose lasagna..

    In that regard, I agree with several previous posters.

    That said, I believe it's often the moisture in a product that may provide a breeding ground for some bacteria, or cause damage from freezing, such as freezer burn resulting from a combination of air and moisture.. So, as another poster mentioned, if you're not going to eat the stuff in an short period of time, then seal it up properly. and pop it into your freezer.

    I know my smoked sweet-brine fillets won't last anywhere near the time that well-dried traditional king strips will, nor landjaeger sausages for that matter, as both the strips and the landjaeger are drier and better suited for longer term shelf life. But I'd bet that my sweet-brined smoked fillets would last at LEAST a 10-day period. Likely more. But I tend to be safer than sorrier when it comes to food poisoning.

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    I have a hard time with any smoked fish in the fridge lasting more than a couple days!!! (seems to just disappear)

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    Had to go verify my source and sure enough, the CES guide for brined & smoked fish is 10-14 days in the fridge and 2-3 months frozen.

    http://www.uaf.edu/ces/pubs/catalog/...dex.xml?id=339
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    If someone offered me some smoked salmon and said," I put this in the fridge 13 days ago.dont worry it still has 24 hours before it goes bad." I would have to turn it down. The extension service also says in the canning publication, that if your jars of smoked salmon dont seal, you can only keep them in the fridge for 3to 4 days before youve got bacteria.

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    If someone offered to give away any fish, regardless of age, I would turn it down. Gift fish = bad fish. I don't trust other people's smoking or canning methods. I don't know how well they took care of the fish from the time they caught it. Therefore, I catch and process my own and I've had batches of smoked fish in the fridge for at least 3 weeks with the package being opened daily to grab a "snack". No discernable change in quality from beginning to end.

    CES has to go with low-ball figures and assume that you're working in less than sterile conditions with less than perfect equipment and possibly substandard product. If they say (which they do) that smoked fish is good for 2 weeks, I'm sure you can double that if you have high quality product and operate in a sanitized environment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Had to go verify my source and sure enough, the CES guide for brined & smoked fish is 10-14 days in the fridge and 2-3 months frozen.

    http://www.uaf.edu/ces/pubs/catalog/...dex.xml?id=339

    I'm not able to understand the site's cap on frozen smoked fish @ 2-3 months.

    We seal fish in vacuum bags after wrapping them thoroughly in seran wrap, doing our best to prevent any air pockets, using folded 'bandages' or 'scabs' of seran wrap to cover the pin bones or other potentially sharper areas that might breech the vac bags, before inserting the fillets or pieces into the bags, with triple seals on each opening.

    Our (manual-defrost) freezers are kept at about -10 to -20 f. or so, with annual cleaning of each freezer as we rotate through food stocks, consolidating the two primary freezers twice a year to afford the defrosting and cleaning process (an 18.5 cu. ft. upright and a 22 cu. ft. upright, being the primary two of five that are most often filled to the gills, so to speak..).

    That said, I've had smoked fish, fresh fish, smoked/cured sausage, unsmoked, fresh/bulk sausage, and fresh meats of all varieties last up to 3 years with zero freezer burn, and even pretty decent condition and flavor overall of the meat. (Though the 3-year event was an exception, and most meat rarely gets to 2 years, as we typically rotate each year's stocks, keeping the freezers current, for the most part, to the last harvest.)

    I honestly can't fathom what the site's concern with frozen fish is at the 2-3 month mark? Not that our smoked fish would last long enough for the test, but I'd bet I can QUINTUPLE that figure with either smoked or fresh fish, and still have very fine product.

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    I can't say exactly why they shorten the freezer life of smoked vs fresh fish. They have what I consider to be a very short life of fresh fish as well. I use a glaze and then vacuum pack method for freezing fish. A year later and it is still practically as good as it was the day I froze it. I've pushed fish over 2 years frozen, though that is pretty rare due to my consumption cycle and not taking more than I need in the first place.

    I was re-reading some of their info about freezing fish as well as freezing smoked fish, and there was some talk about cellular enzymes, water shifts, and breaking down of the cellular structure of the tissues. I believe that what you're looking at is not a cease to spoilage, but a slow-down of it. There is probably some notable differences between raw muscle that was kept cold from the time the fish was killed all the way until the freezer packing and the brined and heated meat from the smoking process. During smoking, you are causing significant changes to the cellular makeup of that tissue. I'd guess that those changes are what shortens your storage life by such a huge amount.
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