How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

How long does tuna salad last

Do you like tuna salad? This dish is popular because of its health advantages and easy preparation. If you eat it often, you might wonder how long tuna salad lasts. Continue reading to find out.

In this article, you will discover the shelf life of tuna salad and how to tell if it has gone bad. Also, you will learn how to store tuna salad properly.

How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

Tuna Salad

Tuna salad can last up to 5 days in the fridge if stored properly at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, as per the USDA.

The USDA states that between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature range at which bacteria grow quickest. It is called the “Danger Zone.”

To get away from the danger zone, it is recommended to store food in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, slowing down the growth of the bacteria.

Fresh Tuna vs Canned Tuna

If you make your tuna salad with fresh tuna, you only have 2 days from the date of purchase, regardless of when you made the salad.

If you made it from canned tuna, it will last up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

The maximum number of days you can consume your salad is up to 5 days. This extended date is possible if it is prepared with high-quality, freshly canned tuna. After 5 days, you should toss it.

Because tuna salad contains other ingredients than tuna, like mayonnaise, celery, and onions, its shelf life also depends on these other ingredients. To extend the life of your salad, make sure all other ingredients you use are fresh and of the best quality.

How Long Can You Leave Tuna Salad Out of the Fridge?

Tuna Salad Appetizer

Once you have removed the tuna salad from the fridge, you can only leave it out for 2 hours.

When serving tuna salad for a particular occasion that will have a longer serving time, it is advisable to make separate servings of tuna salad. And then, just take the salad out when you need it.

Mayonnaise and fish spoil quickly. According to the USDA guidelines, food should not be left out of the fridge for longer than 1 to 2 hours. The time varies depending on the temperature of the room your food is in. 

If the temperature is at or over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, leave the tuna out for no longer than 1 hour. If the temperature is less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, leave the tuna out for no longer than 2 hours.

How to Tell if Tuna Salad Has Gone Bad?

There are a few signs to look for to determine if it has turned bad.

  • Discoloration: The discoloration is a giveaway that your tuna has gone bad. If you see green, brown, or dark spots, get rid of the salad.
  • Bad Smell: Since tuna has a heavy odor, identifying it solely by odor is difficult. However, if it has a pungent and unappealing odor, get rid of it immediately.
  • Length of Storage: If you have kept your salad for over 5 days, it is no longer safe to eat, regardless of its look and smell.

Can You Freeze Tuna Salad?

Tuna Salad in bowl

Yes, it can be frozen. However, your salad’s quality after it has thawed depends on the ingredients used in its preparation.

Mayonnaise does not freeze easily and will always separate, giving the salad an odd texture. Do not freeze tuna mixed with mayonnaise. After thawing, crisp vegetables like celery and onions usually turn soft, compromising your tuna salad’s texture.

If you want to try freezing it, start with a single serving. Put it in a freezer-safe container as soon as possible after preparing it. Just thaw in the fridge before using. Freeze away if you like its quality after thawing.

Wrapping Up

The shelf life of tuna salad is short. Therefore, remember to eat it right away or store it properly in the fridge as soon as it is prepared, as mentioned above. Enjoy your healthy salad with no worries.

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