How Long Can Tuna Sit Out Unrefrigerated?

Have you ever been left with leftover fresh tuna or canned tuna and wondered what to do with it? The good news is that if stored properly in a refrigerator leftover tuna can last for up to 3 days. 

However, tuna should not sit out unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours and if it has sat out in the sun then this tuna should not sit in the sun for longer than 1 hour. Dangerous bacteria will build up and cause possible food poisoning. 

How Long Can Raw Tuna Sit Out in Room Temperature?

Cooked or canned tuna can sit out for a couple of hours at room temperature. But the FDA advises that raw tuna should not sit out unrefrigerated for longer than 1 hour. If raw tuna sits out longer than 1 hour then it should be thrown away and not consumed. Consuming rotten tuna after it has been left out too long can lead to food poisoning. 

What Happens If You Sit Out Your Tuna Too Long?

Leaving tuna out for too long can lead to food poisoning. If you think you have left tuna unrefrigerated for too long then it is best to throw it away rather than taking a risk of getting food poisoning.  

When tuna is left to sit out at temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit then there is always a risk that dangerous bacteria will grow on your tuna. Hospitalization can occur if you get food poisoning, so it is always best to throw the tuna away and be cautious.  

How Can You Tell If Tuna Is Spoiled?

There are ways to tell if the tuna has spoiled. The best and easiest way is by smell. If your tuna is giving off a foul smell, then it is likely that the tuna has gone bad. In this case the tuna should be thrown away. 

It is important to note that if the tuna has been frozen, allow it to thaw out before smelling it to see if it has gone bad. Tuna that is frozen will not give off the odor of it being rotten. 

How to Store Tuna Properly

Storing tuna properly can make your leftover tuna last for up to 3 days. Storing tuna can be great for meal prepping and sandwiches. 

  • The tuna should be kept in an airtight container. Make sure the container has a good airtight seal before the next step. 
  • The tuna should be kept in the container in the refrigerator at temperatures that range from 35 degrees Fahrenheit to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Stored tuna should not be kept on the door of the refrigerator. The temperatures of the door of the refrigerator are unstable and therefore will not keep the tuna safe to eat days later. 

How Long Before Tuna Goes Bad In Fridge?

If stored properly in an airtight container, tuna will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. It is always important to smell and check for signs of mold before consumption. Leftover tuna will typically take 3 days before going bad in the fridge. 

Related Questions

Why does tuna spoil so soon? 

Tuna spoils so soon because it is a fresh and highly perishable food. Like other seafood, tuna is high in water and nutritional content creating conditions where bacteria can grow rapidly. 

What happens if you eat old tuna?

Eating old tuna can lead to food poisoning or salmonella. If you have eaten old tuna then you should seek professional medical treatment. Complications from food poisoning are many, therefore it is always important to err on the side of caution when thinking about if your tuna has gone bad or not. 

Is eating tuna every day healthy?

Tuna is a very good source of protein and healthy fatty acids like omega-3s. However, it should not be consumed every day. 

Tunafish can have higher levels of mercury in them due to their feeding tendencies. Therefore, it is advised to only have tuna a few times per week in order to not consume too much mercury. Low levels of mercury consumption from tuna are harmless, but it is important to note tuna should not be eaten every day. 

When buying tuna, opt for skipjack rather than albacore. Typically albacore tuna will have higher mercury contents than skipjack and therefore should not be consumed frequently. 

Final Thoughts

Tuna is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also easy to make out of the can and delicious to cook after purchasing fresh tuna from the store. Therefore, it is important to know the facts about eating tuna in safe conditions. 

Tuna is also a great ingredient for meal prepping and can be used in a variety of different healthy wraps and sandwiches. If you can store the tuna properly, then the benefits of having tuna on hand are many. 

However, letting tuna sit out has serious dangers. Raw tuna should not sit out of the fridge for longer than 1 hour. Cooked or canned tuna should not sit out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours. 

If cooked or canned tuna has been sitting in the sun, then this 2 hours will decrease to 1 hour, before food poisoning bacteria build up. Tuna stored properly in the fridge will last a few days, however it is always important to give the tuna a good whiff before consuming it to ensure it is safe to eat.