If you’re a fan of tuna for lunch, you might be wondering how long you can keep it in the fridge. Planning to meal prep with tuna so you can bring it as your office lunch or pack it in the kid’s lunchbox?
Of course, you want to make sure the tuna is fresh and still good to eat before consuming it or giving it to your child. This guide has all the answers you need about how long tuna will last in the fridge. We even included some tips to help you store it correctly.
The exact time tour tuna will last in the fridge depends on what kind you have. For example, tuna patties only last about 2 days while tuna pasta can last 4 days. The guidelines are also different if the tuna is raw or in a can.
In general, most tuna will last for about one to four days in the fridge. Below there is more information about the different kinds of tuna and how long they still stay safe to eat.
Raw tuna will only last about one to two days in the fridge, but you need to store it properly. So, if you buy tuna raw from the supermarket or fresh market, it’s best to consume it right away or cook it to make it last longer.
If you already cooked the tuna, you might be wondering how long it will be good for. Most types of cooked tuna will last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge as long as the fridge stays on and stays at an ideal temperature.
Each type of tuna has its own rules though. Here are the most common types of tuna and how long they will last in the fridge:
- Bluefin tuna: 2-3 days
- Yellowfish tuna: up to 4 days
- Albacore tuna: up to 3 days
- Bigeye tuna: up to 4 days
- Skipjack tuna: up to 4 days
Tuna in recipes also have a wide variety of times they can sit in the fridge. If you make a tuna salad with mayo, it will last for up to 3 days while tuna with rice will last up to 4 days. Tuna pasta also lasts up to 4 days while tuna patties and tuna tomato curry will only last up to 2 days.
Canned tuna has a very long shelf life. However, if you have opened the can, you can no longer follow the expiration date listed on the can. Once opened, you will need to store the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for about 3 to 5 days.
If the can is unopen, the shelf life is about 2 to 3 years. You can either store it in the fridge or in the pantry.
Guidelines to store tuna in the fridge effectively
There are some precautions you need to take when storing tuna in the fridge to keep it as fresh as possible for as long as possible. When you do not store it properly, it can go bad faster causing food waste.
If you have fresh tuna, make sure there are no dry or brown spots. As soon as you get home from the market, put it in the fridge. Do not allow it to sit in the car or in the kitchen.
Before preparing to put it in the fridge, pat it dry. Here are some more tips for safely keeping it in the fridge.
Store it in a single layer
Do not stack pieces of tuna on top of each other. Make sure each piece has its own space and its own bag for storage. Single-layer tuna stays fresh for longer.
As stated above, make sure to pat it dry and then wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap. Make sure you put it in the coldest part of the fridge. If you are freezing it, you want to make sure to put it in a plastic wrap bag or vacuum-sealed bag with no extra air in it.
You can also freeze it with 1 quart of water and 1 tablespoon of ascorbic acid crystals dissolved in a fourth cup of salt.
Ensure correct temperature
Your fridge should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit to keep tuna safe. If the fridge falls below this temperature even for just a few hours, the tuna may not be safe to consume.
Factors that affect tuna shelf life in the fridge
There are many different factors that affect tuna when stored in the fridge. These change the way you should store the food and could contribute to the tuna spoiling faster.
For example, if you make a tuna dish with mayo, the shelf life will be affected. Mayo usually causes the tuna to go bad faster. So if you make any kind of tuna dish with mayo you need to make sure you consume it within 3 to 4 days.
If you make tuna with pasta, it will only last for about 4 days and tuna with egg usually goes bad within 5 days.
Any container you use needs to be airtight. If it’s not airtight, it can spoil faster because the air getting into the container causes the quality of the tuna to spoil faster.
When you are putting raw tuna or cooked tuna in the fridge, make sure to put it in a bag or container with no air. This will keep it safe to eat.
Ready to make your tuna and get cooking? Now you know all the rules of storing cooked tuna in the fridge whether you cooked it alone or you put it in a dish with other ingredients. Always make sure to check the tuna before eating it and always put it in an airtight container so that it does not spoil too soon.