How long does tuna last? Fresh tuna will last for 2 – 3 days. Canned tuna can last up to 5 days in the fridge once opened. Of course, that’s not the whole story.
You didn’t think its shelf life was going to depend on just throwing it in the fridge, did you? Even if you did, there’s a lot more to preserving tuna than meets the eye. To help a culinary friend out, I’m devoting this article to tuna and all the methods of storing it!
Table of Contents
How Long Does Tuna Last?
At this point, you know not to leave opened tuna in the fridge for more than 5 days, which is good – it’s also only the start. There is a whole world of peculiar little steps that need to happen before your tuna is good to go in the fridge, or freezer for that matter.
Don’t worry. This article has it all, along with some tips on how to store tuna salad, as well!
How Long Does Tuna Last in A Can?
Canned tuna, similarly to other canned foods, may last a surprisingly long time – the first indicator of its shelf life being the expiration date, of course. If that’s good, then just throw it in the pantry.
On the other hand, you may just be dealing with a can of opened tuna. This is a whole other story, one in which the expiration date becomes meaningless. Opened tuna will last you 3 to 5 days in the fridge and around 3 months in the freezer.
However, both of these require proper storage, which, luckily for you, is given just below – just keep reading!
How Long Does Tuna Last Once Opened?
It doesn’t – you’re only option is to eat the entire can before it goes bad.
That may have been a little harsh. Opened tuna isn’t going to go bad that quickly. However, if you’d like to preserve it for a couple of extra days or months, you’ll need to put it in either the fridge or freezer. Tuna left open at room temperature has a way of going bad, and trust me, that’s something you’d want to avoid.
How Long Does Tuna Last After Opening?
As I’ve said, tuna doesn’t have a very long life once it’s been opened. However, I’ve also mentioned a couple of ways to prolong its shelf life. The first is, of course, the refrigerator – it will keep your leftover tuna fresh for a few more days. If you’d like to go a bit more extreme, there’s always the freezer, which prolongs the shelf life for around 3 months.
However, before you get to refrigerating and freezing, keep in mind that improperly stored tuna will go ad no matter the place. Thus, make sure to first read about the proper storing method below!
How Long Does Tuna Last in The Fridge?
Since you’re asking about the shelf life of canned tuna in the refrigerator, I’ll just go ahead and assume it’s already been opened. Once open, canned tuna has a shelf life of between 3 to 5 days in the fridge – don’t even think about leaving it at room temperature since that’s a whole different can of worms you don’t need in your life.
How Long Does Tuna Last in The Refrigerator?
So, I kinda assumed you were dealing with opened canned tuna last time around. I am aware that there is such a thing as an unopened tuna can. However, these don’t need to go in the fridge – all your unopened can needs is a dry, dark place without direct sunlight.
Find that, and you’re good to go!
How Long Does Tuna Keep in The Fridge?
Since I’ve covered both opened and unopened canned tuna, it’s time to stray from the yellow brick road a bit. Thus, let’s see if tuna salad and tuna casseroles even have a shelf life in the refrigerator.
It would appear that they do – if stored properly, of course.
Proper storage involves a few things, with the first one being timing. This means that tuna salad or casserole needs to be stored within 2 hours of making it. Everything later than this runs the risk of going bad. Now, if you’ve got that part covered, you’ll need to find an airtight container to prevent food spoilage. Once the salad, casserole, or both are in the plastic container, you’ll have between 3 and 5 days before it goes bad.
How Long Does Tuna Last in The Freezer?
Since you’ve asked about the fridge, I assumed you’d want to know about the freezer as well. Now, although canned tuna can be refrigerated, you’ll need a bit of context before diving into this.
For one, don’t freeze canned tuna that hasn’t been opened – this point goes for other unopened canned food as well. If it hasn’t been opened, it won’t go bad just sitting in your pantry. Second, when freezing tuna, make sure to use a freezer-safe bag instead of the actual can. Transfer the tuna into the bag and seal it airtight to prevent any food poisoning later on.
If properly stored, frozen canned tuna should last you up to 3 months – just don’t forget about it!
How Long Can You Store Canned Tuna?
Although I’ve talked about canned tuna for a hot minute, we haven’t covered how long the unopened can lasts. Thus for all those couch potatoes wondering if that can of tuna in the pantry is good, let me save you a trip – it (probably) is.
If it remains closed, canned tuna tends to last for 3 to 5 years. So, it looks like it won’t be making an appearance on your shopping list any time soon.
How Long Does Tuna Last Out of The Can?
Don’t worry, just because you couldn’t finish your cold pasta salad doesn’t mean that the leftover tuna is going to waste. In front of you are two options – the refrigerator and the freezer. Either one will do, although both require airtight containers.
If you decide on refrigerating your tuna salad, it will stay good for up to 5 days. On the other hand, if you plan on freezing it, you’ll need to eat it in 3 months.
How Long Does Tuna Last Out of The Fridge?
I feel like this is a trick question since we’ve already covered this one, remember? Unopened cans last until their expiration date, while opened ones require a bit more detail, which, consequentially, you’ll find by scrolling up the article!
How Long Does Tuna Last After Expiration Date?
It just doesn’t.
Once the expiration date has passed, throw the cans out, regardless of whether they’ve been opened or not. Eating expired tuna runs the risk of pathogenic bacteria forming and you end up with an unnecessary case of food poisoning.
Abide by the golden rule – expired tuna is spoiled tuna.
Can You Eat Tuna After 5 Days?
The simple answer is – yes, you can. The real answer is that the first answer comes with a lot of ifs and buts.
For one, if the opened tuna’s been properly stored in the fridge or freezer, then yes – it’s safe to eat after 5 days. However, even if properly stored, tuna still runs the risk of going bad, and you run the risk of ending up with food poisoning.
Thus, to avoid an unnecessary trip to the hospital, read up on how to spot a case of bad tuna before diving into it after 5 days!
How Do You Know If Tuna Is Bad?
There are a couple of ways to go about this, and they all result in you throwing the bad can of tuna to the curb.
Since we’ve already had the expiration date debacle, there’s no real reason to go over it again. Rather, let’s focus on the cues that’ll help you decide what to do with that can of tuna in your pantry.
We’ll start with the visuals first – if the can is damaged, swollen, leaking, rusting, or dented, throw it out. You’re not doing yourself any favors by opening it. However, if the can seems intact, it’s time for the next step – opening it! Here, any loud sounds are a bad sign telling you the tuna’s gone bad.
This last trick is the last resort, well, apart from trying the tuna, of course. Once you open it, smell it. If it’s giving off an off or acrid smell, it’s not safe to eat.
You’ve reached the end of the article and now know how long tuna lasts. You’ll never leave it in the fridge for longer than 5 days after reading this.