How Long Can Cooked Fish Sit Out [A Detailed Answer]

Despite being low in fat, fish is a great source of protein. It’s also a popular choice for dinner. So, it’s essential to know how long cooked fish can sit out before it goes bad.

Cooked fish can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours. After that, the cooked fish needs to be refrigerated or frozen. According to USDA, you should discard cooked food like fish that is left out for more than two hours at 90°F (32 °C) and 1 hour at hot temperatures > 80°F.

In this article, we’ll discuss how long cooked fish can sit out, how to know if your cooked fish is bad, and how to store it.

How Long Can Cooked Fish Sit Out

How Long Can Cooked Fish Sit Out?

Cooked fish can sit out for a maximum of two hours. Beyond that, the fish will spoil and develop harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. A similar phenomenon occurs at higher temperatures between 60°F and 110°F, where bacteria grow rapidly.

If you’re not going to eat the fish within two hours, it’s best to store it in the fridge or freezer. The time that cooked fish can sit out depends on the room’s temperature and how long it was cooked.

If the fish was cooked for less than two hours, it could sit out at room temperature. If it is cooked for more than two hours, it needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

See Also: 13 Best Anchovies Substitutes 

When Should Cooked Fish Be Refrigerated?

It is best to keep cooked seafood chilled until just before serving. Seafood such as fish, shrimp, mussels, and clams should be served within two hours after being cooked.

Once cooked, fish should be placed in a container and refrigerated within two hours or stored in the refrigerator until served. If refrigerating for more extended periods, cover the container with a lid.

The temperature of your refrigerator also affects how quickly fish can go bad. Cold temperatures slow down bacterial growth and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like Escherichia coli.

See Also: How Long Can Tuna Salad Sit Out

What Are the Food Safety Guidelines for Cooked Fish?

Cooked fish is a nutritious and delicious part of a healthy diet. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when cooking fish to ensure it is safe to eat.

Follow these guidelines when cooking fish to ensure it is safe to eat and enjoy!

  • Fish can be a source of foodborne illness if it is not cooked correctly. Bacteria and viruses can contaminate fish, so it is essential to cook them thoroughly to kill any harmful organisms.
  • The FDA recommends that fish be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F; this temperature can be measured with a food thermometer.
  • Fish should also be cooked until it is opaque and flaky. Do not eat fish that is still pink in the middle.
  • It is also essential to use clean utensils and cookware when cooking fish. Wash all surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw fish with hot, soapy water.
  • Fish can be cooked in various ways, such as baking, frying, grilling, or steaming. Choose a cooking method that best suits the type of fish you are cooking.

chefstemp thermometer

See this Thermometer at Chefstemp here.

How Can I Tell If Cooked Fish Has Gone Bad?

The first thing to do when you’re unsure if fish is still good is to check the smell. Cooked fish should not smell fishy. If it smells off in any way, it’s probably not good to eat.

Another way to tell if fish has gone bad is to look at the color. Fresh, cooked fish should be white or pink.

If it’s starting to turn brown or gray, it’s not good to eat. You can also check the texture of the fish. If it’s starting to get mushy, it’s not good to eat.

See Also: How Long Does Deli Turkey Breast Last in the Fridge

How Can I Prevent My Cooked Fish from Going Bad?

Cooked fish can go bad very quickly if it is not properly stored. There are a few things you can do to prevent your cooked fish from going bad.

  • Store the cooked fish in a clean and dry container. Cooked fish will spoil faster if it is stored in a container that is not clean or dry.
  • Cooked fish should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Cooked fish will last longer if it is stored in a cold environment.
  • You can vacuum seal the fish if you do not eat the cooked fish right away. Vacuum sealing will prevent oxygen from reaching the fish and will keep the fish fresh for a longer time.

What Are Some Safe Ways to Store Cooked Fish?

You can store cooked fish by refrigerating it within 2 hours of cooking, freeze it, or keep it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Fish appropriately cooked and then stored safely will be fresh-tasting and free of bacteria.

Refrigerating cooked fish is the best way to keep it fresh. Fish should be placed in a covered container and refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking. It can be frozen if the fish are not eaten within two days.

To freeze cooked fish, place it in a freezer bag or container, removing as much air as possible. Fish can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to eat, thaw frozen fish in the refrigerator overnight. Also, you should not refreeze fish that has been thawed. Cooked fish can also be kept in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.


We hope that this post is helpful for you in understanding how long cooked fish can sit out at room temperature. You should not leave the cooked fish for more than two hours because the fish will start to spoil and will become unsafe to eat. If you’re unsure how long the fish has been sitting out, it’s better to throw it away.

If you’re looking to buy the best cookware products, be sure to visit my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page), Which includes all of my top picks by category.

Similar Posts