How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

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Canned tuna is a very popular dish in the United States, only second to shrimp. Research shows that Americans consume around a billion pounds of tuna every year. The main reason why tuna salad has that much popularity in the states is the ease of preparation, coupled with the nutritional benefits it provides to the human body. It serves as an amazing side dish to other meals, although you can simply serve it alone.

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If you are reading this post, you probably want to store tuna salad without compromising its quality or its nutritional value.

In this post, we highlight some of the information regarding proper storage. We also answer questions such as how long does tuna salad last.

How long does tuna salad last in the fridge? This post will provide you with all the necessary information to help you store your salad properly. Read on to learn how to do it right.

Best way to Store Tuna Salad in a Fridge

Tuna salad

It is important to know that the doors of a refrigerator will fluctuate more compared to the shelves. It is highly recommended that you store the tuna salad further from the doors. You should choose a shelf and place the tuna salad in the coldest part of your fridge. You are also advised to use a fridge thermometer to keep a close watch on the temperature of your fridge.

Before you place the tuna salad inside the fridge, make sure to store it in a completely airtight container. The main reason why the airtight container is best is that the salad has the potential of giving out bad odors that will affect other foods inside the fridge. It is also possible that the salad will pick up some odors from the other foods in the fridge, which will affect the quality of the food.

The best way to handle this is by using a glass container if the odor is one of your main concerns. You can also choose to use a single plastic container just for the storage of tuna in the fridge. There are different brands on the market. Make sure that you choose a plastic container that is free of BPA.

How long does tuna salad last in the refrigerator? The amount of time it will stay in the fridge will solely depend on the storage conditions.

Best Temperature for Proper Storage

How long does tuna salad stay good in the fridge? Before we talk about that, we should identify the best temperature for the proper storage of your salad.

The best temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Here is the reason why.


If food is not stored properly, at the right temperature, it can develop bacteria very quickly. When the bacteria develops, it will do either of two things. Either it will be a spoilage type of bacteria, which will lead to the spoilage of the food, or it will be pathogenic, which means that it has the potential to make you and your family sick.

Bacteria are easy to identify. The food will either get a weird texture, a certain bad taste, or you might even notice the mold that will begin growing on the food.

Caution: The pathogenic bacteria, the kind that will make you sick if consumed, can be present in the food without your knowledge. Pathogenic bacteria can develop without the development of a certain smell, texture, or taste

Now, here is why you need to store the food at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Bacteria will grow faster if the food is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees. The USDA calls this temperature level a Danger Zone. That temperature is the temperature range you want to avoid completely. If the salad is stored below that temperature, the bacteria will grow slower.

If you have a thermometer for your fridge, you can easily make sure that your food does not go to temperatures higher than 40 degrees. If you do not have one in your kitchen, you should consider purchasing one. Nobody wants to risk the lives of his or her family.

How long can Tuna Salad Stay Good outside a Fridge?

How long is tuna salad good for if not placed in a fridge? Tuna salad will become bad very quickly, which is why you should only leave it out if you are eating it at that time.

The USDA states that you should not leave your meal outside a refrigerator longer than an hour or two. The reason why there is a difference in the time is that it will solely depend on the temperature surrounding the food when it is left out.

If the temperature is higher than 90 degrees, the tuna will only take 1 hour to spoil. If the temperature is lower than 90 degrees, it will take around 2 hours to spoil.

Although this is the USDA recommended temperature range, we recommend that you stay on the better side, leaving the meal out for the least possible time. Once you make tuna salad, put it right in the refrigerator immediately.

How do you know if it is bad?

You should learn how to tell if the tuna salad is bad to avoid messing with your health and the health of your family.

It can be challenging to identify when any dish with fish as an ingredient has become bad. Luckily, there are three main signs you should watch out for to recognize bad tuna salad.

The first is appearance. If you notice any discoloration, you should know that your food is already bad. You will notice brownish or greenish spots. You can also notice some black spots.

The smell is the second sign. The smell is usually strong even when the salad is good. However, you might notice some bad or unappetizing smells.

The storage time is also very important to consider. If you store the tuna salad for longer than five days, just throw it out regardless of the smell or appearance.

The Final Word

How long can tuna salad stay in the fridge? Proper storage will allow your food to stay good for longer, especially if you store it immediately after making it. Do not waste any time.

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