How Long is Sushi Good for?

how long is sushi good for

Sushi is a typical Japanese dish that is well-liked worldwide. Despite the fact that many people only associate sushi with raw fish, it actually incorporates a variety of cooked seafood. Vegetables and vinegared rice wrapped in nori, or dried seaweed, are additional ingredients.

You might have leftover sushi from a meal out or from making it at home. But how can you preserve the freshness of sushi for later consumption?

This article discusses the ideal ways to keep sushi, how long it can last, and how to spot spoiling symptoms.

How much time does sushi have before going bad?

The primary ingredients of your sushi will dictate its shelf life and storage methods.

In general, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States advises against storing leftover food at room temperature for longer than two hours. If you’re dining outside and the temperature is above 90 oF (32 oC), you should only store leftover food at room temperature for one hour.

This advice is applicable to both cooked and raw sushi, including tempura and California rolls, as well as sashimi.

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends refrigerating raw sushi for 1-2 days and cooked sushi for 3-5 days.

The idea is to keep sushi out of the 40–140°F (4–60°C) “danger zone” to prevent rapid bacterial development, which raises the possibility of contracting a foodborne illness.

How to keep leftover sushi securely

The FDA recommends tightly wrapping raw fish and seafood in plastic wrap, foil, or moisture-proof paper and storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. This includes sushi.

Instead, you could keep it in an airtight container to prevent bacterial growth and moisture buildup. Steer clear of containers with poor sealing, as they may encourage bacteria growth or food deterioration.

You can store sushi in the refrigerator for up to two and four days, respectively. You can freeze sushi for extended periods, but this could degrade the product’s quality.

Signs of spoilage in sushi

Here are a few ways you can employ your senses to determine if the sushi has gone bad:

  • Odor: Sushi can deteriorate and smell bad due to bacterial activity. Check for strong smells before consuming refrigerated sushi.
  • Dull appearance:  Refrigerated sushi may have a slight change in texture and flavor, but you should carefully inspect it for noticeable color changes or other spoiling indicators, such as mold.
  • Slime: Foods frequently generate slime when they go bad, especially rice. If you notice or feel slime on your leftovers, throw the sushi away.

Risks of eating spoiled sushi

Sushi and sashimi, which are raw fish and seafood, are more likely to carry bacteria and parasites that can infect people and lead to foodborne illnesses.

In Japan, people often associate sushi with foodborne illnesses like anisakidosis, a gut larval infection, while in the US, people often associate sushi with salmonella outbreaks.

Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps are the most typical symptoms of a foodborne infection, though individual symptoms may differ.

People who are believed to be more susceptible to complications, such as small children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with specific medical disorders, may experience severe cases of food poisoning.

Apart from the potential for foodborne illnesses, sushi could also include mercury, a heavy metal that is poisonous and can harm the kidneys, intestines, and brain in large quantities. 

The bottom line

Often prepared by combining raw and cooked seafood, vegetables, vinegared rice, and dried seaweed (nori), sushi is a well-known Japanese cuisine.

Proper preservation of food is essential to reduce the risk of contracting foodborne illnesses, as it often contains bacteria and parasites.

Store sushi, especially sashimi, in the refrigerator for 1-2 days if raw and 3-5 days if cooked. Store neither variety at room temperature for longer than two hours.

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