How long does tuna last out of the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does tuna last out of the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of tuna. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to spot spoiled tuna.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does tuna last out of the fridge?

When left out of the fridge, tuna lasts for around 2 hours at room temperature.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, tuna left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and tuna left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

The only exception to this is the unopened canned tuna. Unopened canned tuna lasts for about 3-5 years when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for tuna’s expected shelf life.

How long does tuna last in the fridge?

Raw tuna lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days while cooked tuna lasts for about 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

What is the best temperature to keep tuna at?

Tuna should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your tuna at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does tuna last in the freezer?

Raw tuna lasts for 2-3 months in the freezer while cooked tuna lasts for about 4 months if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste. 

As a result, freezing the tuna extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the tuna.

How to defrost frozen tuna?

You can quickly defrost frozen tuna by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed tuna can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before cooking and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting frozen tuna in a bowl of cold water, the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after cooking it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal tuna? 

You may even vacuum seal your tuna at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the tuna in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal tuna at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated tuna?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen tuna has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the tuna goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when reheated and we know that bacteria develops rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, bacteria will make their way into your tuna, and reheated tuna should never be refrigerated, rather it is better to consume it completely or otherwise discard the reheated leftovers properly.

What are different ways to spot spoiled tuna?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your tuna has gone bad. To determine if tuna has gone bad, look at its appearance, texture, and smell.


If you see mold or other organic growth on your tuna or if it has discolored (brown, green, or gray), it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy tuna since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.


If you touch the tuna and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.


If you smell something sour or putrid while sniffing your tuna, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked tuna with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled tuna. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your tuna and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

How to properly store tuna?

  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the tuna within 2 hours it is cooked in airtight containers to extend its shelf life while keeping its quality.
  1. If you wish to extend the shelf life of prepared tuna, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Cooked tuna that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.
  1. Tuna should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.

You can read how to make tuna steak here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does tuna last out of the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of tuna. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to spot spoiled tuna.


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