How Long Can You Keep Fresh Fish and Shellfish in the Refrigerator?

(Image credit: Henry Chen)

When cooking fresh fish or shellfish, we’re always admonished to get it at the last minute and cook it ASAP for the ultimate in freshness and flavor. But with busy schedules and last-minute changes in plans, that’s not always going to happen. So just exactly how long can you keep that raw seafood before you should cook it?

Kitchen Fact: Raw fish or shellfish stored in the refrigerator should be eaten in one to two days.

You should plan to cook and eat your fresh fish and shellfish within two days. Any longer than that and the quality begins to deteriorate and it will develop that telltale, unpleasant “fishy” odor. Keep it stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Keep in mind that, if possible, you should check for quality and freshness at the store first. If it already seems questionable, skip it and pick something else!

Kitchen Fact Source: Refrigeration and Food Safety at