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How Long Does Sushi Last? Can It Go Bad?

Sushi is many people’s favorite food, and you can’t blame them, considering the artisanry and technique required to prepare it, not to mention the freshness of ingredients and delicious flavor. However, sushi doesn’t last forever, and eating it after too much time has passed can have some serious health consequences. 

So just how long does sushi last? Can it go bad? Due to the presence of raw fish in most sushi, it most definitely goes bad, and after a relatively short period of time in fact. Most leftover sushi should be consumed within 24 hours, and it will last even less if it has been left at room temperature. 

Consuming old sushi is a very bad idea, as it could certainly make you pretty sick. Read on to find out everything that you need to know about the shelf life of sushi and how you can tell when it’s time to throw that California roll away. 

Can Sushi Go Bad?


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Most sushi is made with raw fish, like salmon or tuna, and these foods are especially susceptible to the growth of illness-causing bacteria. In Japanese culture, sushi is ideally served and consumed immediately after it is prepared. This is in part because of Japanese culinary traditions, but it also has to do with the fact that sushi is a food that spoils quickly. 

Even if your sushi doesn’t contain raw fish, it likely contains some sort of cooked seafood or fresh vegetables, foods that also spoil if you don’t consume them within a few days. Additionally, eating sushi that has gone bad can make you quite sick, so you’ll always want to pay close attention to the best-by date or how long those sushi leftovers have been sitting in your fridge. 

How to Store Sushi?


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Sushi should never be stored at room temperature, as this speeds up the growth of bacteria that causes food poisoning. Sushi should always be stored in the refrigerator, so if you are taking home leftovers, be sure to pop them in the fridge as soon as you get home. 

Additionally, make sure that your fridge is turned to a very cold temperature. You should ideally store your sushi at the back corner of the fridge, where it will experience less changes in temperature, which is caused by opening and closing the door. 

Sushi should also be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container to prevent it from coming in contact with air. This will help to slow down unwanted changes in texture, color, and flavor. 

Can You Freeze Sushi?

While technically you can freeze sushi, it is certainly not recommended. Freezing sushi will pause the growth of any bacteria, but it will also have a negative impact on its flavor and texture. 

Sushi grade fish like raw tuna and salmon can be frozen without undergoing too much change in quality, but the other ingredients that make up a sushi roll, namely rice and nori (seaweed), don’t freeze quite as well. 

When frozen and thawed, the rice and nori components of a sushi roll become soggy and can fall apart. Therefore, it is best to avoid freezing sushi whenever possible. 

How Long Does Sushi Last?


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So just how long is it safe to eat that leftover spicy tuna roll? To begin, any sushi leftovers that you are taking home from a restaurant should be consumed within 24 hours. If the sushi has been sitting at room temperature for an extended period of time, this recommended time frame can even decrease, so you should always pay attention to the appearance and smell of leftover sushi before consuming. 


If you buy sushi at the store, you should strictly abide by the best-by date on the package. Make sure that the place that you bought the sushi from has been storing it in a well-refrigerated environment. 


And when we’re talking about homemade sushi, the same rules apply as with leftover sushi. Ideally you will make just as much as you think you can eat, but if your eyes end up being bigger than your stomach, be sure to consume any extra sushi within 24 hours. 

How Can You Tell If Sushi Has Gone Bad?

Though sushi sometimes gives off obvious signs of spoiling, sometimes it is not so clear. Consuming spoiled sushi that doesn’t give off any warning signs can still give you food poisoning, so your best bet is to always consume it within 24 hours of its preparation or before the best-by date on the package. 

However, if you are unsure as to how long your sushi has been in your fridge or are worried that it was sitting on the counter too long, there are a few things you can keep an eye out for. 

First off, throw out your sushi if the rice has hardened, as it will have a very unpleasant texture. When it comes to the fish, pay attention to any discoloration or sliminess, which signifies that it has gone bad. Finally, you should take a whiff of your sushi before eating it. If it smells off or spoiled, you should without a doubt throw it away. 

Is It OK to Consume Old Sushi?

It is practically never safe to consume old sushi. If your sushi contains any type of fish or seafood, eating it after its best-by date can give you food poisoning. 


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Even eating old sushi that just contains vegetables can make you sick. At any rate, it is sure to be unpleasant, so at the end of the day, old sushi should always be disposed of. 

Related Questions

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What Is the Difference Between Sushi and Sashimi?

Though they are two very similar foods, both typical of Japanese cuisine, there are a few things that differentiate sushi and sashimi. First off, sushi must contain rice, something that is not necessary for sashimi. 

On the other hand, sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish. While raw salmon or tuna are common ingredients in a sushi roll, it is not actually necessary for sushi to contain raw seafood, or on that note any seafood at all, as it can be made from fresh vegetables and sometimes even chicken. 

How Long Does Sashimi Last?


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Because sashimi is made with the sushi ingredient that spoils the quickest, raw fish, it has more or less the same shelf life as sushi that contains seafood. While it should always ideally be consumed fresh, sashimi should last up to 24 hours in the fridge. 

Just like sushi, sashimi should not be consumed if it has been sitting at room temperature due to the fact that this can cause the growth of illness-causing bacteria. 

Is Sushi Healthy?

The nutritional value of sushi really depends upon which type of roll you are eating. Sushi can range from very healthy to quite unhealthy, especially when fried, so you should pay close attention to the ingredients in the specific type of sushi roll that you are ordering. 

When talking about a fresh roll that contains ingredients like raw fish and vegetables, sushi is very healthy. Oily fish like salmon and tuna contain high levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for a number of bodily functions. 


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The seaweed used to make most sushi rolls is also high in fiber and protein and is a great source of iodine, iron, zinc, and Vitamin B12. The vegetables most commonly used to make sushi, like avocado and cucumber, are also a great source of nutrients. 


However, some sushi rolls, like tempura rolls, contain battered and fried ingredients, which have a higher calorie and fat content. Additionally, some rolls are made with mayonnaise, which is high in saturated fat. Finally, soy sauce has a very high sodium content, which can be harmful for certain groups of people.

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