Canned tuna is among the most popular food today. In the US specifically, tuna is the second most famous seafood. It comes after shrimp. Statistics indicate that Americans eat nearly one billion pounds of canned and pouched tuna annually. If you were in existence in the 80s and 70s, then you’re a witness to how people ate tuna in large numbers.
Among the three, tuna salad, tuna casserole, and tuna helper, someone could at least be having one of them for the meal, and the most popular today is the tuna salad. This article discusses How Long Does Tuna Salad Last. Please continue reading to understand more.
How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?
Are you wondering how long does tuna salad last? Well, the answer definitely relies on how it’s stored. What storage conditions have you preserved using? Notably, tuna salad should be refrigerated two hours after preparation or purchase. For you to increases tuna salad’s shelf life, it’s best to make sure that it’s kept in an airtight container for safe consumption in the future.
With proper storage, tuna salad can last between three and five days in the refrigerator. But leaving it in open room temperature, note that it’ll go bad after two hours. That means it’ll have to be discarded. The reason is bacteria starts developing at a temperature ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be careful not to taste a tuna salad you’re not sure of whether it should be discarded or not. Getting it to your mouth may be harmful to your body’s health. To be safe, check out for staleness signs such as mold growth, bad odor, and bad appearance. In most cases, the salad is spoiled by the meat and mayonnaise that creates a bigger percentage of the salad. It’s the reason this tuna salad spoils more quickly as compared to other food types.
It’s also the best explanation for why it can’t be stored or preserved for longer periods. As a general rule, any food or salad containing mayonnaise as a spice should never be consumed five days after storage in the fridge. The time reduces even further, especially when one fails to seal it tightly to avoid air entry, which increases the chances for bacterial growth.
Other foods falling in the same category are chicken, meat, and fish that are highly perishable. They can’t be stored for longer even by preservation. Maybe preserving can be extended by a day by placing it in the coldest area possible and topping it up with vinegar or lemon.
Smoking s another method to preserve tuna salad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pickle, smoke, or freeze well. It can also complicate things if you further can it. Other salads and sandwiches that can stay refrigerated for longer include lunch meat. Keeping it in the refrigerator without opening can stay up to two weeks.
Why Tuna Salad Should Be Stored At 400F Or Below
In food, bacteria play two different roles. One is it can be pathogenic to make people sick and two, the spoilage type that makes food go bad. You can always tell that food is spoiled by looking at its appearance or texture. It may have molded or produced a bad odor.
The bad news is that pathogenic bacteria may only be noticed after causing trouble for your health. It’s because its presence in food may not be realized easily. The food’s taste, texture, or smell may not change, thus hard to tell if it contains bacteria. Between temperatures 40 and 140 degrees, Fahrenheit is what USDA calls the danger zone. That’s because it’s the temperature range where bacterial growth is at its best. Fahrenheit.
The best way to avoid the growth on your tuna salad is by keeping the temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a fridge thermometer to measure that temperature. In case you lack a fridge thermometer, it’d be wise to invest in one. No one should joke when it comes to food and their family’s health.
How Long Tuna Salad Can Stay Outside The Refrigerator
As mentioned earlier, mayonnaise and tuna easily spoil. For this reason, the USDA advises that food shouldn’t be left outside the fridge for over one to two hours. The time difference highly relies on the outside temperature where the food is placed.
Tuna salad should never be out of the refrigerator for more than an hour under a temperature that’s exceeding 900F. It should also not be left for over two hours in temperatures below 900 F. That’s according to USDA, but it’s good to always minimize the time tuna takes outside the fridge because it spoils very easily.
How To Know If It Is Spoiled
The most important point to note is you should discard any tuna salad in an open can. The same applies to leaking, rusted, bulging, and dented cans, more so one with dents all over the sealing area. Additionally, a tuna salad with a bad smell and a changed appearance in color is a sign of spoilage.
In such cases, don’t even taste it. Simply take it to the dustbin. In case the tuna looks fine and smells ok, but with a funky taste, don’t do it anymore.
Can Tuna Salad Be Frozen?
Freezing tuna salad is possible. However, its quality is likely to change after thawing and relies on the ingredients used in making it. Tuna salads with mayonnaise may not do well with freezing because the mayo usually separates leading to an unpleasant texture.
Again, onions and vegetables limp up after thawing also damaging the texture. The only thing that might work with freezing is the miracle whip. Nonetheless, if you don’t mind the quality after thawing, then go ahead and freeze it.
The Bottom Line
We earlier stated that tuna salads not eaten after two hours of the opening should be refrigerated to last longer. In the fridge, it can take between three and five days before going bad.
Without preservation in the fridge, it might lead to bacterial growth, which will eventually hurt the consumers. Therefore, it’s good to be careful and void putting your health and your family at risk.