Is it safe to eat?: A Metafilter Standard
September 9, 2010 6:14 AM   Subscribe

I defrosted farmer's market catfish in the refrigerator 48 hours ago. It's still sitting in the fridge now. You know what's coming, don't you? Is it safe to eat?
posted by josher71 to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does it smell OK? Off fish smells very fishy. Fresh/OK fish doesn't smell much.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:16 AM on September 9, 2010

I'd eat it. Today. For lunch. (If it doesn' smell overly fishy.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:18 AM on September 9, 2010

If it looks gooey or smells pewwy, indulge your doubt and toss it out.
posted by iconomy at 6:18 AM on September 9, 2010

Google is your friend:


"After thawing in the refrigerator, items such as ground meat, stew meat, poultry, seafood, should remain safe and good quality for an additional day or two before cooking; red meat cuts (such as beef, pork or lamb roasts, chops and steaks) 3 to 5 days. Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, although there may be some loss of quality. "
posted by aught at 6:20 AM on September 9, 2010

Response by poster: Smells fine. I'll eat it today for lunch.

Aught, thanks for your input. Sometimes it's nice to hear from actual people what their opinion is, however.
posted by josher71 at 6:23 AM on September 9, 2010

Best answer: My dirty slob of a former roommate used to buy those big slabs of salmon at Costco, let them sit in the fridge for a week, then cut them into portions and freeze them, then take them out of the freezer to let them thaw on the counter overnight for dinner the next day. And he wouldn't didn't die.

But regardless of what he would do, I would eat it today. Breaded and fried. With okra.
posted by phunniemee at 6:27 AM on September 9, 2010 [10 favorites]

Best answer: My understanding has always been that with whole fish or large fillets, two days is about the outside of okay, but okay so long as you have your fridge nice and cold. I'd definitely go for it unless it looks or smells iffy. Cook it well and you should be fine.

I'd also add that I've eaten thawed fish after three days with no ill effect. Now with shellfish, on the other hand, do not hang about.
posted by Decani at 6:45 AM on September 9, 2010

According to StillTasty, 1-2 days should be fine.
posted by schmod at 7:34 AM on September 9, 2010

Sometimes it's nice to hear from actual people what their opinion is, however.

Well, my opinion is that when in doubt it makes sense look up guidelines written by people who have tested the matter. (Also, I think the USDA is staffed by "actual people.")
posted by aught at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify: I would like to get anecdotes from people I can interact with on Metafilter related to fish and the safety thereof. I realize there is googleable knowledge about this situation but wanted to get others opinions on their experiences.
posted by josher71 at 7:57 AM on September 9, 2010

Many (all?) of the "food safe to eat after X days" rules are extremely conservative. They pick a duration that is almost guaranteed to be safe.

IRL, only you can tell if your food is safe to eat. Smell it, look at it, poke it, even taste a sample. Then decide if your personal requirements are "fresh" or "won't make me sick".

A lot of food is thrown out long before the "won't make me sick" phase. It's also good to know what your own personal (and family if sharing) constitution is...some people have delicate stomachs and need to be more careful. Others of us have cast-iron guts :)
posted by jpeacock at 9:21 AM on September 9, 2010

Oh, and yeah, I'd eat it w/o hesitation unless there was a pungent fishy smell.
posted by jpeacock at 9:22 AM on September 9, 2010

Response by poster: Ate it. Was good and no ill effects so far.
posted by josher71 at 11:42 AM on September 9, 2010

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