Can I eat this smoked salmon?
August 19, 2017 1:04 PM   Subscribe

We just found in the back of our pantry, on the top shelf, where it was out of sight, an unopened package of smoked salmon that was a gift from someone who bought it in Canada. It has no expiration date in it. It is clearly labeled "NEEDS NO REFRIGERATION". It is at least one year old, but may be as much as four years old. Is it still safe to eat? Is it still desirable to eat?

I just removed the shrink plastic (which was undamaged) and opened the box, hoping to see an expiration date on the gold-colored foil packet, but no such luck. The lot number or something is stamped on the foil in red ink, saying, uninformatively, SW18072. The label says (skipping the French because it says exactly the same thing as the English):
Ingredients: Wild Sockeye Salmon, salt, natural wood smoke
Net weight: 227 g / 8 oz
Needs No Refrigeration
Packed For: Sundance seafood Ltd. V3S 1C3
Plant Registration # 1933

The package is completely undamaged and clean. No leakage, no swelling. Absolutely the only thing wrong with it is that we don't know how old it is, and it is not at all unlikely that it dates from December of 2013. We know it has been in our pantry since it was new.

What do you think?
posted by artistic verisimilitude to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
I think if the vacuum seal was intact, I would take them at their word that it needs no refrigeration and that it is safe to eat.

I think it is safe. I have no idea about the taste. I would go for it.
posted by AugustWest at 1:07 PM on August 19, 2017

I'd eat it. This is not medical advice.
posted by rodlymight at 1:16 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

This faq says this kind of salmon retort has a shelf life of up to five years. It's basically like canned salmon and I think you can eat it.
posted by hazyjane at 1:18 PM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes I'd eat it, yes I would find this desirable, possibly for dinner tonight or lunch tomorrow.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:27 PM on August 19, 2017

I should think it would be something like canned food. My only question would be if the plastic has BPA in it, or some other chemical might alter over time, react with the salmon, or something. I'm speaking as a purely uninformed person about this, it's just where my brain would go, especially for something that might be four years old.
posted by Crystal Fox at 2:07 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would eat a very small piece just out of curiosity, but this is not medical advice.
posted by benadryl at 2:08 PM on August 19, 2017

Sundance is a fairly well-known seafood company here in BC. It's entirely common here to pack smoked salmon, tuna and other seafood in that foil, although it's a more recent packaging type. This product and brand show up in lots of stores here, including my local grocery store, so I'd say it's safe and shelf stable If you are worried, just call or email them and ask if it's still okay:
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 4:44 PM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have eaten this. I'm still alive.
(My brother lived in Alaska for 20+ years, and that's what he sent for Christmas every year. They piled up for a while, and one year I decided to Eat All The Salmon. It was fine.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:46 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have eaten something similar. Still alive. Just beware the juice might smell pretty strong. Don't accidentally soak a corner of a blanket in it like I did.
posted by astapasta24 at 8:21 PM on August 20, 2017

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