How Long Can Cooked Fish Stay Outside?

How Long Can Cooked Fish Stay Outside?

How long can cooked fish stay outside? Because of the high activity of bacteria that are present at room temperature, cooked fish should only be left out for a maximum of two hours before it becomes unsafe to consume.

However, this was only a brief explanation; in order to fully understand this subject, we must delve further. Then, let’s get started without wasting any more time.

How Long Can A Fish Stay Outside?

Fish can be left at room temperature for up to two hours, whether it’s raw or cooked. On hot days when the room is above 90°F, this time decreases to an hour. The fish should then be thrown away or put back in the fridge and thoroughly cooked the next time it is used to ensure the fish is cooked through.

Remember that there are no guarantees when it comes to bacteria growth, and these timelines are only suggestions. The following variables affect how long your fish will remain fresh:

Room temperature: fish will go off quicker in warmer, more humid weather. If you’re having a picnic or outdoor potluck dinner and the sun is shining on your fish, the risk is even higher.

Covered or uncovered: uncovered fish can receive unwanted attention from flies that transfer Campylobacter and other pathogens.

Age of raw fish: how old was the fish when you bought it? Freshly caught fish might not be as problematic as rancid fish you purchased from the grocery store.

Fish fillets vs. whole fish fillets have more surface area exposed to the heat and humidity, so they won’t last as long as an unfilleted fish.

Fish temperature: seafood that’s frozen will take longer to reach Leaving frozen fish on the counter will extend its shelf life and prevent it from going bad sooner. Fish is advised to defrost in the refrigerator, though.

Should You Refrigerate Cooked Fish?

Yes, cooked fish must be refrigerated because, when left out at room temperature, it quickly goes bad. In fact, if you want to be sure that perishable food is safe to eat, you should never leave it out of the fridge for more than two hours.

Because of this, if you intend to keep the cooked fish for a while, storing it in the refrigerator is absolutely essential; otherwise, you would have to consume it right away.

At What Temperature Do Fish Bacteria Grow Most Readily?

The USDA refers to the “Danger Zone” when it talks about food safety. You can understand the ideal storage temperature for fish by using this idea. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria.

What is this zone then? The harmful bacteria can multiply between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 and 60 degrees Celsius), as we previously stated in our article on how long cookie dough can sit out. This temperature span is known as the Danger Zone. When food is improperly stored, harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus can grow on it.”

Cooked Fish

How Long Can Cooked Fish Be Kept Out In The Open?

Cooked fish can only be left out at room temperature for two hours, as we mentioned in the previous response. The USDA’s safety recommendations, which state that perishable food should never be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, are the cause of this.

Why? Well, food like cooked fish can become unsafe to eat even after a short period of time at room temperature because bacteria grow exceptionally quickly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F.

Is It Safe To Leave Cooked Fish Out Overnight?

Cooked fish cannot be left out overnight because the United States Department of Agriculture advises against leaving any perishable food, including cooked fish, out for longer than two hours.

Eating cooked fish that has only been out of the refrigerator for two hours may be dangerous because bacteria thrive at room temperature. And since eating cooked fish that has been out overnight is simply unsafe for your health, you should discard it right away.

How Much Time Can Cooked Tilapia Be Left Outside?

Any perishable food left out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours poses a risk to human health, according to the USDA. As a result, cooked tilapia should only be left outside for two hours. It is simply unsafe to eat your tilapia after it has been out for longer than two hours due to the high activity bacteria have at room temperature.

How Long Can Fish Be Left Outside Before Being Cooked?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, even fish should never be left out for longer than two hours. So, the maximum time that fish can be left outside before cooking is two hours.

If you leave your fish out of the fridge for a longer period of time before cooking and eating it, it’s very likely that doing so will cause bacteria to overgrow, making eating it dangerous.

How Do You Know If Fish That Has Been Cooked Poorly?

Fortunately, it is simple to distinguish bad fish from good fish. To determine whether cooked fish is bad, check to see that the meat is not mushy and that it does not have a strange odor.

The fish is healthy if you’ve thoroughly examined it and nothing strange has come into your eyes or nose.

How Can I Tell If Fresh Fish Has Gone Bad?

It is important to understand that foodborne bacteria like salmonella are invisible to the human eye. Instead of focusing on the fish’s quality, it is best to use time as a guide. In other words, if your fish is kept in the refrigerator for more than two days or at room temperature for more than two hours, you should prepare for the worst.

Check the fish for an overwhelming fishy smell to determine how fresh it is. The flesh should be firm, with glossy scales, and no accumulation of slime. Look for bright eyes that aren’t dull and clouded over when inspecting a whole fish.

Did you know? Even though cooking fish will kill the majority of bacteria, if the fish is bad, you might still get sick. Some of the scariest strains of bacteria like bacillus cereus and staphylococcus can produce toxins that are heat resistant. They won’t be ruined by subsequent heating in the oven or microwave.

How Can Cooked Fish Be Kept Fresh?

Maintaining cooked fish in the best condition possible is a fairly simple process, just like with cooked beef or pork. Put your cooked fish in some airtight containers and the refrigerator to keep it fresh. 

In this manner, it can continue to be in excellent condition for up to three days!

What Happens When Fish Is Improperly Prepared?

There is a good chance you will become ill or develop food poisoning if you consume fish that has been improperly cooked. What exactly does that mean? In any case, you might vomit, get an upset stomach, or have diarrhea after consuming rotten cooked fish.

But even with that in mind, it’s still fair to say that these symptoms shouldn’t be too severe. If they do, call your doctor right away if they become troublesome.

Tips For Eating Fish Safely

  • Raw and cooked seafood should be kept apart.
  • Before handling fish, always wash your hands in warm water and soap.
  • Before preparing other raw ingredients, wash dishes, countertops, cutting boards, and utensils in hot water and soap.


All perishable food, including cooked fish, must only be left out for two hours according to US Department of Agriculture guidelines before it becomes completely safe to consume. Thus, cooked fish should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours if you want to be certain that it is safe to eat.

In order to store it for a little while longer, you must place it in the refrigerator. It will keep well in the fridge for up to three days if you also carefully seal it into some airtight containers beforehand.