How To Tell If Sushi Is Bad?

All food lovers want to learn how to tell if sushi is bad. This dish is often deceptive in its appearance and texture. The fish should be firm and not wilt or become milky when you touch it. You can also use your finger to press the fish gently, and it should not leave any indentation. If it does, discard the sushi. However, it is not a good idea to eat it right away if it has gone bad.


Sushi Nutrition Facts

sushi nutrition facts

What Is Sushi?

Sushi is a classic Japanese cuisine consisting of vinegared rice (typically with sugar and salt) topped with a range of raw fish and vegetables. It comes in various styles and presentations, but one crucial element is “sushi rice,” sometimes known as sharia. Sushi is generally made with medium-grain white rice.

However, brown rice or short-grain rice can also be used. Squid, eel, yellowtail, salmon, tuna, or imitation crab meat are frequently used in their preparation. Sushi comes in various vegetarian options, and it’s frequently accompanied by pickled ginger (gari), wasabi, and soy sauce. The dish is often garnished with daikon radish or pickled daikon (taken).

What Are The Signs Of Bad Sushi?

Here are some signs of bad sushi:

  • To determine if sushi is bad, first of all, check the expiration date. If the sushi is past the expiration date, you should throw it away. However, if it still looks fresh, you can still eat it. Just make sure that you sniff it.
  • A slimy, foul smell means it is spoiled and should be discarded. You should also avoid leftovers if they smell fishy or are discolored.
  • If you haven’t refrigerated your sushi, you should throw it out immediately if the rice is hard and doesn’t spring back when gently squeezed.
  • If the fish inside has slime or discoloration, you should also throw it out. If the rice is mushy or smells foul, it’s time to send it back to the kitchen.
  • If the rice has changed color or has a foul odor, you should also throw out the sushi. If the rice has turned brown, you should also throw it out. It should be thrown out if the fish has a slimy or fishy smell.
  • Similarly, it’s not fresh if the fish is soft or crumbly. You should also check the color of the sushi. If it’s green, it’s safe to eat it; if it’s red, it’s not yet spoiled and should be discarded.
  • The fish’s flesh should be white and not smell fishy. The sushi should not smell like seawater or have an odor or look like that. Fresh sushi is bright and translucent.
  • If the fish has been sitting on the counter for a long time, chances are it’s already gone bad. It’s a good idea to discard over two weeks-old sushi.

How Long Can Sushi Last Before Spoiling?

The significant ingredients determine sushi’s general shelf life and storage rules. In general, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends keeping leftovers at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours and no longer than 1 hour if you’re eating outside and the temperature is above 90oF (32oC).

This advice applies to raw and cooked sushi, such as sashimi, tempura, or California rolls. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that raw fish and shellfish be refrigerated for 1–2 days but prepared sushi for 3–4 days. The idea is to keep sushi out of the 40–140°F (4–60°C) “danger zone” to avoid fast bacterial growth, which raises the risk of foodborne illness.

How To Safely Store Leftover Sushi?

According to the FDA’s raw fish and seafood storage rules, raw fish and seafood, including sushi, should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, or moisture-proof paper and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. You can also keep it in an airtight container to prevent moisture and bacterial growth. Avoid using containers that don’t seal properly, which can lead to bacterial development and food spoiling.

Raw and cooked sushi can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 and 4 days. Sushi can be frozen for extended storage, although the product’s quality may suffer. If you bought sushi from an unrefrigerated display, eat it within 24 hours if it contains raw fish, or up to 3 days if it doesn’t. Of course, as soon as you arrive home, place the package in the refrigerator.

Risks Of Eating Spoiled Sushi

Here are some health risks also of eating bad sushi:

  • Sushi and sashimi, for example, are more likely to carry parasites and germs that can be passed to people and cause foodborne illness.
  • In Japan, anisakidosis (gut larval infection) is a common foodborne illness linked to sushi, while in the United States, sushi has been linked to salmonella outbreaks.
  • The most frequent symptoms of a foodborne infection are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps; however, individual symptoms may differ.
  • Food poisoning can be dangerous, especially for those at a higher risk of complications, such as young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with specific medical conditions.
  • Sushi may contain mercury, a hazardous heavy metal that, in excessive doses, can harm the brain, intestines, and kidneys, and the risk of foodborne illness.


A sushi’s smell should be fresh. Sushi that smells too fishy will be spoiled. The fish should not smell fishy. It should be fragrant and free of parasites. It should not be overly spicy and should not be fried. If the fish is rotten, it should smell sweet and fresh. If it smells like seawater, it’s probably not of good quality.

It might have gone not good if sushi had been sitting on the counter for an extended period. If it’s been sitting on the counter for more than 24 hours, it’s probably past its expiration date. You should throw it away if it’s been on the counter for more than 24 hours. A fish that’s gone bad will have a fishy smell and be unpleasant to eat.