How Long Is Frozen Fish Safe to Eat?

Updated April 17, 2017

Freezing is a great method to keep fish on hand. According to freezer storage guides, you can keep fish frozen and safe to eat for between two and six months, depending on how the fish is prepared beforehand.


Proper preparation within 12 hours of catching fresh fish will ensure your catch will keep in the freezer. Wash your fish in cold saltwater, and then scale and gut it before freezing. Sardines, however, only need to be washed and can be frozen whole. The simplest freezing method is to place the fish in a milk carton or freezer bag, cover it with water and allow it to freeze. The ice glazing method involves dipping a cut of fish in water several times, wrapping it in foil and freezing it.


Different types of fish keep for different amounts of time. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and trout, will keep for two to three months when frozen in an ice block or frozen with an ice glaze. Lean fish, like cod, haddock and sole, will keep for six months when stored using the ice block method.

Cooked Fish

You can freeze cooked fish in an airtight freezer bag for four to six months. The texture of cooked fish may become mushy if stored this way, however. You can freeze smoked fish in its vacuum-sealed packaging for two months.

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About the Author

Based in Phoenix, Meghan Jones has been writing fiction, nonfiction and poetry since 2002. Her creative work "Invisible Driveways" was published by Destructive Heart Press in 2006. Jones received the Mary A. Hill English Creative Writing Scholarship, and she won the Curios Southwest Writing Contest in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English creative writing from Northern Arizona University.