Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Shari Mason
If you’ve ever had ceviche, you know how delicious it can be with various ingredients.
Ceviche is easy to prepare without the need for a stove or oven to achieve its perfection, but every perfect delicacy has its downside.
Raw food has a shorter life span than cooked food. Since ceviche is a raw meal, this would lead us to the question – how long is ceviche good for?
Drawing from my personal encounters, I’ll offer an authoritative perspective on the window of time that this dish maintains its peak freshness.
How Long Does Ceviche Last?
Ceviche could last in the pantry for two hours or less (to leave ceviche sit in the pantry is not ideal). If refrigerated and stored properly, it could last for up to two days and up to two months in the freezer.
Raw food or other seafood is a popular dish in Latin America due to its fresh taste. It has huge varieties like tuna ceviche, salmon ceviche, tilapia ceviche, or halibut ceviche.
Ceviche is a dish that combines raw fish with lemon or lime juice, onions, cilantro, hot peppers, and vegetables.
Ceviche Shelf Life
Ceviche lasts at room temperature for only two hours. The fish marinate will take 30 minutes to an hour to cook the fish. Beyond that, citrus acid will start to overwork.
The acidic taste in lime or lemon juice will continue to “cook” the raw meat while sitting in the lemon juice mixture.
While the fish may still be safe to eat after two hours in the acidic juices, the texture will begin to change awfully.
That’s why storing ceviche for a few hours at room temperature is not recommended.
Read: Can You Eat Mahi-Mahi Raw?
Because the fresh fish has been marinated in more citrus juice mixture, it can stay fresh in the refrigerator for approximately two days.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”– Hippocrates, Greek Physician
The acidic citrus juice breaks down the protein, which will results in a change in the consistency of the final product.
How long does ceviche last in the freezer depends on the storage process. You can freeze ceviche for up to a month or two as long as properly stored in an airtight container.
Before transferring the seafood chunks to a freezer bag, press out any excess air and drain any juices. Ensure that it is as fresh as possible.
We suggest smelling the ceviche to see if it smells fishy at all. If the smell is particularly strong, toss the food—this indicates that the fish has spoiled.
How To Tell If Ceviche Has Gone Bad
Spoiled ceviche normally smells like a rotten fish. If there’s a strong fish smell, toss the food. It indicates that the fish has spoiled and should not be consumed.
The taste of spoiled ceviche is just the same as how it smells when spoiled. If its fishy taste is stronger than usual, it is a common sign that it has gone bad and should be thrown away.
If the ceviche has gone bad, the texture will start to change.
The longer you keep it, the mushier it becomes. This is because citric acid will continue to degrade the fish’s proteins.
You can also detect it by looking at the fish’s edges. If the edges of the fish appear deformed, it has most likely gone bad.
How To Properly Store Ceviche
Drain fresh ceviche to store it in the container tightly. Turn your bowl over a colander or sieve. Let all the lime juice drain.
After draining the food, place it in a plastic wrap or bag without air bubbles. Knock the open bag against the counter to settle the contents.
Press out as much air as possible before sealing the plastic bag or food container. Air in the bag will condense, freeze, and rupture the seafood cells in the freezer.
After sealing, put a date on the zip lock bag labels. Freezing ceviche in the freezer’s center prevents freezer burn.
Is It Safe To Eat Ceviche?
Ceviche is only safe if you use fresh fish such as sea bass, striped bass, grouper, or flatfishes like sole or flounder. Spoilage on raw food is relatively fast, so better not to leave it longer.
This is why you should only use high-quality seafood—pre-frozen fish preserved before exposure to contaminants or the freshest seafood available.
Consuming as soon as served is also recommended because leaving it at room temperature speeds up contamination.
Is it safe to eat Ceviche if pregnant?
No, ceviche should not be consumed while pregnant because it is made with raw seafood.
Food poisoning can occur from eating raw fish or seafood. Pregnant women are more likely to get sick, stay sick longer, and experience serious side effects. 
What happens if you eat bad Ceviche?
Can you save leftover ceviche?
Yes, you can save leftover ceviche if it is stored properly in the fridge.
If you keep leftover crab ceviche or shrimp ceviche in the fridge for about two days after making it, you can consume it safely because the crab has been marinated in an acidic mixture.
In conclusion, ceviche should be consumed immediately after the fish has been marinated in citrus juices for about 30 minutes.
Ceviche is a dish that should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours or in the refrigerator for more than two days. Keep ceviche fresh for the best taste.
The longer the fish is left in the citrus juices, the more the texture changes until it is unappealing.
If you want the best texture, freshness, and flavor from your ceviche, eat it as soon as possible to appreciate the amazing dish that it is and allow all of the fresh ingredients to shine.
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