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How Long Is Ceviche Good For

How Long Is Ceviche Good For? Answered (Updated)

Last Updated on July 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Have you ever experienced ceviche? You are surely familiar with its exquisite taste resulting from the combination of 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?

shrimp ceviche on a white bowl

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.

It is typically served as an entree but can be consumed as an appetizer. Because ceviche is raw food, its shelf life is shorter than cooked food because it is exposed to air, light, and heat. [1] 

Read: How To Eat Raw Salmon At Home?

Ceviche Shelf Life

Pantry

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?

Refrigerator

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.

Read: What Is The Vein On The Underside Of Shrimp?

Freezer

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

Bad Odor

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.

Off Taste

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.

Texture

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?

close up shot of shrimp 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.

Although the chemical denaturing process cures the meat, it does not necessarily kill parasites or bacteria in the raw meat’s flesh. [2] 

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.

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eIs it safe to eat Ceviche if pregnant?u003c/strongu003e

No, ceviche should not be consumed while pregnant because it is made with raw seafood.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eFood 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. u003ca href=u0022https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-it-safe-to-eat-raw-fish/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e[3]u003c/au003e 

u003cstrongu003eWhat happens if you eat bad Ceviche?u003c/strongu003e

Eating bad ceviche, you may suffer from headaches, dizziness, rash, itching, diarrhea, or all of these after consuming spoiled ceviche. u003ca href=u0022https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/wilderness-shellfish-poisoning-gastrointestinalu0022u003e[u003c/au003eu003ca href=u0022https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/wilderness-shellfish-poisoning-gastrointestinalu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e4u003c/au003eu003ca href=u0022https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/wilderness-shellfish-poisoning-gastrointestinalu0022u003e]u003c/au003e u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you know the item’s life span, you can discard it at the appropriate time and avoid all of these implications.

u003cstrongu003eCan you save leftover ceviche?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, you can save leftover ceviche if it is stored properly in the fridge.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf 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.

Conclusion

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.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235727/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-raw-fish
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-it-safe-to-eat-raw-fish/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/wilderness-shellfish-poisoning-gastrointestinal
Shari Mason

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