How to Determine Salmon Freshness

August 21, 2019

How to Determine Salmon Freshness


Salmon is, by far, North America’s most popular seafood. This great-tasting, fatty fish is chockful of nutrients and can reduce risk factors for several diseases. We trust that you’re familiar with the sight of the pretty pink fish that occasionally sits atop your dinner plate; but here’s the real question: how can you tell if the salmon you’ve bought is fresh?

Recipe By Seafood Crate

Well, you don’t have to be a seafood expert – it all begins with 3 of your primary senses – sight, smell, and touch.


Do not even think about getting that dreary-looking slab of salmon! The first indicator of fresh salmon is its colour: it should always be a lovely, bright pinkish-orange hue. While colours can vary slightly according to salmon species, the key is the brightness of the meat. If your salmon looks dull, pale or discolored, it is not fresh at all and could be spoiled.

But colour can be misleading as some grocery store salmon is treated with tasteless smoke which chemically makes it look fresh even if it’s been sitting on the shelf for days.

Now look a little closer. The white lines on fresh salmon are another sign of freshness. If you need to squint before you can make them out, put the salmon back – it’s no longer fresh.

If you’re purchasing a whole salmon, you have one other way to check for freshness – its eyes. It should have bright, clear eyes that feature a dark pupil. The eyes should also be bulging slightly; steer clear of cloudy and sunken eyes.


Take a good whiff of the salmon. What do you smell? Fresh salmon should have nothing more than a subtle “fishy” scent. If the smell of the meat assaults your nose, we’re willing to bet that it will do the same to your stomach. Be sure to throw out any salmon that doesn’t smell right. Scents that are sour or ammonia-like are a definite no-no.


If the salmon has passed the sight and smell tests, you can go ahead and touch it. Give the salmon a quick rub with your fingers. Don’t be shy… it won’t hurt you!

How does it feel? If the fish has a slimy, milky-white residue on the outside, it’s likely NOT fresh. Note that a good quality cut of salmon will be oily to the touch. This is the Omega 3 fatty acids which are a big reason for salmon’s great taste of nutritional content.

Next give the meat a quick prod to check for consistency. Fresh salmon should always be firm and spring back when pressed. If it feels loose and falls apart easily, it has probably gone bad. 


And there you have it! How to determine salmon freshness is not difficult but getting it fresh can be. Don’t assume that your salmon is fresh, just because you bought it from the grocery store. Think about it: who knows how long that fish has been sitting on the store shelf?

Take the guess work out of the equation! You never have to fret over the freshness of your seafood if you order from Seafood Crate. Our fresh seafood delivery service ensures you’re getting honestly fresh salmon direct from the fishermen – no shelf display, no unnecessary processing, and no wasted time.

Let the seafood experts over at Seafood Crate make a difference in your kitchen.  If convenient seafood delivery and “shore to door” freshness sounds amazing, we’re just one click away! Click here to get started.

Have you tried this recipe or enjoyed our products? Let us know by leaving a review! If you have any questions, please contact us.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blogs

Top 5 Tips For Choosing Quality Seafood
Top 5 Tips For Choosing Quality Seafood

November 21, 2019

Our top 5 tips for choosing quality seafood make finding fresh, premium seafood a breeze.

Read More

Stop Paying for Ice: Glaze, The Frozen Fish Fraud
Stop Paying for Ice: Glaze, The Frozen Fish Fraud

August 21, 2019

Read More

Atlantic Salmon & Pacific Salmon
Atlantic Salmon & Pacific Salmon

August 21, 2019

Read More

★ Reviews

What our customers have to say...

127 reviews
Found my fishmonger!

Our first order was a wide range of products. Having gone through each offering I can truly say your product is fresh...fresher than my local...packaged well, sustainably responsible, top quality and portioned just right. Just placed my second order. I'm sold! Seafood Crate you are my only source for fresh seafood. We especially loved the salmon, Argentinian shrimp, pickerel and Arctic char. Super impressed!

If you haven't already, do yourself a huge favour and give Seafood Crate a try. Like Vicki and I one order is all that's needed to find your own personal fish monger!
Looking forward to new offerings in the future...mussels, oysters, clams?


Seafood Crate offers a great service, a good selection of fish and always delivers. I highly recommend them.

Great fish!

We especially loved the Tuna and scallops!
We ordered an array of fish and seafood and used and enjoyed everything.
The convenience of ordering and delivery certainly added to our overall enjoyment of your products! We will continue to order your fish and seafood and will continue to recommend it to our friends and family! Many thanks for your great product!! Andrea

Excellent Fish and Customer Service

Received our first order today. It was packaged as advertised. Presentation was excellent. We were able to track the order from start to finish.
We had the salmon for supper and it was so moist and the taste was pleasing to the palate. we are looking forward to the rest of the fish we ordered.
Will never look at store purchased fish again.
Seafood crate will be our go to for fresh fish and seafood.
Thanks again

Best fish

Totally in love with your tuna. It's so good to be able to get sushi grade. I made a tuna tataki. Salmon also very good.