How To Know If Tilapia Is Bad?

Tilapia is a popular fish that is consumed by millions of people worldwide. It is known for its mild taste and versatility in cooking. However, like any other food, tilapia can go bad if not stored properly or consumed past its expiration date. 

How To Know If Tilapia Is Bad?

Here are some signs to look out for to determine if tilapia is bad:

  1. Smell

One of the most obvious signs that tilapia is bad is its smell. Fresh tilapia has a mild, oceanic smell that is not overpowering. However, if it has gone bad, the fish will emit a strong, unpleasant odor that may be described as rotten or ammonia-like. If you detect this odor, it’s best to discard the fish.

  1. Texture

Tilapia should have a firm, slightly elastic texture when fresh. If the fish is slimy or mushy to the touch, it’s likely that it has gone bad. Additionally, if the fish has a slimy film on its surface, this is a sign that it’s past its prime.

  1. Appearance

Fresh tilapia should have a bright, shiny appearance with clear eyes and red gills. If the eyes are cloudy or the gills are brown, it’s a sign that the fish is not fresh. Additionally, if the flesh of the fish is discolored, it may be an indication that it’s spoiled.

  1. Taste

The taste of tilapia is mild and slightly sweet when fresh. If the fish has gone bad, it will taste sour or rancid. If you detect an unpleasant taste, it’s best to discard the fish.

  1. Expiration Date

Lastly, it’s important to check the expiration date of the tilapia. If the fish has passed its expiration date, it’s likely that it has gone bad and should be discarded.

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How Long Is Tilapia Good For In The Fridge?

Most types of fish are highly perishable and should be eaten within a few days of being caught. However, Tilapia is a bit more forgiving. This popular white fish can be safely stored in the fridge for up to four days. After that, it will start to deteriorate and should be eaten as soon as possible.

What Color Is Spoiled Tilapia?

How do you tell if your frozen Tilapia is bad? You can usually see signs of freezer burn; discoloring of the flesh into a chalky-white color that sits on top of the natural or expected color.

How Do I Know If My Frozen Tilapia Is Bad?

Detectable Spoilage

  1. Touch the fish with your fingers. If your fingertips feel sticky afterward, that’s a bad thing.
  2. Check the packaging for thick fluid oozing around the fillet.
  3. Smell the fillet. If it has funky, “fishy” odors, it’s not fresh.

When Should I Throw Away Tilapia?

How to tell if raw tilapia is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the tilapia: signs of bad tilapia are a sour smell, dull color, and slimy texture; discard any tilapia with an off smell or appearance.


Tilapia is a delicious and healthy fish that can add variety to your meals. However, it is important to know how to identify if tilapia has gone bad to avoid food poisoning. By checking the color, smell, texture, and expiration date of the fish, you can ensure that you are consuming fresh and safe tilapia. If in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and dispose of the fish to avoid any potential health risks.


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