The Shelf Life of Leftover Sushi

By Hira Waheed

11 June 2023

Leftover sushi is not something that ages well. While certain foods like wine or cheese may improve with time, sushi is best enjoyed fresh. While you can repurpose many leftovers, sushi is an exception. If you've ever questioned the safety of eating leftover sushi and wondered how long it can be stored, here's what you need to know.
The Shelf Life of Leftover Sushi

Katie Heil's Expert Advice

According to Katie Heil, Seller/Server Learning Experience Design Manager at Certus, sushi with raw fish should be consumed within one to two days of preparation. On the other hand, sushi without raw fish may remain safe for up to nearly a week. These recommendations align with the guidelines provided by the Food Code from the USFDA, which states that food prepared and refrigerated in a food establishment should be consumed, sold, or discarded within seven days. It's worth noting that the day of preparation counts as day one.

The Role of Cooked Rice

Leftover rice can sometimes cause food poisoning, and sushi rice is no exception. Heil explains that cooked rice is considered Time/Temperature for Safety (TCS) food, which means it should be refrigerated at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit to remain safe for consumption.

Complexities of Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is a bit more complex due to the addition of vinegar. The use of vinegar in sushi rice can act as a method of preservation, potentially altering its classification as a TCS food. In such cases, restaurants would need to apply for a variance and establish a safety plan to determine the storage duration.

Recommended Best Practices

To ensure safety, it's generally best to consume sushi within a day or two of its preparation. In the meantime, be sure to refrigerate any leftover sushi promptly. By following these practices, you can enjoy sushi while minimizing any potential risks associated with improper storage.
When it comes to leftover sushi, it's crucial to consider the guidelines for safe consumption. Sushi with raw fish should be enjoyed within one to two days, while sushi without raw fish may be safe for nearly a week. Additionally, the storage of sushi rice has its complexities, with vinegar potentially playing a role in its preservation. By adhering to these guidelines and best practices, you can savor your sushi while prioritizing food safety.

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