I recently purchased cod from the market and it sat in my fridge for a couple days and i'm not sure if it was spoiled before i froze it.

I left it in the freezer for about two weeks. Yesterday, I started thawing the fish and it has a pink color to it.

What causes this and is it safe to eat ?

I've touched and it wasn't slimy and it smelled like fish without any stink to it.

I plan on cooking it on high heat (400F) and cooking it through

Update: I updated and stated that i wasn't sure if it was spoiled before i froze it.

  • 2
    It spoiled and then you froze it, or you froze it before you felt it spoiled? Please clarify. Freezing does not un-spoil food that has already spoiled.
    – dlb
    Sep 22, 2017 at 14:25
  • I don't know if it was pink before. it was just wrapped in the wax paper. It was in my fridge from the market for two days before freezing it.
    – chrisjlee
    Sep 22, 2017 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


It is very difficult to tell someone else it a food item is good or safe, and the normal advice, especially with meats and seafood, is when in doubt, throw it out. In this case, there honestly is too many unknowns. The wording of the question:

it sat in my fridge for a couple days and spoiled i froze it

Sounds as if they fish spoiled, and then you froze it. Freezing will not reverse spoilage, it will only slow it. If the fish had already gone bad, it is bad.

On the pink color, you do not know if it was pink before you froze it or not. That makes it tougher still. Right off, I really do not know of a reason freezing would cause it to turn pink unless the freezing/thawing help highlight an already existing condition. I do know though of two conditions which will commonly cause a normally white fleshed fish to be more pink, spoilage, especially in a fish which was not cleaned promptly, is not stored at proper temperatures, and especially if it repeatedly goes from thawed to frozen or partially frozen and only to a soft freeze rather that recommended hard freeze temperatures. This would be a fish I would consider bad, even if the flesh remained firm with not other normal signs of spoilage. The second reason is poor bleeding at the time of harvest, which can be an issue with fish like cod. It really does not have a major effect on taste, but is considered a lower quality fish due to ascetics and likely will spoil faster than a fish which was correctly bled. These fish would normally be sorted out and sold at a lower price or to processors that will do something like make breaded fish from them.

There may also be other causes, but those are two common ones I know. Between those, it would simply be wild speculation to guess without the fish in hand to examine it.


From taking a food safety class, the food borne illnesses that you can get from eating bad fish or seafood, are actually pretty frightening. The following article refers to what to look for when preparing fish and seafood. And the best advise for questionable seafood is- when in doubt throw it out! It is not worth your health to eat something that could poison you or make you sick.

I once bought some mahi mahi and it sat for 2 days in my fridge before I prepared it. Seasoned it and grilled it and it looked wonderful. When I was about to put a bite in my mouth i noticed a distinct ammonia scent... Remembering some of our pet fish had died due to excessive ammonia or ammonia poisoning... We threw it out. Note: this was before the food safety class!!


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