How to Tell if Smoked Mackerel Is Off

Mackerel as the name suggests is a name that is applied to many species of pelagic fish. They are classified to be from the family Scombridae. Mackerel are only adapted to both temperate and seas around the tropics. They are found in areas along the coastline or at the shores around the oceanic environment. You can identify these kinds of fish by observing their vertical stripes on their back and also their deeply forked tails.

At times they migrate to large schools to search for suitable shallow water for spawning reasons. Once they have spawn, they migrate in small groups to look for suitable grounds for upwelling, where later they can move to areas with deep waters to stay during winter seasons. They tend to be the host for large predators like Atlantic cod, sea birds, whales, dolphins, sharks, and human beings.

Signs that Smoked Mackerel is offSmoked Mackerel Is Off

As the best source of protein, humans tend to fish this species not only for food but also as a source of income. Since they are highly fragile, they easily spoil. Therefore, you should take the possible measures to avoid this. If they get spoiled before selling or eating then you have no option than to expose them to avoid food poisoning. Some of the signs to tell that your mackerel has gone off are as discussed below:

1. Inspecting the Salmon for the discolored spots on the meat.

Different from other species of fish, Mackerel’s salmon ages will start to discolor which is a clear sign that your mackerel is going badly. To get more proof, you have to observe keenly and if you observe any spots that are not healthy pink which is the color for most salmon then that is a clear sign that your fish has expired. Dark spots are the major colors for spoiled fish instead of a healthy pink.

2. Presence of whitish patches.

Moss or mold-like spiral whitish patches around or on the body of your mackerel is 100% proof that something is wrong with your share of food. Attack from the microorganisms causes such to happen and if you see these whitish patches then you will have no option other than disposing of your mackerel.

3. Press the salmon to observe its firmness.

With the damage, your mackerel will be soft and easily bent. A fresh salmon must be edible and firm when it is touched. But if you observe the white lines between the flakes of your salmon, then this is a clear sign that your fish is still fresh. But once you see that the lines are fading, and then you should dumb the mackerel.

4. Feeling the surface texture of your fish

Moving your hand around the body of the mackerel you must be expecting to feel a rough texture due to the scales but if you feel the opposite, that is, soft texture, then automatically your mackerel has gone off as you should dump it to avoid health issues.

5. Noting the white lines in the meat.

Being well known for its thin white lines that are separating the layers or flakes of its meat unlike other kinds of fish, then its work is made easier where you only need to look for the presence of such a line, else your mackerel is simply damaged.

6. Slimy skin

If the freshness of your mackerel is still firm and the skin is still shiny, then prepare your food, but otherwise if the skinny is slimy, then you will have no other option than to look for a different source.

7. Ammonia Ascent

Once you have cooked and served your mackerel and then you get a stingy smell overpoweringly of ammonia, then your fish is not good for intake.

8. Looking for Freezer Burn

Refrigeration is one of the best ways to preserve food. Freezing anything in your refrigerator, with its extremely cold temperature, then the micro-organism gets it had to survive a hence prolonged period of damage. Freezing can also be a good way to check if your mackerel is good, if after freezing you observe freezer burns then your mackerel is damaged and it’s not good for us.

9. Quantum dots

If you take a keen look at your fish and you observe fluorescent carbon quantum dots on the surface of your mackerel. Then automatically you got a spoiled meal. Exposing such a kind of fish would sound 100 times better than assuming and eating the fish.

Harmful effects of taking spoiled smoked mackerel.

Given that intake of mackerel will give to a lot of benefits such as lowering risks of fatal and coronary heart disease, reducing inflammation, preventing chronic inflammations, and lowering risks of high blood pressure among many other benefits, taking damaged mackerel will also cause you adverse health effects like:

        i.            Methyl mercury poisoning

Taking a meal of fish with mercury will cause very adverse effects on your health. In fish, mercury is built in the form of methyl mercury which is termed as highly toxic to your body. In normal terms mercury is termed a naturally occurring heavy metal, there exist three major forms of mercury which are: elemental metallic, inorganic and organic metal. Some symptoms of mercury poisoning include anxiety, depression, and irritability among a few more others.

     ii.            Histamine Toxicity

Also known as Scombroid poisoning, this is a form of food poisoning which is sometimes confused with the allergic reaction but it is chemical histamine that is converted to histamine by the bacteria. Some of the symptoms are Nausea, Burning in the mouth, headache, Diarrhea among other effects.

  iii.            Scombroid food poisoning

This is a food-borne kind of illness that typically results from the intake of spoiled fish. To prevent this kind of poisoning then refrigeration is the best option. Some symptoms of scombroid poisoning are, flushed skin, headache, itchiness, blurred vision, and abdominal crumbs. At some point, it may also lead to breathing problems or irregular heartbeat. Diagnosis of this kind of poisoning is through normal blood tryptase.


A meal without protein can be as well as said to be a meal without a balanced diet. Since protein provides a high value of nutritional content to our bodies. Then you can choose to go for fish because it’s always a better source of such content. As you leave your area of residence for fish in a nearby market, have in mind that you know all the possible signs of a mackerel that got worse, and you observe any of those signs then don’t pay for it.

Finally if at all bad luck you buy a smoked mackerel that is off, you better throw it away than take it because if you do then it will get more pain than health benefit.

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