How long does shrimp last in the fridge? A Guide for Beginners

how long does shrimp last in the fridge

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Shrimp is a popular and beloved seafood that many people enjoy, including me. I love variety in foods, so sometimes I love trying different recipes with shrimp. But one question that many people wonder is how long does shrimp last in the fridge. There are different factors that can affect the shelf life of shrimp. So with this in mind, I will try my best to cover everything you need to know about shelf life, appropriate storage, and the signs of spoiled shrimp.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How long does shrimp last in the fridge? Raw and cooked.
  • How to store shrimp?
  • How to thaw shrimp?
  • And more!

How long does shrimp last in the fridge?

So why is it important to know how long does shrimp last in the fridge? I think everyone wants to avoid any foodborne illnesses, so this is one reason. On the other hand, you don’t want to throw away food, so knowing the shelf life of shrimp can save you money, and you can avoid unpleasant surprises.

cooked shrimp

Generally, shrimp lasts 2-4 days in the fridge, but this timeframe depends on whether we are talking about raw or cooked shrimp. Plus, other factors can affect its shelf life, such as its freshness when you bought it, how it was prepared, and storage conditions.

Related >> How long does salmon last in the fridge?

How long does raw shrimp last in the fridge?

Raw shrimp will last two days in the fridge. Storing it properly at a temp of 40F or lower is important for this to happen. According to USDA, leaving shrimp for more than two hours at room temperature is not advised, as harmful bacteria can grow in such conditions. Before preparing your shrimp, make sure to check for signs of spoilage (which I will cover in a later section).

How long does cooked shrimp last in the fridge?

If your shrimp were cooked thoroughly and stored correctly, they would last up to four days in the fridge. But still, it is important to store at or below 40 F, and never leave at room temperature for more than two hours. If you miss one of these two factors, the shelf life of your shrimp can become shorter, so always check your shrimp before consuming.

Read more >> How long does cooked bacon last in the fridge?

How to store shrimp in the fridge?

cooked shrimp on a plate

If you want to keep your shrimp fresh as long as possible, storing it properly is key. As mentioned above, storage can greatly affect the shelf life. You can do a few things to ensure your shrimp stays fresh for as long as possible.

Consistent temperature: This is self-explanatory, but a temp of 40 F or below is essential when storing your shrimp. With a constant temperature, you can reduce the chance of bacteria spreading.

Keep it in its original packaging: If you bought packed shrimp from a store, just keep it in its original packaging. However, if you end up with some leftover shrimp, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge or a resealable bag, or wrap it tightly in plastic foil. This will prevent the shrimp from drying out as well as from cross-contamination.

Label the container: Remembering the exact date of storing different foods in your fridge is nearly impossible, so labeling them with the date it was stored will be more than helpful most of the time. This is the easiest way to keep track of the freshness of your food.

Don’t store the shrimp for too long: Although if you have some leftover cooked shrimp, you can store them for up to 4 days in the fridge, it’s better to use them before that date to ensure better taste and quality.

Freeze it for longer storage: If you are unsure whether you will cook your shrimp within two days, it’s better to freeze it. And whenever you are ready to cook those shrimps, just thaw them overnight in the fridge.

did you know - shrimp

Can you freeze cooked shrimp?

Absolutely! Probably I’m not the only one who loves to cook in larger quantities. This means that sometimes there will remain some leftover food. If this happens to you, I suggest freezing your shrimp, especially if you are not planning on eating them in the next few days.

You can keep cooked shrimp for 9-12 months in the freezer, but always make sure to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat. Once you are ready to eat those frozen goodies, just thaw them in the fridge, you can leave them in the fridge overnight, and you will have your cooked shrimp ready the next day.

frozen shrimp

Before freezing, though, remember to let them cool down. Don’t forget to label it with the date of storage. Believe me, it will be much easier to keep track of the freshness of your food.

While you can store shrimp in the freezer for a long time (for up to 12 months), I suggest eating them faster because freezing them for too long can affect their texture and quality. After all, you don’t want to eat mushy and rubbery shrimp.

How to thaw shrimp?

There are a few ways to defrost frozen shrimp. The best one is, of course, thawing them in the fridge. You can do this overnight, letting the shrimp thaw slowly and evenly. You can also go for the cold water thawing method, which is faster than the first one. 

Things to avoid

Using hot water: Using hot water or even thawing at room temperature is not a good idea, as these methods can increase the spread of bacteria.

The microwave: Thawing frozen shrimp in the microwave isn’t a good option, either. Why? Because it can alter its texture and cook it partially, plus you don’t want an uneven thawing.

Refreezing after thawing: Once you thaw those shrimps, just cook them right away, don’t refreeze them as this can affect their quality, plus safety for consumption.

How to tell if shrimp has gone bad?

If you want to avoid food poisoning, it is important to check for signs of spoilage. There are a few ways to tell that the shrimps are not good anymore. No matter if they were stored correctly in the refrigerator, you should always check to see if they are still edible.

Smell: One of the easiest ways of telling that any food has gone bad is the smell. If it has a strong ammonia-like odor, it’s probably best to just discard it.

Texture: While shrimp will have some moisture, a slimy texture indicates that they’ve probably gone bad.

Appearance: Discoloration can also be a great indicator of spoiled shrimp. Normally they should appear translucent and have a light pink color. Grayish or brownish color means that they shouldn’t be consumed.

So whenever you want to prepare your shrimp, check the expiration date, smell, texture, and appearance to ensure they are safe to eat.

Read more >> How long is rotisserie chicken good for?

FAQ

Can you eat cooked shrimp after 7 days?

  • Unfortunately, it is not recommended to eat shrimp after 7 days. Even if it was stored in the fridge in optimum condition, eating cooked shrimp after more than four days is unsafe.

Can you eat cooked shrimp after 5 days?

  • If you store cooked shrimp in the fridge, it is advised to keep up to 4 days. After this period, it becomes unsafe to eat. It may still be edible after four days, but always check for signs of spoilage. If you want to store it for a longer period, freeze them.

Is it ok to refreeze shrimp?

  • It is not recommended to refreeze shrimp after they are thawed. The texture and quality of the shrimp won’t be the same, plus there is an increased chance of bacterial growth.

Can I cook frozen shrimp without thawing?

  • Yes, you can! It might take longer to cook them, but it is a great alternative when you don’t have time to thaw them. However, I suggest thawing them before cooking if you want better results.

Conclusion

To avoid food poisoning, remember these tips and tricks to prevent unpleasant surprises. How long does shrimp last in the fridge? It depends on whether it’s cooked ( up to 4 days) or raw (2 days). Storing condition is also important to keep your shrimp fresh for as long as possible. Avoid leaving raw or cooked shrimp at room temperature for over 2 hours.

In any case, cooked shrimp can become bad even if stored correctly in the fridge before the four-day mark. So always check before eating, and don’t hesitate to discard them if you notice signs of spoilage.

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Tom Wilmer

I'm Tom Wilmer, an award-winning pitmaster and BBQ judge. I share my passion for barbecue through my blog, BBQ Soldiers, offering recipes, tips, and smoker reviews. Let's grill together!

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