If you’re wondering how long shrimp will last in the fridge before going bad, you’re in the right place!
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How long does it last in the fridge when it is raw
- How long does it last when it is cooked
- And much more!
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How Long Does Shrimp Last In The Fridge?
Shrimp can last in the fridge for 2-4 days depending on whether it is cooked, raw, shelled, or peeled.
Below, we’ll discuss the timeframes for each type.
Why Do Shrimps Go Bad?
When left at room temperature, raw shrimp can only last two hours.
Shrimp are water creatures, so they are used to cold temperatures.
However, the bacteria on them, the major cause of spoilage, are also used to cold temperatures.
When you put them at the hotter room temperature, the bacteria break down the shrimp’s protein constituents. And this is what leads to spoilage.
But if you are here, it is because you have probably heard that shrimp doesn’t last that long, even when refrigerated.
The reason for this is the same as the one above. However, because the fridge’s temperature is much lower than room temperature, the breakdown of shrimp proteins slows down, so it does not spoil as quickly as it would at room temperature.
This gives you a bit more time to use your shrimp. But the question now is how much time do you have before they’re bad?
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How Long Does Raw Shrimp Last In The Fridge?
Raw shrimp can last in the fridge 2-3 days.
If your shrimp has been peeled and no longer has its shell, you’re looking closer to 2 days.
Now for shrimp that still have their shells on, this could be extended to three days.
Because most store-bought shrimps no longer have their shells, you might have two days to come up with a way to use your shrimp.
I advise people to have a recipe ready before buying their shrimp, so they don’t spend much time before using them.
Most people ask, ‘can I use my shrimps after they have gone by their sell-by date?’ and the answer is yes, you can still use your shrimps after their sell-by date.
When you buy and store your shrimp in the fridge, it is likely to go by its sell-by date before you can use it. This does not mean that the shrimp has gone bad. You could cook and eat your shrimp after their sell-by dates if you kept them in the fridge.
Canned shrimps are another option. This form of commercially sold shrimps can last for 8 months if they are stored properly in the pantry.
But this is on the condition that they remain closed during this period. Once you open them, you have to store them in the fridge for the same period.
How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last In Fridge?
Cooked shrimp can last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Picture this; you have family dinner for your son, who just graduated from college, and you have cooked his favorite shrimp dish.
Everyone eats and compliments your cooking, but in your excitement, while cooking, you overestimate the amount your family could eat, and you have some leftovers.
You are worried about the shrimp spoiling, especially since the meal tasted so good.
So you want to store them in the fridge, but you are wondering how long you have till you have to throw them out.
I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that your cooked shrimp lasts longer than raw shrimp when stored in the fridge.
If properly stored, your cooked shrimp can stay in the fridge for three to four days without going bad. But you have to ensure that the shrimps are packed correctly. We will talk about that later.
The bad news is that your cooked shrimp will eventually go bad even if you put them in the fridge. This is because the fridge does not stop the bacterial activity on the shrimps; it just slows it down.
Eventually, these bacteria will do their job and break down the proteins in the shrimp, leading to spoilage.
So, even after storing your shrimp in the fridge, you have four days to decide what to do with them, or you might have to throw them out.
How To Store Shrimp In The Fridge
Throughout this article, we have emphasized the proper storage of shrimp in the fridge. Because shrimp go bad easily, you should pay attention to many factors while refrigerating them. If not, they could go bad earlier than you expect.
For both raw and cooked shrimp, ensure that you put the shrimp in the fridge within two hours.
Remember that the bacteria act quicker at room temperature, and the shrimps spoil faster. So if you want to store your shrimps in the fridge, do so before two hours, or you might be storing spoiled food already.
It is also important that you keep the temperature constant.
The temperature of your fridge should always be at 40℉ or lower. Anything higher, and your shrimps will spoil within the day.
When storing your raw shrimp in the fridge, it is best to use the original packaging. Please do not attempt to remove the shrimps from their packaging unless it is necessary.
Store them on the bottom shelf of your fridge. This will help prevent cross-contamination if there is a leakage.
It would help if you had an airtight bag or an airtight container to store cooked shrimp.
Put your shrimps in this bag or container as soon as they are cold enough to safely store.
Remember, it should not go beyond two hours at room temperature.
Then store the shrimp on the bottom shelf of your fridge, and your shrimp should be good for about four days.
How to Tell if Shrimp Has Gone Bad
Properly storing your shrimp is important. Eating food that has gone bad is not good for anyone, and you would not want to learn the hard way when you visit the doctor for a case of food poisoning.
Storing your shrimp in the fridge is fine, but considering all the what-ifs and how easily shrimps spoil, you need to know how to tell good shrimps from bad ones.
Your best bet is your senses. Spoiled shrimps always have an accompanying putrid stench. And they also feel slimy to touch.
If you notice these in the shrimps even after storing them in the fridge, your best option will be to throw them away. Do not eat any shrimp if you have the slightest suspicion that it is bad.
There are a lot of health issues that stem from eating spoiled food, so always consume your shrimp within the period that it is safe to do so.
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What Should I Do If I Want To Store My Shrimps Longer?
This is an important question because, for many people, two days is not enough time to use their shrimp. Imagine running a seafood restaurant or enjoying seafood dishes; do you have to run to the store anytime you want to make a shrimp dish? That is not practical in the least bit.
In this case, you might need a way to store your shrimps for a longer period, and the answer might be lying around in your kitchen.
I am talking about your freezer. You can store your raw shrimp in the freezer for three to six months, and they will remain of their best quality.
Even after this time frame, you do not have to worry about the shrimp going bad. As long as you maintain the freezer’s temperature at 28℉, your shrimps will be edible. Thaw it and prepare your tasty shrimp dish once you are ready to use your shrimp.
Most people fear that if they store their shrimp in the freezer, it might take away from the taste. While these might be true for prolonged storage, you can avert this by using a freezer-safe container to store your shrimp.
How to Freeze Shrimp
If you are afraid your shrimp will go bad in the fridge before you can eat them, then your best bet is to freeze them.
Shrimp can be frozen easily by placing them in a ziploc bag or other freezer safe container and placing them in the freezer. We recommend removing the shell before freezing your shrimp, but it is not required.
When frozen, shrimp will last in your freezer for 9 months to a year. You can freeze either raw or cooked shrimp.
How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp
The best way to thaw frozen shrimp is by transferring them from your freezer to your fridge the night before you intend to eat them.
You can also defrost your shrimp using the cold water method (placing your shrimp in cold water in a bowl). Microwave defrosting is not recommended for shrimp.
How Long Do Shrimp Last FAQ:
How Long Can Cooked Shrimp Stay in the Freezer?
Cooked shrimp will stay good when frozen for 6-9 months in your freezer.
Should You Buy Fresh or Frozen Shrimp?
Fresh shrimp is always better and should be your go to when it is available!
Is It Safe to Eat Shrimp That Has Been Sitting Out?
If you have left your shrimp sitting out for more than 2 hours it is no longer safe to consume them and they should be thrown away.
Final Thoughts on Safely Storing Shrimp
Leaving shrimp at room temperature is generally a bad idea. A better plan would be to store it in the refrigerator where it at least has a fighting chance.
The question now is how long does the shrimp have in the refrigerator before it goes bad?
The right answer depends on a few factors, including whether the shrimp was raw or cooked before being put in the fridge.
The bottom line, though, is that whether it is cooked or not, or whether it is in the fridge or not, bacteria can still grow on shrimps, and it would go bad.
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Shrimp are nutritious and add a special flavor to any meal, so throwing them away might be a bother.
To ensure you give your shrimp a fighting chance, put them in the fridge. Raw shrimp can last in the fridge for 2 days, and cooked shrimp can last even longer. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them.
Before eating your shrimp, ensure you check them for spoilage. Practice proper hygiene and avoid food poisoning the best that you can. Enjoy your shrimp dishes and stay healthy.
So, do you have any more questions about storing shrimp? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
If you want to learn more about grilling, check out these other helpful resources!