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Have you ever wondered: how long does shrimp last in the fridge? Whether you’ve got raw or cooked shrimp, fresh or defrosted, find out how long is too long! We’ve got answers along with handy preparation tips.

Cooked shrimp with tails on

We all love shrimp with its mouthwatering flavor and easy preparation. The trouble is that it’s also very perishable and when handled improperly can cause foodborne illness. And who wants that?

How long is shrimp good for in the fridge? It depends on the type of shrimp you have: raw, cooked, fresh, frozen etc. Keep reading to get all the guidelines!

How Long Can Raw Shrimp Last in the Fridge?

Raw shrimp (both shelled and unshelled) is good for up to 2 days in the refrigerator (40°F/4°C) according to the USDA.

How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last in the Fridge?

Cooked shrimp will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. For example, shrimp cooked on Sunday should be consumed by Thursday at the latest. After that, it should be promptly discarded.

How Long Can Thawed Shrimp Stay in the Fridge?

Did you defrost shrimp for tonight’s dinner and then decide to cook it tomorrow instead? There’s no need to refreeze the shrimp. Defrosted shrimp can remain in the fridge for up to 2 days only. However, if you used warm water or the microwave for quick defrosting, the shrimp should be used right away due to bacteria growth.

How Long Does Shrimp Cocktail Last in the Fridge?

Shrimp cocktail will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Store in an airtight container and be sure to discard once four days have passed.

How Do You Know If Shrimp Has Gone Bad?

There are several clues that shrimp has gone bad:

  • Smell: it will take on a strong, sour and unpleasant odor.
  • Appearance: it will take on a dull and slimy appearance. If the shrimp have shells, you may notice black spots appearing (although white spots are usually a sign of freezer burn).
  • Texture: the flesh will start to break down and feel mushy.

If you detect any of these signs, it’s best to discard the shrimp to avoid getting sick.

Note: if you see white spots on the shrimp, they usually indicate freezer burn, which while harmless will affect flavor.

Shrimp pasta dish with broccoli

Can You Freeze Cooked Shrimp?

You can freeze cooked shrimp to extend its shelf life, although the texture will suffer somewhat. Try to freeze promptly after cooking and use a resealable plastic bag or freezer bag along with two layers of protection to minimize freezer burn.

Note that you can also freeze the shrimp plain or in a sauce or dish.

Shrimp Preparation Tips

  • Shrimp Storage: Store shrimp in the coolest part of the fridge such as the bottom shelf in an airtight container.
  • What Type of Shrimp to Buy: Use shell-on shrimp when grilling or baking to keep them juicier. Use peeled shrimp for stir frying, battering for easy eating. Select fresh shrimp from a reputable source such as a MSC-certified fishery.
  • What Size Shrimp to Buy: There is a shrimp size for every occasion. For instance, small, medium and large shrimp work well in pastas, soups and salads. Jumbo or colossal shrimp are great for grilling and roasting.
  • Thaw frozen shrimp thoroughly: You can thaw shrimp quickly under cold running water before use. You can also soak frozen shrimp in a bowl of cold water for about ten minutes.
  • Pat dry with paper towels: This step removes excess moisture for a better sear when grilling or sautéing shrimp.
  • Devein the shrimp: If you find the veins unappetizing, simply use a paring knife to remove the dark vein along the outer edge of each shrimp.

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