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Shrimp is a delicious variety of seafood that is guaranteed to bring in some wonderfully unique taste and texture. This is due to how shrimp can simultaneously bring rich salty, meaty and slightly sweet tastes whilst being deliciously tender. Whether you see shrimp as a meat product or not, this is truly a wonderfully scrumptious protein that will pair well when served with a variety of different dishes. That said though, you may find yourself unsure of how to store your leftover shrimp and be uncertain of its shelf life. As such, you may be wondering how long can shrimp stay in the fridge?

How Do You Tell When Shrimp Has Gone Bad?

When it comes to discussing how long you should store your shrimp it is of course important for you to know how to identify when your shrimp has turned bad. As such, before you eat any shrimp that you have stored in the fridge or freezer you should be certain that none of the following signs is not present:

  • Appearance: The appearance of the shrimp is often a telltale sign that it will have gone off. In particular, if the shrimp is at all mishappen, discoloured or looks at all slimy then you should refrain from eating it and immediately discard the shrimp.
  • Feel: If the feeling of the shrimp is particularly slimy and/or sticky then this is another sign that the shrimp has gone bad. Once again, of course, the shrimp should not be consumed if it feels this way and instead be disposed of.
  • Smell: Fresh shrimp will have little to no aroma and only smell slightly of sea salt. When off, however, your shrimp will instead smell quite strong and unpleasant. In particular, if the shrimp smells sour, fishy, vinegary or at all like that of ammonia then you should immediately dispose of the shrimp and not consume it.

Of course, like when handling any type of food, in particular meat or seafood you should always be careful when handling shrimp. This is due to the risk of cross-contamination of foodborne illnesses. In particular though, when handling shrimp or indeed other food you believe to be off you should only do so with your hands. Following this, you should immediately wash them thoroughly before touching your face, mouth or eyes.

Sea best 26/30 cooked peeled and deveined shrimp, 16 ounce

Consequences Of Eating Off Shrimp

Eating shrimp that is spoiled is likely to expose you to the dangers of suffering from seafood-based food poisoning. In particular, it may lead to shellfish poisoning meaning that you can contract either a virus or some particularly nasty bacteria. This can often result in a multitude of unpleasant symptoms and may even lead to hospitalisation or even death. In particular, some common symptoms of shellfish poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Abdominal/Stomach Pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Blood Stool

As such, if you find yourself suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms then you may find yourself suffering from shellfish poisoning. With that in mind then, you should then seek immediate medical assistance before things become more severe.

How Long Does Shrimp Last In The Fridge?

When you are trying to identify the shelf life of shrimp that will stay fresh within the fridge, you will invariably find that like a lot of types of food different variations of shrimp will stay fresh for different lengths of time. That said though, a good rule of thumb for shrimp will be that you should only keep it between two to four days. In particular though, when you are storing different types of shrimp in the fridge, adhere to the following guidelines for different types of shrimp:

  • Fresh Raw Shell On Shrimp: This is raw shrimp that hasn’t had the shell removed. When refrigerated it should remain fresh for approximately two to three days.
  • Fresh Raw Shelled Shrimp: This is raw shrimp that has had the shell removed. When refrigerated it should remain fresh for approximately one to two days.
  • Cooked Shrimps: This is shrimp that has been cooked and subsequently been refrigerated. When refrigerated, it should be safe to eat for approximately three or four days.
  • Frozen Shrimp: This is of course shrimp that has been frozen which you may have defrosted or bought from the frozen section. When refrigerated, it should be safe to eat for approximately four or five days.
  • Canned Shrimp: Canned shrimp is shrimp that has been stored in an airtight can and often with preservatives that will keep it safe to eat for longer. As such, when stored in the fridge it should last between six to eight months.

Chicken of the sea tiny shrimp, 4oz – gluten free, high in omega 3 fatty acids & protein

Eating Shrimp After Five Days In The Fridge

As demonstrated above, shrimp that has not been canned will typically only last up to five days when stored within the refrigerator. Of course, if you have found that you have left your shrimp in the fridge for a longer period of time you should refrain from eating it and instead dispose of it, especially if the printed date of fresh shrimp has passed. The reason for this is that you will be risking exposing those who consume it to shellfish poisoning and as such, the aforementioned symptoms.

Freezing Vs Refrigerating Shrimp

If you plan on not eating your shrimp within a few days you may have found yourself concluding that refrigerating it will not be an ideal or safe storage solution. Naturally, when you are in such a situation, then you may find yourself wondering if you can freeze your shrimp. Fortunately, you are easily able to do this and in fact, doing so is a great way to preserve your shrimp for later. When doing so though you should be aware of how long different types of shrimp will be able to last within the fridge. As such, when freezing shrimp, you should be aware of the following lengths of time each type of shrimp will last:

  • Fresh Raw Shell On Shrimp: Of course, these are shrimps with shells on. In the freezer, they will last approximately nine to twelve months when frozen.
  • Fresh Raw Shelled Shrimp: Of course, these are shrimps with shells removed. In the freezer, they will last approximately six to nine months when frozen.
  • Cooked Shrimps: Shrimps that have been cooked will have a reduced shelf life within the freezer. As such, they will last approximately six to nine months when frozen.
  • Frozen Shrimp: This will be shrimp that was bought pre-frozen. As such it will last slightly longer than cooked shrimp in the freezer and be safe for up nine to twelve months.
  • Canned Shrimp: When frozen, canned shrimp will typically be frozen without the can. Typically, these types of shrimp will last between nine to twelve months before spoiling.

How long can shrimp stay in the fridge? - 5 different types compared

How To Freeze Shrimp

When it comes to freezing shrimp the methods used to do so will vary depending on the type of shrimp that you will plan on freezing. In particular, there are two realistic ways that are often used to freeze shrimp. These each being those that are used for either freezing cooked shrimp or for freezing raw shrimp. The reason for this is that shrimp will need to be prepared in different manners before being frozen.

How To Freeze Raw Shrimp

When you are planning to freeze some raw shrimp it is important to both clean the shrimp and to immerse it in brine before doing so. In order to do so though, you should follow the steps found below:

  1. Don’t allow the shrimp to remain on the counter for more than a couple of hours. The reason being that doing will cause some spoilage.
  2. Avoid removing the shell and vein instead, snap off the head. When doing so, you can do so with either your hand or with a knife.
  3. Thoroughly rinse and wash your shrimp. Any moisture that remains upon the shrimps from washing will form ice crystals upon the surface of the shrimp. Each of which will help to preserve the shrimp more effectively.
  4. Place the shrimp within a solid container that you can seal airtight. An example of such would be that of a Tupperware box.
  5. Add brine to the container holding the shrimp, ensuring it is completely immersed but leaving a few centimetres of headroom. This brine can either be purchased from a seafood shop or made yourself. To make it from home simply make a solution consisting of two tablespoons of salt to one US quart of water.
  6. Seal the container and place it in your freezer to freeze.
  7. Ensure that you consume your frozen raw shrimp within nine to twelve months.

Sea best 26/30 cooked peeled and deveined shrimp, 16 ounce

How To Freeze Cooked Shrimp

With cooked shrimp, there are a wide variety of differences in doing so when compared to the process used for raw shrimp. As such, when planning to do this, you should follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Don’t allow the shrimp to remain on the counter for more than a couple of hours. The reason being that doing will cause some spoilage.
  2. When you are freezing cooked shrimp, unlike uncooked shrimp it is best to do so when it has already been shelled. As such, before doing anything else you should first remove the head, shells and tail. Removing the large vein from the shrimp is also recommended at this point.
  3. Pour a large quantity of water into a large pot. Following this, bring the water to a rolling boil.
  4. Add the shrimps to the pot of water and simmer for approximately ten minutes. Doing so will eliminate any remaining bacteria or leftover shell fragments.
  5. Spread the shrimps across a baking tray or in a Tupperware container and flash freeze them. They should be firm to the touch in order to avoid them sticking together. This should be done within one or two days of cooking in order to avoid any spoilage to the shrimp.
  6. Transfer the shrimp into an airtight freezer bag and press the air from the bag.
  7. Seal the container and place it in your freezer to freeze.
  8. Ensure that you consume your frozen raw shrimp within six to nine months.

How long can shrimp stay in the fridge? - 5 different types compared

How To Thaw Frozen Shrimp

When it comes to thawing your shrimp, fortunately, the difference between frozen cooked shrimp and frozen uncooked shrimp is less important. As such, the methods used to thaw out shrimp can be applied to both types of shrimp. Some of these include the following options:

  • In the fridge: When you are wanting to thaw your frozen shrimp in the fridge there is a simple and effective method to use to do so. To do so, place the frozen shrimp in a colander and place the colander over a large bowl or plate. Following this, place both in the fridge and allow the shrimp to gradually thaw overnight.
  • In a bowl of warm water: For a quicker method, place the shrimp in a large bowl. Following this, pour warm water over the shrimp and leave it on the side to thaw. Don’t leave it for more than one or two hours though.
  • Microwave: Whilst this won’t provide the best results, the microwave is a quick and easy way to thaw out your frozen shrimp. To do so, set the microwave to defrost and microwave the shrimp in five-minute intervals until it is fully thawed out.

Once the shrimp is thawed, it may be refrozen again. However, you must be careful to do so. Fortunately, we have already outlined how to safely refreeze shrimp.

Answered: How Long Can Shrimp Stay in the Fridge?

When you are wanting to store cooked shrimp or raw shrimp in the fridge you will unfortunately not be able to do so for long. The reason is that the shrimp will likely only be fresh for between two to four days. As such, when wondering how long cooked shrimp can be kept at their absolute maximum. Of course, for this task, the freezer is the best option as it can keep them fresh for around six to nine months for cooked shrimp. Meanwhile, for uncooked shrimp, it will last roughly nine to twelve months when frozen.

How long can shrimp stay in the fridge? - 5 different types compared

FAQs – How Long Can Shrimp Stay in the Fridge?

Is shrimp good after 4 days in the fridge?

When it comes to consuming shrimp that has been in the fridge it will vary in how long it stays fresh for roughly one to five days. That said though, different variations of shrimp will last longer than others in the fridge. As such, shrimp that isn’t cooked should not be eaten after four days. Meanwhile, frozen or cooked shrimp should be safe for around four days, whilst canned shrimp can last up to six or eight months.

How long can thawed shrimp stay in the fridge?

When you put frozen shrimp in the fridge it will begin to gradually thaw over time. This should take roughly one to two days. However, once your frozen shrimp has thawed it will be able to remain fresh for around four days before it becomes spoiled. However, if there are any signs of spoilage then you should refrain from eating it to avoid shellfish poisoning.

How do you know if shrimp have gone bad?

When you eat shrimp, like with any other type of shellfish, you will need to be cautious as shellfish poisoning. As such you should check shrimp for signs of spoilage before consuming them. These signs include discolouration, slimy/sticky texture, being mishappened and noticeably strong or unpleasant aroma such as that of vinegar, fishiness, sourness or that of ammonia.

Can I eat shrimp that has been in the fridge for 3 days?

When it comes to consuming shrimp that has been in the fridge it will vary in how long it stays fresh for roughly one to five days. That said though, different variations of shrimp will last longer than others in the fridge. With this in mind then shell on, cooked, frozen and canned shrimp should be safe to eat after three days of refrigeration. However, you should be wary of any signs of spoilage and refrain from eating the shrimp if these signs are present.