Shellfish is a food that many people are cautious about, and with good reason. If you’ve recently bought some shrimp and placed them in the fridge, you might be wondering how long it is safe to leave them there, and when to slot them into your meal plan.
How long does raw shrimp last in the fridge? Raw shrimp will only last for one or two days in the fridge, although some estimates suggest that it may be okay on the third day. Shrimp needs to be cooked pretty quickly if it is not going to go bad in your fridge, so plan carefully when you buy shrimp.
How Long Will Raw Shrimp Last in the Fridge?
Raw shrimp should not be kept in the fridge for more than two days in most circumstances. If the use-by date on the packaging offers a longer estimate, they may last an extra day, but in general, two days is the maximum.
Don’t keep raw shrimp for longer than this, and never leave them at room temperature. Shrimp can develop nasty bacteria if they are kept for too long or if they are not stored below 40 degrees F. Always have your shrimp in a cold environment, preferably a fridge or freezer, to maintain their safety.
What Part of the Fridge Should You Store Shrimp?
It’s best to put shrimp in the coolest part of your fridge. This is usually the bottom, but may be beside the ice compartment if your fridge has one. The more consistent you can keep the temperature of your shrimp, the better they will last.
Don’t keep shrimp in or near the door of the fridge if avoidable. This area experiences the most temperature fluctuation, and your shrimp is more likely to go bad quickly if it is stored here. The more frequently it gets heated and cooled, the faster it will go bad, so minimize this as much as possible.
It’s also a good idea to keep raw shrimp in its original packaging for as long as you can. Leave the packet sealed until you are ready to use it. If you have opened the packet but not used all of the raw shrimp, put it in an airtight container and put the lid on before refrigerating it.
How Long Do Cooked Shrimp Last?
Cooked shrimp should last for up to four days in the fridge. This assumes that they have been cooled promptly after cooking and refrigerated correctly. If the shrimp were not very fresh when you cooked them, it may be safer to try and use them after three days, rather than allowing them the full four.
If you have cooked shrimp and ended up with leftovers, it’s important to get them into the fridge as soon as possible. To do this, space the leftovers out on a cold plate, allowing them to cool quickly by maximizing the airflow.
As soon as they are cool, transfer them to an airtight container and put them in the fridge. Don’t leave them at room temperature for longer than necessary.
You can speed up the transition even more by putting the shrimp in cold water if you haven’t cooked them in a sauce or in with other ingredients.
Can You Freeze Raw Shrimp?
Yes, you can put raw shrimp in your fridge, and this is probably the best storage solution if you don’t plan to eat them quickly. Fresh shrimp should last for up to nine months in the freezer, although the texture may deteriorate after this point. Shrimp with its shells on may last better.
If you are going to freeze shrimp, you should put them in the freezer promptly when you purchase them. Don’t leave them in the fridge until they are almost bad and then freeze them. They are likely to go bad during the freezing and thawing process. Only freeze shrimp that are fresh.
You can freeze shrimp in their original packaging, or in an airtight container if you have opened the packaging.
Can You Freeze Cooked Shrimp?
It’s perfectly safe to freeze cooked shrimp too. Again, the fresher the shrimp are when you freeze them, the better they will last. As soon as your shrimp have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and place them directly in the freezer.
This will also work if you have cooked shrimp into a sauce or other recipe. As long as the other components can be frozen, the shrimp will be fine. Simply cool and freeze the entire dish.
You can thaw both raw and cooked shrimp in the fridge by placing the container there overnight. If you want the shrimp to defrost more quickly, it is safe to microwave them or defrost them using cold water, but they must be eaten immediately, and not refrigerated again. They can’t be refrozen, although shrimp thawed in the fridge can.
How Do You Know If Shrimp Have Gone Bad?
Shrimp that have gone bad will usually develop a strange smell and a slimy or wet texture. They may change color, including the shells. Shrimp that has turned brown should be thrown away. Raw shrimp ought to be pale, usually gray-white, and slightly translucent.
If shrimp has gone bad, you may find that it sticks to your fingers slightly when you touch it. It might also be leaking liquid. In some cases, the shells will appear to fit loosely, which is a sign that the meat has begun to deteriorate. Dull shells are also a warning sign.
Don’t eat shrimp that you are uncertain about, as it may harbor dangerous bacteria that could make you very sick if you consume it. Being particularly wary of shellfish is a wise idea when it comes to food safety standards.
Raw shrimp will not last for long in the fridge, and you should be cautious about keeping it for more than a day or two. Once the shrimp has been cooked, you should have a little more leeway, but even cooked shrimp ought to be used quickly and not left in the fridge for longer than necessary.