How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last In The Fridge: Think Before You Eat!

Do you like shrimp? Do you prepare it as often as I do? If yes, you will appreciate to find out how long does cooked shrimp last in the fridge! 🙂

Shrimp are rich in protein and low in calories - a great option for all of us who try to eat healthily and stay fit! They are very versatile as there are numerous recipes to cook them, but shrimp are also lip-smacking and yummy all by themselves no matter if you serve them hot or cold.

I adore shrimp for two reasons: their great taste and ease of preparation. Really, tell me if you can think of any other meal that can be prepared in only five minutes. I do not think that you will have many options, at least not as good tasting as shrimp are. This makes them ideal for entertaining sudden guests too.

However, it is not all bells and whistles when it comes to shrimp. They have one serious fault - they are very prone to bacteria even when cooked. Like most seafood, shrimp have to be handled with care and be prepared and stored in a proper and timely manner.

If you fail to honor the rules, you risk exposing yourself or your loved ones to serious foodborne illnesses. If you have read my text regarding the chicken gone bad, you know that I already have experience with such a scenario, and believe me, you want to avoid it at all cost.

After everything I had to be subjected to after my food poisoning, I have decided to learn all I can about proper food storage and handling. So, one night my hubby had had to stay in at work late, and my boys suddenly decided to sleep over at their friend’s, I ended up with a full bowl of freshly cooked shrimp and a burning question: How long does cooked shrimp last in the fridge?

I have immediately started seeking information, and that is how this text came to be!

How long does cooked shrimp last in general?

As with most food, you cannot determine the shelf life of shrimp precisely without being thoroughly informed about numerous important factors, such as the sell by or use by date, the way they were prepared and how quickly and how well they were stored.

Unquestionably, shrimp will last longer if you store them immediately and properly. The best option is to refrigerate them as soon as possible, however, I will provide you with other options as well.

Barb’s Advice: Shrimp is usually labeled with a sell-by date, NOT a use by date. This means that even after the date on the package has lapsed, you can still safely prepare and consume the shrimp.

1. How long does cooked shrimp last at the room temperature?

Unless you plan to eat them in an hour or so, leaving cooked shrimp in your room is not a good idea at all. At room temperature, they can last for only a couple of hours. In fact, I would not eat shrimp that have spent more than two hours unrefrigerated.

The official recommendations are as follows:

  • Cooked shrimp exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, will succumb to the bacterial growth within 2-3 hours.
  • Cooked shrimps exposed to temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit, can last only up to one hour.

You can draw a conclusion yourself: Refrigerate your shrimp ASAP or risk food poisoning.

2. How long does cooked shrimp last in the fridge?

  • The best way to store cooked shrimp and prolong their the shelf life is to refrigerate them. Of course, it is best to do it as soon as they are cold enough to be safely stored in the fridge. The maximum time you can wait before refrigerating cooked shrimps is two hours after cooking. (if they were not exposed to temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • If you properly store shrimp, it can safely stay in the fridge for three to four days. First of all, you have to pack the shrimp the right way. The best way to do that is to place the shrimp into an air-tight plastic bag. As an alternative, you can use an aluminum foil and wrap the shrimp in it. An airtight plastic container will do the job as well, in fact, I mostly choose this option.

For the best fridge, click here!

3. How long does cooked shrimp last in the freezer?

  • Although freezer is known to alter the taste and texture of seafood, it is also a valid option when it comes to storing cooked shrimp. Freezing shrimp will definitely extend their shelf life, some even say that frozen cooked shrimp can remain safe to eat for an indefinite period.
  • So if you do not mind the fact that your shrimp will not remain as palatable as they used to be when you first cooked them, you can place them in an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag and freeze them for up to nine months or so (constantly frozen at 0°F). Bear in mind though that they have the best chance to remain tasty if you use them within three months.
  • When you are ready to re-use the shrimp, simply take them out from the freezer the night before and transfer them into the fridge. If you discover in the morning that your shrimp has turned into a watery mess, you can always use them in another dish and cover up the fiasco! There are many recipes that will help you salvage your thawed cooked shrimps.

4. How long does cooked shrimp last after being thawed?

  • Once you thaw the shrimp, you must use it immediately or keep it refrigerated at all times. If you properly thaw the shrimp (in the fridge, NOT at the room temperature), you can keep it refrigerated for up to four additional days before use.
  • If you thaw the shrimp at the room temperature, in the cold water, or in your microwave, you have to eat it as soon as possible - that means within the next two hours!

Quick reference: Storing Shrimp

Pantry

Fridge

Freezer

Fresh Shrimp (Shelled)

x

1-2 Days

6-9 Months

Fresh Shrimp (Shell On)

x

2-3 Days

9-12 Months

Cooked Shrimp

x

3-4 Days

6-9 Months

Frozen Shrimp

x

4-5 Days

9-12 Months

Canned Shrimp

6-8 months

6-8 Months

9-12 Months (without the can)

How to tell if Shrimp is bad, rotten or spoiled?

The best way to determine if your shrimp is fresh and safe to eat is to use your God-given senses, or to be more precise, your eyes, nose, and hands.

  1. First observe the shrimp closely. If they have changed color, lost their shape, or appear slimy, discard them immediately.
  2. The other easy way to know if shrimp have gone bad is to smell them - a strong, sour, unpleasant fishy odor is a good sign you ought to avoid the shrimp in front of you.
  3. Finally, touch the shrimp, if they stick to your fingers and feel slimy, avoid them altogether.

Never rely on your sense of taste, even a small bite can cause problems. Practice proper food safety techniques and help yourself avoid foodborne illness.


Conclusion

Shrimps are very tasty and highly nutritious, and it would be quite a shame having to throw them away. Therefore if you end up with some leftover shrimp, remember this text and store them in your fridge as soon as possible.

If you do not plan to eat the shrimp in a couple of days, you can freeze them as well. Maybe that will take some deliciousness out of them, but you will still be able to use them in some dish.

Think before you eat, practice proper hygiene and food safety, and you will be both happy and healthy! Let me know if you have some additional tips too!

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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