How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last In The Fridge (And Signs It’s Gone Bad)

5/5 - (2 votes)

Do you love the flavor and convenience of cooked shrimp, but often find yourself wondering how long it can be safely stored in your fridge? Having an understanding of the shelf life of food ensures that any meals you make using cooked shrimp remain as delicious and safe to eat as possible. In this blog post, we’ll explore all the facts about How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last In The Fridge so that you can plan ahead and enjoy your favorite seafood dishes with peace of mind!

Read on to learn everything there is to know about proper storage techniques, signs of spoilage, foodborne illness concerns, guidelines for freezing leftover cooked shellfish, plus some helpful tips on inspiration ideas for meal prepping using cooked shrimps.

What is shrimp?

Shrimp are a delicious and versatile seafood that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. These small, pink crustaceans are a popular choice for seafood lovers worldwide.

They have a slightly sweet and delicate flavor that pairs well with a range of seasonings and sauces. Shrimp can be prepared in many ways, from boiling and grilling to sautéing and frying. They are also a great source of protein and essential nutrients, making them a healthy addition to any meal. 

What is shrimp

How long will raw shrimp keep in the refrigerator?

The answer can vary depending on a few factors. Generally, raw shrimp will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before it starts to turn pink and smell fishy. However, if you want to make sure your shrimp stays fresh for as long as possible, try to consume it within one day of purchasing it, keep it stored at a consistent temperature of 40°F or below, and make sure it’s tightly sealed in an airtight container. With proper storage, you can ensure your shrimp stays fresh and delicious for your next seafood dish.

How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last In The Fridge?

While it’s tempting to keep your cooked shrimp for days or even an entire week, it’s important to exercise caution. The general rule of thumb is that cooked shrimp will last for three to four days in the refrigerator. Cooked shrimp last in the fridge for three to four days. If you need to reheat shrimp, we recommend doing so using the method it was originally cooked with. When reheating, use a lower temperature to avoid overcooking. You can also add a little water, fat, or liquid that the shrimp was originally cooked in. Before diving into that leftover shrimp cocktail, give it a good once-over and trust your senses. If it smells funky or looks slimy, it’s best to err on the side of caution and toss it out.

What Causes Shrimp to Go Bad?

  1. Bacterial Growth: Warm and moist conditions encourage bacterial multiplication.
  2. Temperature Abuse: Leaving shrimp at room temperature allows bacteria to grow quickly.
  3. Cross-Contamination: Contact with raw meat or seafood leads to harmful bacteria.
  4. Time: As proteins and fats break down, shrimp deteriorates over time.
  5. Oxidation: Exposure to air causes fats to turn rancid, altering taste and smell.
  6. Lack of Freshness: Buying fresh shrimp and proper handling is crucial.
  7. Unhygienic Handling: Poor processing, handling, or storage introduces contaminants.
  8. Inadequate Cooking: Undercooked shrimp carries harmful bacteria.

Why is it crucial to properly refrigerate cooked shrimp?

Preventing bacterial growth helps you avoid spoiling and sickness. Refrigeration slows down bacterial growth.

  • Controlled Temperature: Cold storage stops bacterial growth in the danger zone, which is between 40°F and 140°F (4.4°C and 60°C).
  • Food safety: Proper storage of cooked shrimp reduces the risk of foodborne diseases by preventing the growth of dangerous germs like Salmonella, E. coli, and Vibrio.
  • Extended Shelf Life: Refrigeration increases the amount of time cooked shrimp remains edible while retaining quality.
  • Quality preservation: Proper storage preserves look, flavor, and texture.
  • Cross-Contamination Prevention: Isolating cooked shrimp from raw foods in the fridge prevents contamination.


  • Rapidly cool shrimp before refrigerating.
  • Use sealed containers and label them with the cooking date.
  • Maintain a consistent refrigerator temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) or lower.
  • Allow air circulation and avoid overfilling the fridge.
  • By refrigerating properly, you ensure safety, quality, and enjoyable leftovers.

What elements affect the cooked shrimp’s shelf life?

The longevity of cooked shrimp greatly depends on several elements that can affect its overall quality and safety.

  1. For starters, the temperature at which the shrimp is stored can have a significant impact on shelf life.
  2. Additionally, factors such as the initial quality of the shrimp, the level of processing it underwent, and the use of preservatives can all play a role in determining how long the cooked shrimp can last. It’s important to take these factors into account in order to ensure that the shrimp remains fresh and tasty for as long as possible.

What elements affect the cooked shrimp’s shelf life

What temperature is ideal for storing cooked shrimp?

Storing cooked shrimp at the right temperature is key to maintaining its freshness and flavor. Ideally, cooked shrimp should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or lower.

This helps to prevent bacteria growth that could spoil the seafood. If you plan to use the shrimp later, be sure to keep it in an airtight container to help preserve its flavor. 

Can cooked shrimp spoil in a refrigerator?

Yes, cooked shrimp can spoil in a refrigerator if not stored properly or if left for an extended period. While refrigeration slows down bacterial growth and helps preserve the freshness of cooked shrimp, it does not prevent spoilage indefinitely.

Why do cooked shrimp spoil in the refrigerator?

The spoilage of cooked shrimp is due to the presence of bacteria that can grow rapidly in the ideal environment of the fridge. These bacteria can cause the shrimp to develop an unpleasant odor, and slimy texture, and can even make you sick if ingested.

Additionally, if the cooked shrimp is not properly covered or stored in an airtight container, it is even more susceptible to spoilage.

So, while it may be tempting to save those shrimp leftovers for later, it’s important to consume them within a couple of days or freeze them to prevent the growth of bacteria and ensure that they remain safe to eat.

How can you tell whether cooked shrimp has spoiled?

To find out whether cooked shrimp has gone bad, utilize your senses and keep an eye out for certain symptoms. The following signs indicate that fried shrimp has spoiled:

  • Smell: The shrimp is probably rotten if it has an unpleasant or odd scent, such as a pronounced fishy or ammonia-like aroma. A delicate and fresh aroma should emanate from freshly cooked shrimp.
  • Texture: To the touch, spoiled shrimp may feel slimy or too sticky. The texture of freshly cooked shrimp should be slightly firm and bouncy.
  • Shrimp that has been cooked but has taken on an opaque or yellowish hue may be spoiled. Typically transparent and somewhat pink or gray, fresh shrimp is translucent.
  • Appearance: If the shrimp looks mushy, discolored, or has an unusual slimy coating, it’s a sign of spoilage.
  • Taste: If the cooked shrimp has a bitter or unpleasant taste, it’s likely gone bad. Fresh shrimp should have a sweet and briny taste.
  • Mold or Growth: If you notice any mold or unusual growth on the shrimp, it’s a clear indication of spoilage.

When in doubt, it’s always safer to err on the side of caution and not consume shrimp that show any of these signs. Properly storing and handling cooked shrimp, as well as adhering to recommended storage times, can help prevent spoilage and maintain the quality and safety of your food.

How can you tell whether cooked shrimp has spoiled

What happens if you eat bad shrimp that has been cooked?

Eating bad shrimp that has been cooked can lead to several unpleasant consequences. One of the most common symptoms is food poisoning.

This occurs when the shrimp contains harmful bacteria or toxins that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.

Additionally, bad shrimp can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, leading to symptoms ranging from mild itching to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

It is crucial to ensure that you always purchase fresh shrimp and cook it thoroughly to avoid any potential risks. If you suspect that you may have eaten bad shrimp, seek medical attention immediately.

How should cooked shrimp be kept in the refrigerator?

To keep cooked shrimp fresh when storing them in the refrigerator, it is important to transfer them to an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. This will help prevent the absorption of unwanted odors and flavors from other foods in the fridge.

Additionally, ensure that the temperature of the refrigerator is set to 40°F or below to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. With these simple steps, your cooked shrimp will remain fresh and delicious for several days, allowing you to enjoy them anytime you want!

How can cooked shrimp be stored for a longer period of time?

If you’re looking to store cooked shrimp for a longer period of time, there are a few things you can do to maintain their freshness and flavor.

  1. Firstly, make sure the shrimp are fully cooked before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s best to store them in a shallow container to allow for quick and even cooling.
  2. Additionally, you can add a squeeze of lemon or vinegar to the container to help preserve the freshness.
  3. Finally, avoid leaving the shrimp unrefrigerated for more than two hours and discard them if they have been left out at room temperature for too long. With these simple tips, you can ensure your cooked shrimp stays fresh and delicious for longer.

How do you reheat cooked shrimp?

  1. One option is to place your cooked shrimp in a microwave-safe dish and heat in 30-second intervals, making sure to stir in between, until the shrimp is heated through.
  2. Another method is to place the shrimp in a steamer basket and steam for a few minutes until heated. However, if you want to maintain the crispiness of your shrimp, you can try reheating it in a hot skillet with a bit of oil, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  3. Whatever method you choose, be sure not to overheat your shrimp, or it may become rubbery and tough. With these tips, you can enjoy your leftover cooked shrimp just as much as you did the first time around.

Common mistakes to avoid when storing cooked shrimp

One mistake to be careful to avoid is leaving the shrimp out at room temperature for too long. They really shouldn’t sit out for more than an hour or so before being refrigerated or frozen. Another mistake that many people make is not properly removing the shells from the shrimp before storing them. This can cause them to spoil faster and can also create an unpleasant texture when you go to eat them later on. Finally, make sure you use an airtight container to store the shrimp. This will help keep them fresher for longer and will also protect them from absorbing any unwanted odors from your fridge or freezer.

Common mistakes to avoid when storing cooked shrimp

Tips for buying and storing fresh or frozen cooked shrimp

Buying Fresh Cooked Shrimp:

  • Reputable Sources: Choose trusted seafood markets or grocers.
  • Fresh Appearance: Look for firm, moist, and translucent shrimp.
  • Mild Odor: Fresh shrimp should have a clean ocean smell.
  • Check for Spoilage: Avoid dry, discolored, or slimy shrimp.

Storing Fresh Cooked Shrimp:

  • Cool Down First: Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating.
  • Airtight Containers: Store in sealed containers to prevent moisture loss.
  • Label and Date: Consume within 3-4 days, label with cooking date.
  • Buying Frozen Cooked Shrimp:
  • Read Labels: Check for sourcing and additives.
  • No Ice Crystals: Choose packages without excessive ice crystals.
  • Proper Packaging: Ensure packages are sealed.

Storing Frozen Cooked Shrimp:

  • Freezer Temperature: Keep at 0°F (-18°C) or below.
  • Airtight Packaging: Transfer to sealed freezer-safe bags.
  • Label and Date: Use within 2-3 months, label with purchase date.
  • Thawing: Thaw in the fridge for best results.

Recipe ideas for cooked shrimp

If you’ve got a craving for shrimp, it’s hard to go wrong with cooking up a big batch and finding all sorts of ways to enjoy it. With some cooked shrimp as your starting point, the possibilities are endless. You can go classic with an easy shrimp cocktail or elevate your appetizer game with stuffed shrimp.

  1. Shrimp Tacos:
    Fill soft or crispy taco shells with cooked shrimp, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, and your favorite toppings. Drizzle with a creamy sauce or salsa for added flavor.
  2. Shrimp Salad:
    Make a refreshing salad by tossing cooked shrimp with mixed greens, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a zesty vinaigrette dressing.
  3. Shrimp Pasta:
    Combine cooked shrimp with al dente pasta, sautéed garlic, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and a light lemon-butter sauce. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Shrimp Stir-Fry:
    Create a quick stir-fry by tossing cooked shrimp with colorful bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli, and a stir-fry sauce. Serve over rice or noodles.
  5. Shrimp Cocktail:
    Serve cooked shrimp as an elegant appetizer with a classic cocktail sauce made from ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Shrimp and Grits:
    Prepare a Southern-style dish by combining cooked shrimp with creamy grits, sautéed onions, and a rich and flavorful gravy.
  7. Shrimp Scampi:
    Sauté cooked shrimp in butter, garlic, white wine, and lemon juice. Serve over pasta, rice, or crusty bread for a simple and flavorful meal.

Conclusion:  How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last In The Fridge

In conclusion, cooked shrimp should be refrigerated immediately after cooking and eaten within two days for the best quality. To store cooked shrimp in the fridge, place it in an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap as soon as possible after cooking. The ideal temperature to store cooked shrimp is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius. Never eat spoiled cooked shrimp, as it can cause food poisoning and other health complications. Properly handling and storing cooked shrimp will help maintain its freshness and flavor while also keeping your family safe from dangerous bacteria. Use the tips and advice provided in this article to ensure your cooked shrimp are kept in optimal condition whenever you purchase them. With effective storage techniques, you can enjoy delicious meals with fresh and flavorful cooked shrimp all year round.


Can I freeze cooked shrimp if I won’t eat it within 4 days?

Yes, you can freeze cooked shrimp to extend its storage life. Place it in an airtight freezer-safe container or bag and use within 2 to 3 months for best quality.

How can I tell if cooked shrimp has gone bad?

Signs of spoilage include an off odor, sliminess, change in color, mushy texture, unusual growth, and bitter taste. If in doubt, discard it.

Can I reheat cooked shrimp that has been in the fridge for a few days?

Yes, you can reheat cooked shrimp. Ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure safety.

Can I store cooked shrimp in the fridge with the shells on?

It’s better to remove the shells before refrigerating to prevent moisture loss and maintain better quality.

Can I store cooked shrimp in the same container as raw seafood?

It’s not recommended to store cooked shrimp with raw seafood due to the risk of cross-contamination. Store them separately.

Can I eat cooked shrimp that has a slightly fishy smell?

Cooked shrimp should have a mild, clean smell. If it has a strong fishy odor, it’s a sign of spoilage, and you should not consume it.

Is it safe to eat cooked shrimp that has changed color slightly?

Freshly cooked shrimp is translucent and slightly pink or gray. If it has turned opaque or yellowish, it’s an indication of spoilage and should not be eaten.

Leave a Comment