How long can I keep shrimp in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can I keep shrimp in the fridge?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how to properly store shrimp? Can shrimp go bad?

How long can I keep shrimp in the fridge?

Shrimp can stay in the fridge for 1-2 days. But this time duration depends on the size of the shrimp (ranges from jumbo-miniature), its source (from which sea it is obtained around the world), and its species. As a general idea, when you buy shrimp from the store, it will stay as fresh at home as it was when you purchased it. All you need to keep in mind is that you should look for plumpness in cooked shrimps while for firm texture and steady color in uncooked shrimps.

The shelf life of shrimp

The shelf life of shrimp depends on a variety of factors such as best-by date, type of shrimp (cooked, uncooked, and canned), and the way under which you have stored it. But, if you have not stored the shrimp in the right way, its shelf life will be obviously decreased than the best-by date.

In the fridge, the shrimp stays fresh for some days, while in the freezer, it can last for even months or a year. In the pantry, only canned shrimp can stay fresh for some months. For a quick review of the shelf life of the different forms of shrimp in the refrigerator or freezer, you can go through the following table:

   Form of shrimp
                The shelf life of shrimp (post printed date)
      In pantry In refrigerator          In freezer
Fresh shrimp (shelled)_____1-2 days6-9 months
Fresh shrimp (shell on)_____2-3 days9-12 months
Cooked shrimp_____3-4 days6-9 months
Frozen shrimp_____4-5 days9-12 months
Canned shrimp6-8 months6-8 months9-12 months (without can)

How to properly store shrimp?

It is very important to store the shrimp under the right conditions, as the storage conditions can help you increase the shelf life of the shrimp.

To store the raw shrimp, you can freeze the shrimp with or without the shell, and some can be deveined while all should have the heads removed. To keep the raw shrimp fresh over a longer period, you should double-wrap it tightly. First, wrap it in a plastic bag and then wrap it in a heavy-duty aluminum foil. This strong wrapping also helps in keeping the shrimp safe from freezer burns.

To store the cooked shrimp, you need to pack it in an airtight container. This container can be then stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator if you are sure that you can use it in 2-3 days. Otherwise, it is better to keep the container in the freezer so that the growth of pathogenic or spoilage bacteria can be kept to a minimum.

Freezing the cooked or uncooked shrimp

Although, cooked or uncooked shrimp can be kept fresh and free from bacteria for several months by storing it in the freezer, but keep in mind that its quality will be compromised. As shrimps, if properly stored in the freezer, can stay fresh up to months, but the taste of the shrimp will be diminished over months and its texture will get tougher. The texture of uncooked shrimp will get toughen and that of cooked shrimp will get soft and unappetizing.

Can shrimp go bad?

Shrimp can go bad either due to the spoilage bacteria or by the pathogenic bacteria. Also, the storage conditions, if not proper, can cause shrimp to go bad. If the shrimp has gone bad due to bacteria or other foodborne microorganisms, there are sure chances that you will become a victim of food poisoning with mild-severe symptoms.

3 signs that shrimp has gone bad

  • Smell

Fresh shrimp has little to no odor and smells slightly salty. But if you suspect any kind of off-odor, or if the shrimp is giving off the smell of ammonia, do not use such shrimp, because the shrimp is gone bad and it’s time to toss it away. The smell of ammonia from the shrimp is a clear indicator that certain spoilage bacteria have started growing on it that may lead you to food poisoning.

  • Shell appearance 

Fresh shrimp have firm bodies that are attached to their shells and their shells have a pearl-like appearance. If the shrimp has gone bad, its body will appear loose within the shell and there will be black spots on the shell indicating that the flesh has started decomposing inside.

  • Color

If you suspect that the shrimp has discolored this means that it has spoiled. Many marketers use chemicals such as sodium bi-sulfate to bleach the shells of old shrimp. So if the shells of shrimp appear to be yellow or gritty, do not purchase such shrimps, because they have been bleached to disguise the fact.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can I keep shrimp in the fridge?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how to properly store shrimp? Can shrimp go bad?


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