How long does thawed shrimp last in the fridge? 

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does thawed shrimp last in the fridge?”, and discuss the proper way to freeze and thaw shrimp, as well as the risks related to improper defrosting or handling shrimp.

How long does thawed shrimp last in the fridge?

Thawed shrimp should not be kept in the fridge for more than 1-2 days in the fridge, when thawed in the refrigerator. If the shrimp was thawed in the microwave or under cold water, It should be cooked right away without refrigerating (1). 

Shrimp is a highly perishable food, susceptible to both microbial and chemical deterioration. Consuming deteriorated shrimp can lead to serious foodborne illnesses (2).

Why should you not store defrosted shrimp for long in the fridge?

You should not store defrosted shrimp for long in the fridge because of the increased risks of spoilage. 

The risks of a long storage after thawing or improper defrosting conditions of the frozen shrimp is the rapid development of microorganisms and the chemical and enzymatic changes that occur in the shrimp during refrigerated storage (3).

Shrimp and other seafish is a host of bacteria, yeasts, and protozoa. The ingestion of contaminated fish can lead to foodborne illnesses, with possible symptoms being diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms (2).

Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, Fecal Coliforms and Staphylococcus are some of the common bacteria found in shrimp (3). Their action in this seafood result in the generation of degradation products, including biogenic amines.

The ingestion of shrimp and other foods containing high levels of biogenic amines can lead to intoxication by histamine, which symptoms are tingling tongue, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and dizziness, palpitations or breathing difficulties (4).

In addition, not only microbial spoilage occurs in the shrimp during storage, but enzymatic reactions and chemical reactions which result in the deterioration of the nutrients, changes in the odor, flavor and nutritional properties of the seafish.

When should you not consume defrosted salmon?

You should not consume defrosted shrimp when you notice any sign of spoilage, such as (2,3):

  • Bad odor: off-odors such as sour, rancid, putrid, strong “fishy” and ammonia-like. Fresh shrimp should have a mild smell
  • Formation of slime on the surface
  • Changes in the texture, extreme softening or sticky texture. The texture of the shrimps should be firm and crisp
  • Discoloration, darkening, black color. The normal color of shrimp is “grayish pink”

How to freeze and defrost shrimp safely?

To freeze and defrost shrimp safely, follow the recommendations (1,2,5):

Freezing shrimp

If you intend to freeze shrimp, freeze it immediately after purchase. Always choose high-quality, fresh shrimp with no signs of spoilage.

Drain the shrimp, remove the heads and maintain the shell to improve the shelf life. Wrap the shrimp in foil or place it in freezer bags, label and freeze.

Shrimp can be frozen in water in a freezer container, by immersing the shrimp in clean water in a container and placing it in the freezer after wrapping. 

Defrosting frozen shrimp

Transfer the frozen shrimps from their container to a colander. Keep a plate beneath the colander to catch the water. Place the colonnade in the fridge or at room temperature to let it thaw. Do not place at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

If you are in a hurry, place the frozen shrimp in a bag inside a bowl and pour water into it for quick thawing. If the bag leaks, the risk of spoilage increases. When you defrost shrimp in the microwave, you should cook it  immediately after thawing, as microwave defrosting heats the food to unsafe temperatures.

Other FAQs about Shrimp which you may be interested in.

How long can cooked shrimp stay in the fridge?

How long can defrosted shrimp stay in the fridge?

Are Argentine red shrimp safe to eat?


In this article, we answered the question “How long does thawed shrimp last in the fridge?”, and how to freeze shrimps?


  1. The big thaw. United States Department of Agriculture. 
  2. Selecting and Serving Fresh and Frozen Seafood Safely. US Food and Drug Administration. 
  3. Attala, Osama A. Impact of using organic acids and sodium sulfite on the quality of unpeeled shrimp. World J Fish Marine Sci, 2012, 4, 284-289.  
  4. Wójcik, Wojciech, Monika Łukasiewicz, and Kamila Puppel. Biogenic amines: formation, action and toxicity–a review. J Sci Food Agric, 2021, 101, 2634-2640. 
  5. Schmutz, P. Hoyle, E.H. Freezing meats and Seafood. Clemson University.
  6. Foodkeeper. United States Department of Agriculture.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!