How Long is Cooked Shrimp Safe to Eat & Food Safety


Whether you’re working with cooked shrimp, frozen shrimp, or fresh shrimp it’s all perishable if not handled or stored properly. Knowing the answer to the question how long is cooked shrimp safe to eat can be valuable, especially when leftovers are on hand.

Fried shrimps with herbs
Fried shrimps with herbs

How Long is Cooked Shrimp Safe to Eat

Shrimp has a definitive shelf life based on how it’s stored. Let’s look at how long cooked shrimp will last at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer.

Room Temperature

Cooked shrimp can last at room temperature for a time frame of up to 2 hours if the room temperature is 90F degrees or less. If the room temperature is more than 90F degrees, the cooked shrimp can last for up to 1 hour. After that it should be thrown away.


Cooked shrimp can last in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days if the refrigerator is set to 40F degrees or below.


Cooked shrimp can be stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months without compromising quality.

Following the proper food safety guidelines and food handling instructions is important to maintain good health.

How to Store Shrimp

There are many ways shrimp can be stored, and you might choose your storage method according to the type of shrimp and how soon you intend to use it. Here are some storage recommendations.

Cooked shrimp should be kept in an airtight container such as a resealable bag, sealed container, or its original packaging.

Once the shrimp has been opened, you’ll want to move it to proper storage so that air doesn’t get to it and to help maintain freshness. This can be something as simple as a resealable plastic bag.

shrimp skewers
shrimp skewers

Cooked shrimp can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days at 40F degrees or below.

If you don’t intend to use the shrimp right away, the best storage method might be to transfer it to the freezer.

How to Freeze Shrimp

To freeze cooked shrimp, you’ll want to place the desired portion in a zipped freezer bag and date and label it with the contents.

Placing it in a freezer bag will help to keep the contents from getting freezer burn as quickly. 

Another way to freezer shrimp is to wrap it in plastic wrap first. And then wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil and place the packet inside a zipped freezer bag.

How to Thaw Shrimp

Now that you know how to freeze shrimp it’s important to know how you can safely thaw it according to food safety instructions.

The best way to defrost frozen shrimp is to transfer it in the freezer bags to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw inside the refrigerator overnight.

Grilling shrimp
Grilling shrimp

If you don’t have time to allow it to thaw overnight, you can use a more rapid method called the cold water method. To do this, place the sealed package of frozen shrimp in a bowl of cold water, changing the water to keep it cold every 30 minutes until the shrimp is thawed.

You can potentially freeze fresh shrimp, leftover shrimp, frozen shrimp, frozen cooked shrimp, or pre-cooked shrimp.

Signs of Bad Shrimp

Can shrimp spoil? Yes, regardless of its form whether it’s raw shrimp, frozen shrimp, or cooked shrimp, food safety is important when dealing with seafood and perishable food of any type and maintaining it for the absolute best quality. 

You’ll want to know the key indicators to watch for so that the signs of spoilage are evident and can be avoided.

Appearance of Shrimp

Check the appearance of your shrimp to see if anything is off.  If you notice a slimy texture, discoloration, or translucent appearance, it’s likely that your shrimp has spoiled and should be thrown away. You don’t want to eat shrimp that has any bacterial growth.

Smell of Shrimp

Check the smell of your shrimp to see if there’s an unpleasant smell or a sour smell.

lemon and cooked shrimp
lemon and cooked shrimp

When the expiration date has passed or the smell of your shrimp is of spoilage, that means the shrimp has gone bad and needs to be thrown away. Don’t risk eating it.

Flavor of Shrimp

The flavor of the shrimp can also be indicative of its freshness or lack thereof. If your shrimp has been in the danger zone as far as temperature is concerned, for a length of time, harmful bacteria can grow, and e. coli can form, and the consumer is at risk of foodborne illnesses.

This will throw off the flavor of your shrimp and it’s a good idea that the food should be discarded for food safety reasons.

Food poisoning is very real and consuming food that’s spoiled exposes you to the risk of food poisoning. If you suspect that your shrimp has gone bad, throw it away and don’t risk eating it.

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Shrimp?

There are several health benefits that can be gleaned from eating shrimp.

Egg and prawn seafood
Egg and prawn seafood

Shrimp is high in vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Shrimp is thought to produce heart health as well as brain health and is a rich source of protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to how long is cooked shrimp safe to eat. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to respond.

Can you eat cooked shrimp after 5 days?

For the best results, we don’t recommend eating cooked shrimp that’s stored properly in a 40F degree refrigerator or less after 3-4 days because of potential food poisoning.

How long is shrimp good in the fridge after cooked?

Cooked shrimp that’s stored in a 40F degree refrigerator of less is good for up to 3-4 days. After that it should be thrown away because of the risk of foodborne illness.

shrimp skewers with lemon
shrimp skewers with lemon

How do you know if cooked shrimp has gone bad?

There are key indicators to watch for to know if your cooked shrimp has gone bad.  These include an off taste, or strange smell, along with discoloration. We’ve created a list of all the signs that your shrimp has gone bad above.

Can cooked shrimp be spoiled?

Yes, cooked shrimp can spoil and so can uncooked shrimp. Just like any perishable food item shrimp can spoil too. After it’s been properly stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, it needs to be thrown away because it’s considered to be spoiled at that point.

What should the internal temperature of cooked shrimp be?

The perfect internal temperature of cooked shrimp is 145F degrees or 63C degrees. Use a food thermometer to check the shrimp’s doneness.

Related Ideas:

How long can raw shrimp stay in the fridge?
What does it mean to devein a shrimp?
Shrimp Bisque recipe

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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