Home Articles How to Tell If Shrimp Is Bad (Easy Guide)

How to Tell If Shrimp Is Bad (Easy Guide)

If you’re a fan of seafood, you probably can’t get enough shrimp! But have you ever thought about how to tell if shrimp is bad

Eating spoiled shrimp can cause some serious tummy troubles.

Fresh Shrimp on a Wooden Cutting Board

So, it’s important to know how to identify the signs of spoilage to extend its shelf life.

I know it can be hard to toss out your favorite shrimp dishes. But remember when in doubt, throw it out! 

How to Tell If Shrimp Is Bad

Do you know how to tell if your shrimp has gone bad? It’s important to know so you don’t end up with food poisoning.

First, bad shrimp can get slimy on the surface or underneath the shell.

Fresh shrimp should have a uniform color without any weird marks or discoloration. The color should also not be faded.

If you spot any mold on the shrimp or the packaging, it’s a surefire sign that the shrimp is past its expiration date. 

Don’t even think about rinsing off moldy shrimp to use in your meal!

The bacteria could still be lurking around and give you a nasty case of food poisoning.

Another way to tell if your shrimp is bad is by its smell. Fresh seafood should just have a salty ocean water scent. 

If you catch a whiff of something rotten and fishy, it’s a warning that you shouldn’t ignore.

Lastly, if your shrimp feels soft and mushy instead of firm and tender, it might have seen better days.

Frozen Cooked Shrimps on a Table

How to Tell If Frozen Shrimp Is Bad

If you enjoy eating frozen shrimp, it’s important to know how to tell if it has gone bad. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Check the packaging for ice crystals or frost. This can be a sign that the shrimp has been thawed and refrozen, which can affect its quality and taste.
  • Look out for freezer burn. This can happen when the shrimp has been in the freezer for too long, usually more than 3 months.
  • Be on the lookout for any signs of spoilage, such as a funky smell or discoloration. This is similar to what you’d see in fresh shrimp and is an indication that the shrimp is not safe to eat.
  • Use your senses! If the shrimp doesn’t look, smell, or feel right, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.
Boiled Shrimps on a Plate

How to Tell If Cooked Shrimp Is Bad

Have you ever wondered how to tell when cooked shrimp has gone bad? Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Smell it: Your nose is a powerful tool, and it can help you detect if cooked shrimp has gone bad. If it smells fishy or sour, it’s likely not safe to eat.
  • Check the texture: Cooked shrimp should be firm and slightly springy to the touch. If it feels slimy or mushy, it’s a sign that it has spoiled.
  • Look at the color: Shrimp should be a pinkish color when cooked. If it looks gray or has dark spots, it could be spoiled.
  • Check the date: If you’re unsure whether your cooked shrimp is still good, check the date you cooked it. Shrimp should be eaten within 2-3 days of cooking it.
  • Trust your gut: If something doesn’t seem right about your cooked shrimp, it’s best to throw it away.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Shrimp?

Eating bad shrimp can cause a type of food poisoning called shellfish poisoning.

Here are the symptoms of shellfish poisoning that you should look out for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Severe vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the abdomen or cramps
  • Nausea
  • Blood spots in stools
  • Fever

These symptoms can take between 4 to 48 hours to appear.

If you think you’ve eaten spoiled shrimp or are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. 

To avoid the risk of food poisoning, always be sure to properly store, cook, and handle your shrimp.

And remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

Five Pieces Raw Shrimp on a Wooden Cutting Board

How to Identify Fresh Shrimp Based on Appearance and Odor

Here are some tips on identifying fresh shrimp based on appearance and odor:

  • Look at the color: Fresh shrimp should have a pinkish hue. Avoid any shrimp that looks gray or has black spots.
  • Check the texture: If it feels slimy or mushy, it may be past its prime.
  • Smell it: Fresh shrimp should have a mild, briny odor. If it smells overly fishy or sour, it’s likely, not fresh.
  • Check the eyes: The eyes of fresh shrimp should be clear and shiny. Avoid shrimp with cloudy or dull eyes, as this is a sign that it’s not fresh.
  • Watch out for signs of discoloration: Fresh shrimp should not have any discoloration, such as yellowing or browning.
Cooked Shrimp on a Resealable Plastic

What’s The Shelf Life Of Shrimp?

If you’re wondering how long shrimp will last, it depends on a few factors such as whether they’ve been shelled or not, and their size.

Here’s a breakdown of the shelf life of shrimp:

  • Raw, shelled shrimp: This type of shrimp will last for a day or 2 in the refrigerator.
  • Raw, shell-on shrimp: For this type of shrimp, it will last for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Cooked shrimp: If you’ve already cooked your shrimp, it will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Raw or cooked shrimp: Both raw and cooked shrimp can be frozen for 2 to 3 months.
Frozen Raw Shrimps on Plastic Container

How to Store Fresh Shrimp

Here’s how you store fresh shrimp to keep it as safe and fresh as possible: 

  1. Place the shrimp in a single layer in an air-tight container. You can use a plastic container or a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Cover the container or bag loosely with wax paper. This will help to absorb any excess moisture and prevent the shrimp from getting soggy.
  3. If you have more shrimp, you can add another layer, but be sure to keep it to only two layers.
  4. Cover the container or bag tightly and place it in the coldest area of your fridge, usually the back or bottom shelf.
  5. For best results, store your shrimp container in or on top of crushed ice to keep it even colder.

Remember, freshness is key when it comes to seafood, so always handle it with care!

How to Tell If Shrimp Is Bad

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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