How Long Can Cooked Shrimp Stay Out?

Shellfish are almost everyone’s favorite because of their mouthwatering taste, and they’re a cinch to cook. But do you have any idea how long cooked shrimp can stay out?

If you’re a seafood lover, you’ve got to ensure that you handle your shellfish with extra care.

It’s unsafe to leave cooked shrimp overnight since it speeds up bacterial growth, spreading quickly all over the flesh and resulting in food poisoning.

To prevent unfortunate incidents, store the shrimp in the refrigerator and take them out only when you are all set to cook or eat them.

Similarly, it’s essential to consume the cooked shrimp or refrigerate them within a couple of hours of being cooked.

Go over the article below to determine how long can cooked shrimp stay out.

Things to Remember When Serving Shrimp

Generally speaking, shrimp remains good and safe only a couple of hours after you cook and serve it.

Serving Shrimp

After a couple of hours, cooked shrimp becomes exposed to potentially hazardous bacteria, especially when served in a tray at temperatures 40-degree F or above.

After this period, it’s unsafe to freeze, refrigerate, or consume cooked shrimp; therefore, throwing it away is better.

On the other hand, your cooked shrimp may last only for one hour at 90-degree F or above temperatures.

Steps to Storing Cooked Shrimp in the Refrigerator to Prolong its Shelf Life

Fortunately, it’s relatively straightforward to store cooked shrimp in your fridge. You can do so by following these steps:

Step 1: Wrap the cooked shrimp using aluminum foil, and toss it in the freezer afterward. Doing this method is ideal for retaining its freshness.

Step 2: Alternatively, you may use a translucent storage canister with a lid or airtight container and place them in the freezer.

Using translucent containers allows you to see the contents inside more easily.

How Long Can You Keep Cooked Shrimp in the Freezer?

Freezing cooked shrimp can extend their shell life. Nevertheless, keeping them in the freezer for extended periods is still not recommended.

Frozen cooked shrimp tend to lose their pleasant texture and flavor. In addition, the shrimp are more likely to acquire more liquid, making them squishy and not tasty anymore.

The ideal period to keep your cooked shrimp frozen is within ten to twelve months. Otherwise, they will compromise food safety.

Steps to Defrosting Cooked Shrimp Correctly

Correctly thawing or defrosting your cooked shrimp can ensure that your health won’t be at risk caused by dormant bacteria that can be alive again when the cooked shrimp’s internal temperature reaches more than 40-degree F.

Step 1: Transfer the cooked shrimp from the cold storage to the fridge the evening before consuming it.

This technique provides the cooked shrimp adequate time to thaw safely before cooking and consuming it.

Step 2: Thaw the cooked shrimp in heated water or microwave. Please note that it’s crucial to reheat shrimp instantly afterward.

Step 3: Check if the interior temperature of the cooked shrimp is 145-degree F using a meat thermometer.

This temperature means the pre-cooked shrimp is safer to consume without exposing you to the hazards of active microbes in half-cooked shrimp.

How Can You Tell If Your Shrimp Is Safe To Consume?

There are several indications to tell whether it is safe to consume shrimp or not. Some of them include the following:

Observe the Shrimp

Observe the Shrimp

Inspect if the shrimp has any black dots, as this can indicate mold formation. If you notice these black dots, it’s best to discard the bad shrimp.

Consuming shrimp with mold in them can make you sick, and it can be life-threatening.

Although only a few shrimps contain mold, discarding all the shrimp in the package is safer. Bacteria or fungi can spread through thin mycelium that is invisible to the naked eye.

Likewise, the shrimp package might also be contaminated, harming your health.

Smell the Shrimp

Get a few of the shrimp from the package and smell them closely. Ammonia or a strangely fishy smell signifies that the shrimp is unsafe to consume.

It’s normal for a shrimp to contain a seafood smell; however, you can quickly tell when it’s rotten and spoiled. The fresh seafood smell is quite different from an unusual fishy smell.

Feel the Shrimp

Shrimp that are starting to spoil commonly feature a slimy texture. Therefore, if you notice that the shrimp is clammy or gluey, it’s safer to discard them immediately.

Fresh shrimp should be firm. If you observe that some part of the shrimp is soft or spongy, this indicates that it’s spoiling and unsafe to consume.

Taste the Shrimp

Observing, smelling, and feeling the shrimp are not enough to ensure they are safe to eat.

Undoubtedly, our sense of taste is more vigorous than our sense of smell, which means tasting can instantly determine a decaying shrimp before it even starts to smell.

Hence, if you observe a strange difference in the texture or taste of the shrimp when consuming it, stop eating it and throw it away quickly.

How Can You Safely Handle Leftover Shrimp?

After cooking, you can store the leftover shrimp inside the cold storage to ensure food safety. Cool the shrimp with frigid water, dry them, place them in a storage canister and freeze them immediately.


If you have plenty of leftovers, we highly recommend portioning the shrimp, as doing so will help you effortlessly thaw what you require every time you consume them.

Remember that it’s not a good idea to refreeze the leftover shrimp once you cook, freeze, and defrost them, as this may lead to food poisoning.

Cooking shrimp will exterminate the bacteria; nonetheless, thawing and refreezing them may endanger their safety for consumption.

Please note that you should store cooked shrimp in the cold storage for months to keep them safe for consumption.

The downside of this technique is that the texture of the cooked shrimp won’t be as pleasant as before.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, even if the shrimp have been cooked, storing them in the fridge or freezer is vital to inhibit bacteria or fungus accumulation and prevent foodborne illness.

Additionally, you shouldn’t leave cooked shrimp at room temperature for more than two hours, as doing so will make them unsafe to consume.

Keeping cooked shrimp at a 90-degree temperature is ideal for keeping them from getting spoiled.

Always remember that the shelf life of cooked shrimp mainly depends on where you’re going to store them.

While freezing cooked shrimp can help them last for ten to twelve months, this method is not advisable because the shrimp become flavorless and feature an unpleasant texture.

READ MORE: 10 Incredible Shrimp Facts

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Hi, I love to cook! I have been passionate about cooking for as long as I can remember. My favorite foods are Italian, Mexican, and Indian. I'm not afraid to share my love of cooking with my family, friends & the whole world.

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