Shrimps contain an impressive range of nutrients. They are known as great sources of proteins and other essentials such as omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp also has an abundant amount of vitamins – especially vitamin D in it. The biggest advantage is shrimps are far too easy to cook – as compared to chicken. But, how long does it last once you have cooked it. Read on to know more on this.

Shrimp is known for its excessive protein content, and also for its low value of calories. It is caught in abundance off the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. The catch season starts from May and ends by last week of September or early part of October.

Shrimp is a food item with a very limited shelf life. Once caught, shrimp is best if eaten within a day. If freshly caught shrimp is not available, you can try frozen shrimp, widely sold in markets. Those types you buy are actually thawed shrimp which are frozen. Thawed shrimp needs to be used within 3 days. However, frozen shrimp can be kept fresh for a few weeks. While buying fresh shrimp, ensure it smells of salt water. If you sense a strong smell of ammonia (something similar to rotten eggs), stay away from such shrimp. Also, make sure not buy those with dark spots on them. The best form of fresh shrimp will have a translucent texture on it.

On the other hand, if you are buying frozen shrimp – never buy shrimp whose vein (which is the digestive canal) has been removed. Also, ensure not to buy shrimp that has been peeled. Removal of shell only means a loss of texture as well as taste. Dietary experts also warn a likely loss of flavor when vein and shell are removed from shrimp. While defrosting your shrimp, use cold water or use the defrost functionality in your refrigerator. It is recommended not to defrost it in microwave or by storing it in a warm room. Its shell is often removed after cooking it; however, ensure to boil it along with the shell to retain most of its flavor.

Storage life of cooked shrimp is influenced by the approach taken to cook it, the means of storage as well as depends on the expiry or sell / use by date printed on the food label. It often takes less than 10 minutes to cook shrimp. The fact is shrimp cannot last long at ambient temperatures. At best, it can stay unspoilt for only 2 hours. Once cooked shrimp is attacked by microbes – such as bacteria – there is little use of freezing or refrigerating it.

At 5 deg Celsius or beyond, shrimp (cooked) can get ruined in a matter of less than 4 hours. At more than 30 deg Celsius, cooked shrimp it is unlikely to remain fresh for more than 1.5 hours. The best known approach to make cooked shrimp last long is to keep it in your fridge. This way you can have it stored upto even three days. The only catch here is you may have to put it inside your fridge within 1.5 hours after cooking. However, cooked shrimp that has been kept at 30 deg. Celsius and above needs to be stored within 60 minutes after having them cooked.

How to store cooked shrimp in fridge for it to last long?

All you need is an aluminum wrap (heavy duty) or a plastic pouch. You can also consider using a plastic can for this purpose. On the other hand, you can also consider freezing cooked shrimp; this way, it can be stored for a very long period. Studies show that cooked shrimp stored at 0 deg Fahrenheit can be stored upto a year. The only drawback of freezing is shrimp may taste differently and can never match the taste of a freshly cooked dish. Beware as you recook shrimp after taking it from the freezer. The odds of ending up with a dish containing an excessive amount of water in it are very high.

Though storing cooked shrimp in freezer may make it last long, its taste and texture can come down in 4 to 6 months. Cooked shrimp may in fact stay safe from any bacterial attacks, but the difference in quality shows.

Thawing cooked shrimp

You can thaw cooked shrimp after taking it from the freezer. Safe thawing practices can keep bacteria inactive even after cooked shrimp gets exposed to an ambient temperature of more than 4 deg Celsius. How to do this? If you intend thawing, move the cooked shrimp from your freezer to your fridge; however, you may need to do this at least 12 hours prior to recooking. You can thaw cooked shrimp using a microwave oven. Using a meat thermometer, ensure that cooked shrimp is reheated to 145 deg Fahrenheit (about 63 deg Celsius). Once the temperature reaches this threshold, it is safe to consume shrimp post-thawing.

How to find if shrimp has turned bad?

It is easy to find if cooked shrimp is good or not to eat by relying on your sense of smell. Cooked shrimp – if spoilt – may emit a fleshy smell. Once you get this sour smell off it, you may need to throw it away. It is not recommended to taste such shrimp. If you still intend eating it, you may run greater risks of food poisoning.

In sum, cooked shrimp cannot last for long at room temperature; it may get spoilt within 2 hours. There is no use in trying to store cooked shrimp once it is attacked by microbes. At 5 deg Celsius or beyond, cooked shrimp may turn bad in less than 4 hours. Beyond 30 deg Celsius, cooked shrimp is likely to turn bad in less than 1.5 hours. You can store cooked shrimp by keeping it in the fridge or freezer. But, you may need to store it well within 1.5 hours after cooking. This is because bacteria may attack the dish between 40 deg. and 140 deg. Fahrenheit. You can use a plastic can for storage purpose. Freezing cooked shrimp can help you store it for fairly longer periods.

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