How long can you keep cooked shrimp in the refrigerator?

How long can you keep cooked shrimp in the refrigerator?


When it comes to storing cooked shrimp, it’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines to ensure its freshness and prevent any risk of foodborne illnesses. In this article, we will explore how long you can keep cooked shrimp in the refrigerator, taking into consideration various factors that can affect its shelf life.

Factors Affecting Shelf Life

Several factors can influence how long cooked shrimp can be safely stored in the refrigerator. These factors include temperature, storage conditions, and the initial quality of the shrimp.

Temperature: The refrigerator should be set at or below 40°F (4°C) to maintain the freshness of cooked shrimp. Temperatures above this range can promote bacterial growth and spoilage.

Storage Conditions: Proper storage conditions are crucial for extending the shelf life of cooked shrimp. It should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss and exposure to other odors in the refrigerator.

Initial Quality: The quality of the shrimp before cooking also plays a role in determining its shelf life. Fresh, high-quality shrimp will generally last longer than shrimp that was nearing its expiration date before cooking.

Shelf Life of Cooked Shrimp

On average, cooked shrimp can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. However, it’s important to note that this is a general guideline and the actual shelf life may vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

If the cooked shrimp has been properly stored and shows no signs of spoilage, such as a foul odor, slimy texture, or discoloration, it can still be consumed beyond the 4-day mark. However, it’s always recommended to err on the side of caution and discard any shrimp that appears questionable.

Freezing Cooked Shrimp

If you need to extend the shelf life of cooked shrimp beyond a few days, freezing is a viable option. Cooked shrimp can be frozen for up to 3 months without significant loss in quality.

To freeze cooked shrimp, ensure they are properly cooled before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Remove as much air as possible from the packaging to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date to keep track of its freshness.

When you’re ready to use the frozen cooked shrimp, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Avoid thawing them at room temperature, as this can promote bacterial growth.


In conclusion, cooked shrimp can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, provided that proper storage conditions and temperatures are maintained. Freezing cooked shrimp can extend its shelf life for up to 3 months. Always trust your senses and discard any shrimp that shows signs of spoilage. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy delicious and safe cooked shrimp for longer periods.


– United States Department of Agriculture:
– National Center for Home Food Preservation: