Can You Eat Shrimp Cold? (And Cooked Shrimp?)

Shrimps are one of the tastiest and most desirable deep-sea creatures. They are a breeze to prepare and combine well with almost any dish you can think of. 

However, if you’re a regular shrimp eater, you’ll understand how highly perishable these tasty little creatures are. They tend to harbor loads of bacteria. So it is essential to properly cook your shrimp before eating them. 

Now let’s imagine you have cooked your shrimps but have allowed them to sit out for long. Now, they’re cold. Or you transferred them to your refrigerator after cooking. 

The big question is can you eat shrimp cold? We’ll give the response to this question here and provide other details about shrimp consumption you need to know. Read on!

Can You Eat Cold Shrimp?

Get this straight. You cannot eat raw shrimp. It doesn’t matter if you threw the shrimps into the freezer after buying them because you want to prevent spoilage. Putting uncooked shrimp in the fridge or freezer can help preserve its quality. But that doesn’t make the shrimp ideal for consumption. 

Like other sea creatures, shrimps harbor a bacterium called Vibrio (Vibrio vulnificus). This bacterium is common in sea creatures and causes illness in humans. 

So, you can get sick when you eat uncooked shrimps (it doesn’t matter whether it has been cooling off in your fridge or freezer for days). The Vibrio bacterium causes a disease called vibriosis in humans. 

You can even get infected with this disease when the Vibrio bacterium enters a wound on your skin. 

Can You Eat Cooked Shrimp Cold?

Yes, you can. You can consume cooked shrimp cold, provided you stored it properly. Cooked shrimps can stay fresh in your fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also thaw cooked shrimp in your fridge for 3 to 4 days. 

However, visual observation is crucial before consuming cold-cooked shrimp. Use your eyes and sense of smell to check if the shrimp is still in good shape before you consider eating it. 

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If you observe any offensive odor, discard it right away. 

A Handy Tip: Consume shrimp thawed using a microwave or cold water immediately. The shrimp can quickly deteriorate if left for long. 

Can You Eat Pre-Cooked Shrimp Cold?

The straightforward answer is No. You cannot just buy pre-cooked shrimp and eat it cold. A good reason is the shrimp’s state. You cannot spot E.coli or Vibrio with the naked eyes. And you don’t know if the shrimp already have these bacteria. 

study conducted to ascertain the safety of pre-cooked shrimps shows why it’s not safe to consume such shrimp cold. 

The study showed that 16 percent of over 500 pounds of pre-cooked shrimp in the sample had bacteria such as E.coli and Vibrio. 

These bacteria can make you sick. They cause diarrhea and dehydration, which could be fatal. 

So avoid eating pre-cooked shrimp cold, as it’s hard to decipher the one that has bacteria from the ones that doesn’t. Heat the shrimp for some minutes before eating. 

Can You Eat Frozen Raw Shrimp Past the Expiration Date?

Yes, you can eat shrimp even though it has past its expiration date. Uncooked or raw shrimp will remain in good condition 4 to 6 months (when frozen)  after the suggested expiration date, while cooked one will be in good shape for half of that (2 to 3 months). 

The primary factor determining whether shrimp is safe for consumption past the expiration date is storage. If the shrimp stays frozen throughout, it can maintain its quality for many months. 

However, keeping shrimps frozen for many months isn’t the best way to store them. Their texture and flavor won’t remain the same forever.

Your shrimps will lose their texture, succumb to freezer burn and develop off flavor when frozen for a long time. But in all this, they are still safe for consumption. 

In other words, you won’t fall sick from eating shrimp that have lost their flavor and texture or succumbed to freezer burn. 

Can You Eat Thawed Shrimp?

Yes, you can. But that’s not all you need to know. If the thawed shrimp is raw, you can’t and shouldn’t eat it. It doesn’t matter if the shrimp has been frozen for a long period. 

You can eat cooked thawed shrimp, but ensure you package and freeze it properly. Thaw it in the refrigerator too. You can even leave the shrimp in the fridge for 3 to 4 days while thawing. 

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Furthermore, it doesn’t matter where you thawed the shrimp. You can consume frozen cooked shrimps frozen and that have been thawed. 

You can thaw shrimp in the refrigerator, microwave, or cold water. But remember to immediately consume cooked shrimp thawed in cold water or microwave. 

A Handy Tip: One safe way to store shrimp is to remove the seafood from the packaging, and store it in the refrigerator. You can keep it overnight or within 24 hours by so doing. 

The reason for taking the shrimp off the packaging is to prevent bacteria from spreading. Your shrimp would stay fresh when stored this way. 

How Do You Know Shrimp Is Bad?

Spoiled shrimps are unsafe to consume. You shouldn’t even try to restore the shrimp’s quality by microwaving or using techniques you believe would work. The only way to hand bad shrimps is to discard them. Do not eat them.

However, don’t throw your shrimp away until you are sure it is bad. Use the tips below to identify spoiled shrimp before taking any action. 

1: Check out the smell

You can identify a bad shrimp via its smell. Put a shrimp in your hand and sniff it for a few seconds. 

If you perceive strong ammonia-like odor, your shrimp is bad, and you need to do the needful. This odor is usually quite strong. Thus, you can’t mistake it for something else. 

So use your nose to smell and ascertain if your shrimps are still in good shape. 

2: Consider the texture

It is easy to know if a shrimp is bad via its texture. This experiment is also straightforward. 

Put a shrimp in your hand and squeeze it. If the texture remains firm and consistent, your shrimp is safe for consumption. 

If the shrimp becomes mushy when you squeeze it, discard it immediately, as it has gone bad.

3: Consider the color

The color of your shrimp will help you decipher whether the shrimp is good or bad. If the shrimp is bad, you’ll find black stains on it. 

Can Shrimp Be Refrozen and Reheated?

Let’s talk about refreezing first. You can refreeze shrimp after thawing, provided you thawed the shrimp in the refrigerator.

If you thawed your shrimp in cold water or microwave, consider consuming them immediately or as soon as possible. 

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So, shrimp thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen, but ensure you don’t keep them thawed for more than 2 days. 

You also have to avoid thawing and refreezing shrimp repeatedly. Only thaw as much shrimp that you can finish at a go. 

It is safe to eat shrimp thawed (in the refrigerator) and refrozen multiple times. The only challenge is they’ll lose their texture and quality. 

So, if you care about the shrimp’s quality (texture and flavor) you should avoid thawing and refreezing multiple times. 

Another thing you need to know is that you can reheat it. When reheated correctly, your shrimp will taste as good and tasty as when you first prepared it. Just ensure you don’t overexpose it to too much heat, as doing so will make the shrimp rubbery.  

Can You Eat Leftover Shrimp?

Yes, you can, provided the shrimp was cooked and stored correctly. Shrimp stored in the refrigerator will remain in a good state for 3 to 4 days. But after that, discard them immediately. 

After cooking shrimp, allow them to cool down before transferring them to the refrigerator. Don’t store shrimp at room temperature for more than 1 to 2 hours after cooking before moving them to the fridge.

Observe leftover shrimp for visible signs of spoilage before eating them. If the shrimp have started giving off four smells, mushy texture, or black coloration, discard them immediately. 

Can You Consume Too Much Shrimp?

Shrimp is highly nutritious and tasty. You can incorporate it into a wide range of diets too. 

But the truth is you can’t consume excess shrimp. Excess shrimp consumption can strain one’s kidneys and boost cholesterol levels. 

Don’t forget that shrimp is high in cholesterol, though still a huge source of protein. So consuming excess of it can raise cholesterol levels, which isn’t good for your health. 

It is safe and healthy to consume as much as four ounces of shrimp weekly.

Conclusion: Can you eat shrimp cold?

It depends on the state of the deep-sea fish.

You cannot eat raw shrimp cold. Raw shrimp boasts diverse bacteria that can cause health issues when consumed. 

The only way to consume cold shrimp is when cooked and preserved correctly. Remember that you can freeze and thaw shrimp in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can equally store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)