How Long Does Raw Shrimp Last in the Fridge?

Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood options in the world. It is relatively cheap, easy to prepare, and accessible no matter where you live. However, one of the downsides to shrimp is that it spoils quickly, especially when stored in the fridge. That leaves many customers asking how long is raw shrimp good in the fridge?

Raw shrimp can keep in the fridge for up to three days before being thrown away. However, if it begins to show signs of spoilage like discoloration, softening, and a foul odor before then, the shrimp has spoiled and should be thrown out.

To maximize how long you can keep raw shrimp in the fridge, it is important to understand how to store it. To make shrimp last longer than 3 days, the best thing you can do is store it in the freezer where it will stay fresh for several months.

How Long Can You Keep Raw Shrimp in the Fridge?

On average, you can keep raw shrimp in the fridge for 2 days before they go bad. If the shrimp still has its shell and minimal processing has been done, it may last for 3 days before it should be thrown out.

When you purchase a package of frozen shrimp, you should notice a use-by date stamped on the package. This date is stamped considering how old the shrimp was when packaged and is a pretty good reference to use when deciding if your shrimp is still good or not.

Regardless of the date, shrimp should almost always be cooked within 2 days of purchasing the shrimp. After that point, the shrimp will begin to decompose and the bacteria that produce can be dangerous if consumed.

Shrimp that still have their tails and shells will usually keep for slightly longer and will last up to 3 days in the fridge. This is because the tail and shell act as a protective layer which will prevent bacteria from entering the shrimp and speeding up the spoiling process.

Storing your shrimp at the correct temperature and in the right container will also help to make it last just a little bit longer. 

How to Properly Store Raw Shrimp in the Fridge 

The best way to store raw shrimp in the fridge is to keep it in its original, sealed container. This will prevent excess bacteria from entering the shrimp and speed up the spoiling process.

If you’ve already opened the original package, transfer the raw shrimp to an airtight container and keep that sealed until you are ready to prepare the shrimp. Make sure to keep the temperature in your fridge below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize bacterial growth.

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How to Properly Store Raw Shrimp in the Freezer

If you are not going to use your shrimp right away, the best way to keep them fresh is to store them in the freezer. This will prevent them from spoiling within a couple of days and allow you to keep them fresh until you are ready to prepare them.

To freeze raw shrimp you will first remove the heads if there are any, but make sure to leave the shell on. This will help to preserve the shrimp and freeze them as best as possible.

Next, you will pack the raw shrimp into freezer bags and squeeze out as much air as possible. This will prevent freezer burn and keep the shrimp from drying out while they are in the freezer.

As a final measure of protection, you can place the entire bag in a rigid, airtight container. This will keep the shrimp from being crushed while they are in the freezer.

After they’re all packaged up they are ready to be transferred to the freezer.

Once you are ready to thaw them you will simply transfer them to the fridge the night before you are ready to cook them. This will allow them to thaw gradually and keep them out of the temperature danger zone which is from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does Raw Shrimp Go Bad in the Fridge?

If raw shrimp is left in the fridge for too long, it can go bad. After 2-3 days have passed, the shrimp will begin to decompose even if it has been kept at the appropriate temperature in the fridge.

How Do You Tell If Raw Shrimp Has Gone Bad in the Fridge?

There are several easy ways to tell if raw shrimp has gone bad in the fridge. The easiest ways to tell are by the appearance, smell, texture, and taste of the shrimp.


The first way to tell if shrimp has gone bad is by its appearance. If the shrimp appears discolored or mold has started to grow, the shrimp has gone bad and should be thrown out.

The shrimp should also have a glossy finish and the shell should appear to be tightly attached to the body. If it looks loose or the shrimp has a dull appearance, it has likely gone bad.


One of the easiest ways to tell that shrimp has gone bad is by taking a sniff. Fresh shrimp should have a clean odor and should not smell too strongly of anything.

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Shrimp that has gone bad will have a strong, fishy smell that will be evident as soon as you open the bag. If your shrimp begins to smell rancid or rotten, that is another sure sign that it is time to toss your shrimp.


Another easy way to tell that your shrimp has gone bad is by how it feels. Fresh shrimp will usually be wet, but it should not feel slimy. The shell should be firmly attached to the shrimp and the flesh should be firm and shouldn’t break apart easily between your fingers.

If the shrimp has gone mushy and the outside of the shrimp is slimy, that means that your shrimp has gone bad and should be thrown away.


One last way to tell that your shrimp has gone bad is by the flavor. Of course, don’t skip to tasting your shrimp if all of the other signs are pointing to spoilage. Only taste your shrimp if everything else looks, smells, and feels okay.

If your shrimp does not taste quite right or the taste is especially fishy, it has probably gone bad. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can raw shrimp be refrigerated for 3 days?

Raw shrimp can be refrigerated for 3 days if they have their shell. However, that is pushing it timewise and you should be careful to inspect your shrimp before eating them. If they show any signs of spoilage, it’s better to be safe than sorry and throw the shrimp away.

What happens if you eat bad raw shrimp?

If you eat raw shrimp that has gone bad you could get food poisoning. Food poisoning is characterized by stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea amongst other symptoms.

You could also get salmonella which induces similar symptoms to food poisoning but can last far longer and be dangerous, especially in children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

When should you throw out raw shrimp?

You should throw out raw shrimp by their use-by day or whenever they’ve spent 3 days in your fridge, whichever comes first. If you’ve only had them for a day but they already have a foul odor and slimy texture, it is better to be safe than sorry and throw out the raw shrimp.