Good eatin, or lurking horror?
May 24, 2006 3:09 PM   Subscribe

How long is it safe to keep cooked shrimp in a refrigerator before eating?

I bought them on Monday and thought I'd eat them that night, but fell asleep early. Tuesday I wasn't home. Now it's Wednesday and they still look pretty good. Is it safe to eat them? (total time since leaving the display case: 51 hours)

My refrigerator is on the cold side but I don't know exact temperature. Milk usually lasts a little beyond the expiration date. The shrimp were not unrefrigerated for more than half an hour (straight from the store to the refrigerator). If they smelled bad I wouldn't eat them even if I had bought them moments before.
posted by ducksauce to Food & Drink (18 answers total)
I'd throw them out. Fish (and I assume seafood) lasts 1-2 days in the fridge.

Smell does nothing to signal early spoilage.
posted by acoutu at 3:17 PM on May 24, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, acoutu, but I think that page is referring to uncooked meat. They have a disclaimer at the bottom that says:

Meat lasts longer when cooked.

But unfortunately don't go into any more detail. I've found the 1-2 day uncooked estimation various places online after a google search, but I can't find information on cooked shrimp anywhere.
posted by ducksauce at 3:22 PM on May 24, 2006

Best answer: This article seems to indicate that cooked shrimp can be stored in the fridge for 3 days. This pdf says two days. This page says 3-4 days. So, you're right on the limit for what most people would recommend. You feel lucky, punk? I personally wouldn't risk it.
posted by escher at 3:50 PM on May 24, 2006

I wouldn't eat them. For whatever reason, shellfish spoil very quickly.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:58 PM on May 24, 2006

Goddam they'd have to be awful nice shrimp for me to be eating them even the next day. Shellfish is one of those things you just don't fuck with
posted by criticalbill at 4:03 PM on May 24, 2006

I've gotten food poisoning off 3-day shrimp leftovers. YMMV, but I'd chuck the stuff in the trash. I won't even eat day-old shrimp leftovers now.
posted by Sangre Azul at 4:08 PM on May 24, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, the shrimp cost be $3 and I have alternative snacking fodder, so I guess I'll just leave the mystery food for the raccoons that raid our trash cans. Too bad... I was really looking forward to a refreshing seafood snack.

Thanks for helping me come to my senses.
posted by ducksauce at 4:13 PM on May 24, 2006

I wanted to add that my community nutritionist said even cooked meat/fish only lasts 1-2 days. I used to go three days, but I've been a lot healthier since making the switch.
posted by acoutu at 4:30 PM on May 24, 2006

I'd eat them and not think twice. Then again, for whatever reason I'm lucky enough to have never really gotten food poisoning. And I've usually cooked the food myself, so I'm more confident of how the food's been handled.
posted by desuetude at 4:32 PM on May 24, 2006

I would eat them. 51 hours is not such a long time. they are cooked - not raw. go for it! if you are really nervous, give them a spin in the microwave for a few minutes, and toss them in a salad
posted by seawallrunner at 4:45 PM on May 24, 2006

eat eat eat! if you don't make your white blood cells do some jumping jacks now and again you're gonna be screwed when the h5n1 hits
posted by soma lkzx at 7:44 PM on May 24, 2006

When you buy cooked shrimp at Food Emporium, you're lucky if they are that fresh.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:27 PM on May 24, 2006

I'd go with 7-10 days, personally.

The only thing I've been food poisioned with in recent memory is nearly a full bag of 6+ month-old non-airtight unrefrigerated walnuts.
posted by trevyn at 9:00 PM on May 24, 2006

* assuming they still appear edible.
posted by trevyn at 9:01 PM on May 24, 2006

Two days.
posted by madman at 5:26 AM on May 25, 2006

most of these answers seem hyper-cautious to me... i think cooked shrimp should last as long as any other cooked meat (up to a week) as long as they're stored properly. my mom taught me shrimp should be stored in a glass bowl with an airtight cover such as saran wrap. rinse it before you eat it. as long as it's not really slimy or smelly, and as long as you didn't get it at val-u-mart, it should be fine. but don't eat it if you're not comfortable doing so; you won't enjoy it anyway!
posted by nyanko at 3:46 PM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: As a quick follow-up to this, the supermarket I purchased them from (Food Emporium) says they're good for about 5 days. I didn't want to chance it, though, so I bought new ones and threw the old ones out.
posted by ducksauce at 11:03 AM on May 26, 2006

I'd eat them. I wouldn't even worry about them. I keep cooked fish in the fridge for 2-3 days all the time.
posted by exhilaration at 1:49 PM on May 26, 2006

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