Can Raw Shrimp Be Pink? (+ How to Tell Shrimp Is Cooked)

Cooking seafood is already tricky when you know how sick it can make you if you don’t get it right. But shrimp, in particular, may seem tough to get right. No one wants undercooked shrimp, and getting sick with food poisoning would be worse. But if you know what signs to look for and how to tell if shrimp are fully cooked, then you should have no fear when serving up delicious shrimp. 

In this article, we’ll discuss if raw shrimp can be pink and how to tell if they’re properly cooked. 

Can Raw Shrimp Be Pink?

Shrimp is one of the most common types of seafood in America, but what about pink shrimp?

This video seems to indicate that raw shrimp can be pink. In the video, a chef is boiling shrimp in a pot of water. As it cooks, the water turns pink. We’re not sure if it’s the shrimp or the water that turns pink—but we’re sure it’s something!

Is There Raw Pink Shrimp?

It depends on where you’re buying your shrimp and what kind of shrimp it is.

Pink shrimp are common in the wild, but they’re practically nonexistent at seafood counters! In the wild, shrimp grow into many colors: some have spots or stripes, and others have black shells with yellow streaks. Some even have red spots.

Picture: Pink shrimp! Who knew?

Does Pink Color Indicate Your Shrimps Are Cooked?

Because it’s so rare to find pink shrimp at seafood counters, most people think only cooked shrimp can be pink. They might also assume that if shrimp don’t turn pink after being cooked for a few minutes, they must be undercooked. 

Pink color isn’t a clear indicator that your shrimps are cooked. A better way to check if your shrimps are cooked is by checking their internal temperature and ensuring they’ve reached 145°F (63°C). More on this later.

What Color Are Frozen Raw Shrimp?

Frozen raw shrimp must be kept over ice and have a white or translucent color with almost no odor. Keep in mind that the color of frozen uncooked shrimp is not always a reliable indicator of its freshness or safety. To ensure the safety of frozen raw shrimp, you should follow proper food handling and storage guidelines. 

How Can You Tell Frozen Shrimp Are Fresh?

When buying frozen raw shrimp, look for signs of freshness, such as a firm texture and a pleasant, salty smell. Avoid buying shrimp past their expiration date with an off smell or appearance. 

Can Your Uncooked Prawns Turn Pink in Fridge?

It is not uncommon for raw shrimp to turn pink in the fridge. This is because the pigment that gives shrimps their gray color is sensitive to heat and light. When raw shrimp are stored in the fridge, the cold temperatures can cause the pigment to break down, resulting in a pale pink color. This change in color does not necessarily mean that the shrimps are spoiled or unsafe to eat. But if your shrimps have an off smell or appearance, it’s best to throw them out.

Ways to Tell Shrimp Are Cooked or Undercooked

There are several ways to tell if shrimp are cooked:


Another great way to tell if shrimp is cooked is by checking the texture. Cooked shrimp will be firm to the touch, while raw shrimp will be softer and more pliable. If the shrimp are still flexible and do not bounce back when pressed gently with your fingers, they are probably not fully cooked.


Cooked shrimp will be hot to the touch, while raw shrimp will be cooler. You can use a food thermometer to check their internal temperature to ensure that they have reached an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). This is the temperature at which harmful bacteria are killed, and the shrimp are safe to eat.


Cooked shrimp will curl into a “C” shape, while raw shrimp will be straight. The heat from cooking causes the proteins in the shrimp to denature and coagulate, which causes the shrimp to curl.

Takeaway: It is important to properly cook shrimp to ensure they are safe to eat. Undercooked shrimp can harbor bacteria that can cause illness if consumed. So look for a combination of signs to confirm shrimp are fully cooked. 

Related Questions

What’s the most common shrimp color?

The common color of raw shrimp is a translucent grey or pale pink. However, the exact shade can vary depending on the type of shrimp and where it was caught. Some types of shrimp, such as spot prawns, maybe a deeper shade of pink when raw.

Will you die after eating raw shrimp?

It is not uncommon for people to experience an upset stomach or other symptoms after eating raw shrimp. In general, it isn’t dangerous to eat raw shrimp, and it is not likely to cause death. Keep in mind that raw shrimp can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. So it is best to cook shrimp until it is pink and tender. This will help kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

What’s black line in shrimp?

Black line forms on the outside of shrimp and contains unappetizing grit.

Final Thoughts

Raw shrimp can be pink and perfectly good to eat. As long as they don’t smell fishy or are super slimy, you can serve them raw or cooked depending on your preference.

Some types of shrimp have a natural pink hue due to their diet. Others, like Argentinian shrimp, are completely red! From white variety to pink and red variety, shrimp is a delicious and healthy food that everyone can enjoy.

Leave a Comment