How to tell Raw Shrimps Are Bad? (8 Tell-Tale Signs)

When we buy raw shrimp, we’re often unsure if they’re good or bad. For example, what if you bought a carton of raw shrimp that tasted bitter? Or maybe a shrimp was so rubbery it felt like chewing on a rubber band? That’s probably because your shrimp was probably bad. This article will share some easy ways to tell if your raw shrimps are bad.

Can Raw Shrimps Go Bad?

Yes, raw shrimp can go bad. And it happens more often than you might think! Nevertheless, raw shrimp is a great food because it’s relatively cheap, easy to prepare, and nutritious. But when making homemade shrimp, remember that even though you can cook it until pink and tender, you shouldn’t eat it unless you know for sure that it isn’t spoiled.

The problem with raw shrimp is that bacteria can grow inside it if it’s not refrigerated. You can prevent this by keeping your raw shrimp in the fridge and ensuring they don’t touch other foods while they’re being stored—which is why we don’t recommend serving raw shrimp at any event where food is being served to lots of people at once.

8 Tell-Tale Signs Raw Shrimps Are Bad

Shrimps are delicious, but they can quickly go bad. Sometimes you don’t know if they’re bad until it’s too late and you’ve eaten a whole bag of spoiled ones! Here are 8 tell-tale signs that your shrimp have gone bad:

The shell is torn.

The shells of shrimp are broken by rough handling and poor storage conditions. If you notice that the shells are damaged in any way, it’s a clear sign that your shrimp are bad. Shrimp should be stored in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C), so check the temperature before cooking them to ensure they’re still fresh! To prevent cross-contamination with bacteria and other parasites, avoid foods that can cause spoilage like meat or eggs.

The shrimp feel slimy.

If you want to try some raw shrimp, you might want to try sushi. But if you do, make sure the raw shrimp feel firm and solid in your hand—they should not be squishy, soft or slimy. If shrimp are too squishy or soft, then they’re bad!

The shell is damaged.

If you notice any damage to the shrimps’ shells, it’s a sign of bacterial growth. Bacteria can cause discoloration and holes in the shell, which is why they’re unsafe to eat.

If you see cracks or breaks in the shell, throw them out immediately—these areas may contain pathogens that could make your food unsafe if you ate them at home.

The shrimp are dried up.

One of the tell-tale signs that your shrimp is bad is if it looks dry. This is because wet shrimps are translucent, but they’ll turn opaque when dried out and no longer moist. If you were to hold up a bag of raw shrimp under bright light and look at them closely, you’d notice that the color has changed from translucent to opaque (or maybe even black).

Their eyes are dull.

Shrimps should have bright, clear eyes. If they’re dull or cloudy, don’t eat them. If the shrimps are dead and their eyes are cloudy, throw them out!

A coating of water with ice crystals is visible on the shrimps.

If you see ice crystals and water on your raw shrimp, it means they’re no longer fresh and should be thrown out. But even though they may look and taste bad, you can still eat them if you don’t mind the texture being less than ideal.

Raw shrimp smells fishy or like ammonia.

Shrimps aren’t supposed to smell bad. The best way to tell if a shrimp is bad is by smelling it—if it smells like something fish or ammonia, it’s time to throw it away.

A fishy smell is a sign of spoilage, and ammonia-smelling shrimp is even worse—there’s been too much moisture in the product.

The meat is soggy or jelly-like.

When thawed shrimp soaks up too much water, its meat becomes soggy or jelly-like. This indicates that there are still bacteria present in your shrimp, as well as other unhealthier elements that can make you sick.

Shelf Life of Shrimp

Raw Shrimp in Fridge1 – 2 Days
Raw Shrimp in FreezerUp to 3-months
Cooked Shrimp3 – 4 Days in Fridge

Where to Find the Freshest Shrimp?

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You can find the freshest shrimp on the coasts or at stores that advertise fresh, off-the-boat shrimp or shrimp that has been caught recently and locally. Wild shrimp has a better taste than farmed shrimp.

The next-freshest shrimp is the shrimp you find in the frozen section of your grocery store – these shrimp were frozen right after they were caught and haven’t been thawed since. So it can be hard to know how long they’ve been sitting out waiting to be bought. However, the shrimp in the frozen section counter can be examined for freshness before you buy it.

Quick Test to Tell if Shrimp Has Gone Bad

Look out for freezer burn on shrimp, torn or opened the packaging and frozen shrimp that are mushy or bendable. Do not buy or use frozen shrimp if you notice these signs. Also, if you notice that the “best-by” date on the packaging of your frozen shrimp has expired, discard the package and do not use it.

Related Questions

Is Your Thawed Raw Shrimp Bad?

The only way to be sure if thawed raw shrimp is bad is to perform a quick test. If your thawed raw shrimp looks and smells good, then it’s okay. If it smells off, throw it out and get more shrimp.

Is Your Cooked Frozen Shrimp Bad?

No, it’s very good. Frozen shrimp is a little tougher than fresh shrimp, and it may be saltier. This can make a frozen shrimp taste raw, but if you cook it long enough, the texture will improve, and the flavors will come through. 

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Shrimp?

If you eat spoiled shrimp, you’ll get sick. The illness can be mild or severe, depending on what kind of shrimp it was and how much of it you ate. The symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which last for days. You may also have a fever and feel like your stomach is cramping.

When unsure about how long to leave shellfish at room temperature before cooking them—or if you just don’t know what’s “safe”—then please avoid eating spoiled seafood in any form until further notice.

What To Do if You Accidentally Ate Raw Shrimp?

The first thing to consider is whether or not you ate raw shrimp on purpose at a restaurant, in which case you’re probably in the clear. But if you ate it by accident, it could be dangerous. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any bad allergic reaction or symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea.  

What does raw shrimp taste like?

Raw shrimp have a mild and creamy flavor.

Final Thoughts

So, you’ve made it this far. You’re reading this and probably wondering, “what is the best way to tell if my raw shrimps are spoiled?” The answer is simple. Just look for signs of decay, discoloration, or an off smell, and don’t eat if you see any of those things. You can also ask the person selling you the shrimp if they’ve been sitting at the seafood counter for too long. If they say no, it’s likely that you’ll be eating spoiled shrimp!

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