What is Green Stuff On Shrimp? | All You Need to Know

Shrimp is one of the planet’s most delicious, versatile, and low-calorie foods. It can be enjoyed in many ways—from sautéed to grilled to baked, and it’s packed with protein. But what about when you find green stuff on your shrimp?

That’s when it’s time to turn to our guide! 

Why Are The Shrimp I Cooked Green?

Here are a few reasons why your shrimp are green:

The shrimp were not fresh.

It’s possible that the shrimp you bought were not fresh and had begun to spoil, which can cause them to change color. Spoiled shrimp can develop dark green spots and become unsafe to eat.

Your shrimp are naturally green.

Another possibility is that the shrimp you bought were naturally green in color, such as those found in some parts of the Pacific Ocean.

Greenish-Black String

If you have purchased raw shrimp and there is a thin and long green string passing down the back, there is a high chance that it’s the digestive tract. In the majority of cases, it’s green in color. However, if it is filled with grit, it will appear black. Consuming this digestive tract isn’t harmful to human beings, but it’s removed for aesthetic purposes. We suggest removing the digestive tract to eliminate the possibility of infections or food poisoning. The removal process is known as deveining.

How to Peel Green or Raw Prawn

Is it Safe to Eat Green Stuff on Shrimp?

In general, it’s not safe to eat shrimp that are green in color, as this can be a sign of spoilage or poor handling. I recommend discarding the shrimp and properly storing and handling seafood in the future to avoid any issues.

Is The Green Stuff On Shrimp Algae?

The “green stuff” on shrimp can also be algae or seaweed. Shrimp are often found near bodies of water, and it is not uncommon for them to pick up bits of algae or seaweed as they move about. This is generally not a cause for concern and does not necessarily indicate that the shrimp is not fresh. However, if the green stuff looks slimy or smells unpleasant, it may be best to discard the shrimp. It is always a good idea to thoroughly rinse and inspect seafood before cooking or consuming it.

Is the Green Substance In Shrimp Edible?

The green substance that sometimes appears in shrimp is not necessarily harmful or toxic. Still, it can be a sign of spoilage or poor handling. When shrimp spoil, they can release toxins and other harmful substances, and these can sometimes cause the shrimp to change color. If you see green or any other unusual colors on your shrimp, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard them.

It’s important to handle and store seafood properly to avoid any issues with spoilage. This includes keeping it chilled at all times, cooking it to the appropriate temperature, and avoiding cross-contamination with other foods. I recommend following these guidelines to ensure that your seafood is safe.

Signs Your Shrimp Has Gone Bad

Bad shrimp usually have some discoloration, with the meat turning dark green or grayish brown.

You may think a dark green color would be fine, but it’s not. If your shrimp is that color, this is a clear sign that the shrimp are spoiled. Shrimp should have a pinkish color when they are fresh. Green, gray, or brown colored shrimp are signs that your seafood item has been mishandled or kept at improper temperatures for more than two days.

Bad Shrimp Have A Fishy Smell

Fresh shrimp should have a slight, ocean-like smell. If the shrimp has an excessively strong or fishy or sour smell, it has likely gone bad.


Fresh shrimp should not feel slimy to the touch. If the shrimp is slimy, it has likely gone bad.

Shell appearance

The shells of fresh shrimp should be firm and not broken. If the shells are broken or discolored, it may indicate that the shrimp is no longer fresh.

Read more: Are Black Spots on Shrimp Normal?

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article about the green color of shrimp. We know it can be confusing, but don’t worry—we’ve got your back.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out. We’d love to hear from you. Until next time, happy shrimp-eating!

Leave a Comment