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Frozen shrimp covered in white spots. safe?

I just defrosted a bunch of shrimp and the shell of every single one of them is covered in little white spots that are slightly raised. Are these safe to eat?

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  1. How do they smell? When did you get them and how long have them been frozen? If they smell ok, then I'd cook one of them and see if those spots disappear. If they don't, do not eat them. If they do, I'd proceed with caution.

    But if they don't smell good, don't risk it.

    10 Replies
    1. re: guster4lovers

      They smell a little fishy actually. I bought them earlier today but I have no idea how long they were frozen at the store. I just read that this could be either spots formed due to being frozen for a long time, or it could be some kind of virus. I have no idea how to tell the difference. Also, the spots are just on the shells, not the body itself.

        1. re: ospreycove

          what the hell, ospreycove? where is the answer to this poster's question? ps, the pdf takes a long time to load. ;-(.

          1. re: alkapal

            From the review: "By studying the IR and Raman spectra of the white spot areas and by comparing them to spectra of pure a-chitin and of a number of calcium carbonate polymorphs, it was found that the white spots consisted of amorphous a-chitin and CaCO3.6H2O, known as ikaite, from the fjord in Greenland where this inorganic
            salt was first discovered."

            I hope that clears things up for you!

            1. re: small h

              well, amen brother!

              i gotta introduce my chitin to my inorganic salt. that's all!

              1. re: alkapal

                The review does not, as far as I can determine, discuss whether the salt is safe to eat. Rather, it's about the methods used to identify it, and how well those methods worked. (sister, actually, but amen to you too!)

            2. re: alkapal

              Alk....Sorry it is after the Barley" dissertation...lo...l it would not copy and paste I think it is protected with those pesky breaks in the text. Basically, it said it is a build up of a chemical compound that transforms into another when defrosted, no reference to toxicity. It occurs during frozen storage.

              1. re: ospreycove

                no problem, fellow shrimp lover ;-)! i think the OP's shrimp are old (frozen too long)!

                ps, i can't often copy and paste from pdf files.

        2. sounds like they are not top quality. maybe i'd venture that they are old and freezer burned. i'd haul them back to the store where i bought them for a refund or exchange; if they smell stinky (ammonia) i'd haul them back in a heartbeat.

          ps, did you buy wild-caught gulf frozen shrimp? if not, you need to do so in the future.

          1. I've always found my packages of pre-frozen shrimp to have at least some shrimp with these little white spots, even though the shrimp smelled perfectly good. The white spots, as I have been told, are simply small sections of the shrimp that may be starting to dry out or get freezer burn. For years I have simply defrosted the shrimp, carefully sliced away the small white sections, and then used the rest of the individual shrimp as normal. I've never have had to cut away more than a small fraction of any shrimp. Never have had any adverse affects from eating any of them, and I've eaten them for years. They've worked perfectly well for me. I've never wasted money throwing the whole shrimp away for just a few white spots. As long as the shrimp smells good, they've been good eating using this technique.