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Aug 25, 2010 04:03 PM

When does cooked shrimp go bad?

I feel like such a knob. I had pulled some cooked shrimp from the fridge for lunch. I thought it was shrimp from a few days ago but now believe I've misremembered when the shrimp was from. I believe it was from far longer.

The shrimp was in an airtight container, did not have any slime, did not smell, and the texture of the shrimp did not have that mushy, disintegrating taste when shrimp goes bad. It tasted, it smelled, it looked normal.

Am I bound for a night with the porcelain god tonight and if so, are there any precautions I can take? Isn't the smell test usually the safest bet?


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  1. If it doesn't smell, not slimy, not mushy, not blooming with mold, and tastes good ........It is good.

    1. I've eaten leftover shrimp from shrimp cocktail days later and never a problem, it doesn't last more than 3 or 4 days though between me and the cats. I usually have it with cocktail sauce with lots of horseradish and tabasco, so maybe that helps kill the germs.

      1. Thanks all. I'm silently very concerned that I'm going to have a case of food poisoning tonight.

        I'm hoping that the shrimp was still good. I ate it about 8 hours ago and so far (knock on wood) no problems. But, the shrimp I realized was probably over a week old!

        Maybe the airtight container helped to retain freshness a bit. Fingers crossed.

        1. Trust me, you would know if the shrimp had gone bad.

          If you were able to eat it without a worry in the world, then you're going to be fine.

          1. Just as an update, it's been about 24 hours and I am thankfully not experiencing any signs of food poisoning.

            5 Replies
            1. re: daeira

              Just as a note, according to my immunology prof, most food poisoning episodes happen within 20 minutes of ingestion.

              1. re: xIcewind

                I've always heard 8 hours is the soonest, unless he means the poisoning itself and not the symptoms.

                1. re: xIcewind

                  Not true, unless the food was contaminated with a chemical poison that causes quick symptoms. For bacterial food poisoning, the onset of symptoms ranges from an hour or two to several days, depending on the type of bacteria involved.

                2. re: daeira

                  Yikes, so technically I won't consider myself out of the woods until end of day Friday.

                  1. re: daeira

                    Most incidences of food poisoning can be traced to food that has been improperly handled: cross-contamination, undercooking, storage at a temperature that allows bacteria to multiply, etc. The bacteria that cause food poisoning are not usually the organisms that cause spoilage of food left for too long in the refrigerator. Spoiled food can look, smell and/or taste bad, but it doesn't necessarily make you sick if you eat it. Your shrimp were still appetizing. I'm sure you'll be fine.