Freezer Burn Shrimp? Consider These Tips!

Freezer burn shrimp issues can be disappointing. The last thing you want is to discover that you have freezer burned shrimp sitting in the fridge – and this can be a disaster.

After all, you’ve probably been eyeing that shrimp to cook it for dinner. But when you open the freezer, it is anything but in good condition.

Find out how to tell if shrimp is freezer burned, how long can shrimp be frozen for, and several other things you need to know relevant to this topic. Let’s get started!

Freezer Burn Shrimp – What To Do

There are many types of food that you can simply store in the freezer to extend their lifespan. This way, you will be able to consume them later on without worrying about spoiling them. 

But when freezing foods such as shrimp, you need to know just how long can shrimp be frozen for. Issues with freezer burned shrimp arise because it has been in the freezer for a while, until it develops a strange appearance. 

This is why you need to practice caution when freezing your food to avoid any issues such as freezer burn. Otherwise, your shrimp ends up breaking down fast while negatively impacting the texture and flavor.

Shrimp is susceptible to bacteria and quick spoilage when not handled and stored well. This is why you need to keep it at an optimal temperature but not for too long, since white spots on defrosted shrimp may be observed.

white spots on defrosted shrimp
Recommended to not keep shrimp any longer than 6 months in the freezer.

You should also steer clear from consuming raw shrimp, although some may prefer to eat this food this way, as in sushi.

But it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid making raw shrimp dishes when you are not quite sure how to do it the right way. By doing so, you can prevent contamination that can seriously impact your health.

Can Shrimp Go Bad In The Freezer

Shrimp is one of those types of seafood that need to be kept in a cool and dry place. So, if you purchase it in the supermarket, you need to have a cooler box in the trunk of your vehicle. This way, you can retain the freshness of the shrimp and prevent it from spoilage.

can shrimp go bad in the freezer

Once you get home, store the shrimp in the refrigerator. But be sure not to keep it there longer than four days since it would have already gotten bad.

The same holds true with cooked shrimp. You should consume it within 4 days. Otherwise, you should toss it if it has been too long and you have no plans of eating it. 

Can You Eat Freezer Burned Shrimp?

Freezing shrimp is a good idea if you intend to keep it nice and fresh for more than a couple of days. You can freeze cooked and raw shrimp to prolong their freshness.

But then again, once you have frozen shrimp, you should avoid storing it on the counter or at room temperature for a couple of hours or so. 

Even when you have cooked the shrimp, it is not safe to leave this uncovered or sitting on the counter at room temperature. Bacteria can easily form and spread this way.

can you eat freezer burned shrimp

When freezing shrimp that has been cooked already, you need to let it cool down well first before popping it in the freezer. In the case of raw shrimp, though, you can simply put it in the freezer, and it should be fine. Just make it a point to keep it in a ziplock freezer bag or an airtight container and keep the shrimp secure inside it.

Shrimp can be kept in the freezer for as much as 6 months. This will allow you to have plenty of time to come up with a recipe for it. Just be sure to label the bag before you put it in the freezer and indicate the date when you have begun to freeze it, so you can keep track of it.

What Does Freezer Burn Look Like In Shrimp

While freezing shrimp is perfectly okay, there are instances when you may have forgotten your shrimp has been sitting there and then start to notice it does not look too good anymore.

The quality has broken down and the texture and flavor are not as great as they used to be. If so, then you need to discard freezer burned shrimp.

So for those who ask, “Is freezer burn shrimp safe to eat?”, the short answer is yes, but there’s one thing to keep in mind. Yes, it is SAFE to eat, because the freezer burnt condition does not make the shrimp toxic. But at the same time, if you thaw your freezer burnt shrimp, you need to follow the right steps, otherwise, it will be unsafe to eat because of poor thawing process that can lead to spoilage.

If you want to enjoy the optimal flavor and texture of your shrimp, it is best to perform better storage practices to prevent it from getting freezer burnt. More on that in the sections below.

What To Do After Freezing Shrimp

Once you are ready to eat frozen shrimp, you first need to defrost it correctly. The best way to do it is to defrost the night prior to cooking it. Simply take it out of the freezer and place it into the fridge section. Then, it should thaw out well this way. 

But never – EVER – leave your shrimp out on the counter to defrost. When you leave raw food at room temperature, this can quicken the bacteria build-up that may lead to food poisoning. So, it is best to place your shrimp back into the fridge.

freezer burn shrimp

What if you have forgotten to defrost shrimp, and you already need to cook it now?

In this case, you can fill a big bowl with cold water. Place the shrimp in a ziplock bag and submerge this bag in the bowl. This is a safe and efficient way to defrost your shrimp.

If your shrimp has not defrosted completely, add more cold water and continue to keep the bag underwater. It should be good to use the next day, then you can cook it.

After defrosting the shrimp, and you plan on not eating the whole thing, you can store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then, you will have to decide whether to consume or toss it since it will begin to go off beyond this point. 

Freezer burned shrimp has ice buildup around it, as well as some gray or white spots. These signs show that your food was not completely sealed off from air. This is why it begins to oxidize and has some discoloration. 

You can prevent this issue by placing your shrimp in an airtight container. It should be fine to eat shrimp that’s freezer burned. The only thing that is not good about it is the taste and texture since it has lost its plumpness and has become dry. 


When you have freezer burned shrimp, the best thing to do with it is to cook it in any dish. You can also add sauces or seasonings that will enhance the flavor. But to prevent this issue, make sure that you store it correctly and avoid keeping it in the freezer for too long in a bag that’s not sealed properly. 

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