¿How do I know if shrimps are in bad condition?

How do I know if the shrimp are in bad condition?

Preserving fresh fish and seafood is one of the major concerns of all home cooks, both beginners and amateurs, and those of us who love to eat shrimp are not exempt from this.

Shrimp in poor condition can give rise to a really unpleasant taste, being even worse in cases where they cause a potentially dangerous food poisoning.

Knowing this, it is vital that we know all the signs of bad shrimp, so that we can throw them away before we put them in our mouths!

The main characteristic of spoiled shrimp is a strong and unpleasant odor, together with soft, slimy, brown, brown or green flesh and a tail and shell with black spots. In case you examine shrimps, prawns or shrimp with their heads intact and observe their eyes, you will notice that they are dry, shrunken or simply missing.

What is the color of raw shrimp?

As they say, everything goes through the eyes and the first thing you should observe before buying them is their color.

Although the color of shrimps and prawns varies from one species to another and can be influenced by age (size), harvesting season, breeding place and diet. Note that the color of the flesh of these crustaceans can vary from white to shades of gray and light blue tints covered by red, pink or dark gray surface patterns. Some species, such as tiger shrimp, have a shell color with natural black stripes.

Now that you know the color of raw shrimp in good condition, keep in mind that if you find them brown or green, please do not eat them!

Characteristics of bad shrimp

Whether you are going to buy them or have them in the refrigerator, we have listed a series of characteristics that will help you know if these delicious crustaceans are spoiled.

Excessive odor

Raw shrimp or shrimp should not smell too much or should have a slightly salty or ocean smell. If they smell too “fishy”, we leave it to your discretion and risk to use them in your meals. If they smell like ammonia or bleach, throw them away, this is the sign that there are bacteria growing on them.

If the shrimp has a bad smell, do not taste them to confirm that they are in bad condition: avoid intoxication.

Soft and slimy flesh

Raw shrimp, prawns or shrimp should be firm to the touch and not slimy. They should have firm, intact shells. If you notice that the shells are broken or if the shrimp are slimy (rather than just moist), be sure to dispose of them and wash your hands immediately to avoid contaminating other foods.

Other warning signs

Finally, examine the shrimp with your eyes. The shells should be translucent and colorless, while the shrimp meat itself should be white and pink or peach in color.

What do bad shrimp look like?

Black spots on the tail or shell are probably spoilage and a sign that the shrimp is decomposing. White spots on the shrimp are probably freezer burn; in this case, they are not potentially dangerous, but may not have the desired flavor.

If the shrimp, prawns or shrimp have intact heads, you can examine their eyes for freshness. If the eyes are shiny and moist, they are probably fresh. If they are dry, shrunken or missing altogether, the shrimp may be old.

Checking the sell-by or sell-by date.

Some bacteria present in shrimp cannot be detected by our senses as humans, so don’t rely completely on touch, smell or even taste. Also check the best-before date and/or sell-by date to see if you are still in a safe time range to consume the shrimp. If the shrimp are more than four days from the sell-by date, don’t take a chance and make a nice cheesy pasta instead.

What is the shelf life of shrimp?

The shelf life of shrimp and shrimps depends on several factors such as their size and whether they have been peeled or not. However, we have some ranges that are really useful as a guide.

  • Raw shrimps without shells can be kept in the refrigerator for one or two days.
  • Raw shrimp in the shell will last in the refrigerator for two to three days.
  • Cooked shrimp will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Cooked or raw shrimp can be frozen for two to three months and to store them properly, you must pack them in an airtight container.

Thawing of frozen shrimps or prawns

These crustaceans can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for a couple of hours. To be safe, these thawed shrimp should be cooked within 24 hours of thawing.

How to find the freshest?

The freshest shrimp, prawns and prawns can be found on the coast or in establishments that advertise fresh seafood that has just been pulled from the water or that has been caught recently and locally. These wild crustaceans generally taste better than farmed ones.

fresh headless shrimps

Most commonly you will find shrimp in the frozen section of your favorite supermarket: these are the second freshest shrimp as they were frozen shortly after being caught and have not been thawed since.

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