How Long Can Cooked Seafood Stay Out

How Long Can Cooked Seafood Stay Out? Solved

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Shari Mason

Despite the increasing popularity of seafood, many individuals are still hesitant to try it. A common worry is the risk of food poisoning from spoiled seafood.

If you’re into seafood these days, you must be aware of how long can cooked seafood stay out so it won’t turn to waste and you’re not at risk of becoming ill. Let’s take a tighter look at this matter and learn when it is still safe to eat.  

How Long Can Cooked Seafood Sit Out?

seafood cajun on a pan

As per USDA, perishable food can sit out for no more than two hours at room temperature, so it won’t reach the “danger zone.” This applies to cooked food, meat, and seafood like raw or cooked shrimp and fish. 

Be it raw or cooked, fish and other seafood can safely sit out for up to two hours when left at room temperature. But when the temperature reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the time seafood can stay out reduces to one hour as bacteria grow rapidly at this rate. 

When that time passes, the seafood is already in its danger zone, where it is not safe to eat anymore. 


What Happens If It Sits Out Too Long? 

When the seafood sits out too long, like several hours, at room temperature, it will start to go bad as bacteria grow rapidly at this time. 

After two hours, you need to throw it right away (if you dont have a fridge) or put it inside the refrigerator if you’re planning to store it longer. When you use it for cooking recipes, ensure you cook the seafood thoroughly –making it safe to eat. But how long will imitation crab last?

How To Know If Cooked Seafood Has Gone Bad 

Slimy Texture

Just by touching the seafood, you can tell right away whether it is safe to eat or not. For example, if the raw or cooked shrimp feels very slimy, you should not continue eating that shrimp as it is already spoiled. Here’s what to do if you accidentally eat raw shrimp.

Read: How Long Can Cheesecake Sit Out In Car?

Odd Odor

A good sniff is an excellent indicator of whether cooked seafood has gone bad. If it smells acidic or has an ammonia-like odor, it’s already spoiled, and it’s best to throw it away. 

Read: How Long Can You Keep Mussels In The Fridge?

Off Taste

Like in any cooked or perishable food, when it gives an off taste, it’s a clear sign that it’s already spoiled. Eating spoiled food might get your stomach upset – causing vomiting and dehydration. Also, it increases the risk of food poisoning by ingesting the microbes that grow in it.   

Does It Go Bad If Not Refrigerated? 

seafood boil on a rectangular glass container

Seafood will definitely go bad if not refrigerated for hours. As USDA recommends, any perishable food should be left out for no more than two hours at room temperature. When it passes the recommended hours, you must put it inside the fridge to extend its shelf life. 

If you let the cooked shrimp or any seafood sit for more than two hours without refrigeration, the bacteria grow rapidly at this time, making it risky to eat shrimp or the seafood you left out. 

Related Posts:

What Should You Do If Cooked Seafood Is Left Out Too Long?

In case you left out cooked seafood overnight or too long out at room temperature, you need to discard it immediately. It surely goes bad, and putting it inside the fridge can no longer save it, especially on hot days when the temperature increases, allowing bacteria to grow rapidly. 

Take note that seafood or any perishable food shouldn’t be left out overnight unrefrigerated. And you need to make sure you put the food in airtight containers before storing it in the fridge to control moisture and bacteria buildup.    

What Temperature Is Safe For Cooked Seafood? 

Seafood, like cooked shrimp, is safe at a temperature not exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At room temperature, you can let seafood sit on the table or countertop for no more than two hours (or one hour on hot days).


Can you eat cooked seafood that was left out overnight?

No, you shouldn’t eat cooked shrimp or any seafood left out overnight; instead, you should discard it immediately. Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature and can make you sick. Reheating something sitting at room temperature for more than two hours will not keep bacteria at bay.

What will happen if you eat spoiled seafood?

Eating spoiled seafood can cause itching, irregular heartbeat, unusual sweating, vomiting, dizziness, severe stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, flushing, rash, and food poisoning [1]. 

In Summary 

When seafood is left out overnight and unrefrigerated, it quickly spoils, as is the case with almost any other perishable food. If you’re not going to eat shrimp immediately, store it in the fridge and check for signs of spoilage by smelling, touching, and having a thorough look at it.

And take note – as per USDA –  temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F are a “Danger Zone” for food because bacteria grow rapidly at these temperatures, making dishes like seafood unsafe to eat. 


Shari Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *