How Long Does Uncooked Crab Last in the Fridge?

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If you like seafood, crab is a treat for you. Crab is not only delicious but also nutritious food. And undoubtedly, crab is the most famous of all seafood.

After buying crab, the first thing you might be thinking is- How Long Does Uncooked Crab Last In The Fridge?

An uncooked crab has a shelf life of around one to five days when frozen. If raw crab flesh is kept in the fridge for more than five days, it is prone to dry out. Discard any remaining crab meat and thoroughly clean the container after five days to avoid food poisoning.

Still, this is not all about storing a crab. There’s more. And, guess what?

This article will help you learn everything about the storage of crab. Also, you’ll get to know whether you can get sick by eating crab or not, how long a crab stays okay at room temperature, and so on.

Let’s get started then!

How Long Does Uncooked Crab Last In The Fridge?

how long does uncooked crab last in the fridge

Before we proceed with crab and its conservation, let’s take a quick look at the shelf life of uncooked crab in various conditions.

At Room TemperatureIn the FreezerAfter thawedIn the refrigerator
Less than 2 hoursUp to 6 monthsAround 2 hours1-4 days

Now, let’s dig deeper into the details.

If you have bought a little too much crab from the market, the first question that arises is – how long can uncooked crab stay in refrigerator?

If you buy fresh crab, put them in the fridge as soon as possible, either in its original package or in an air-tight container. Raw crab flesh should be refrigerated for no more than four days.

In addition, try to keep it in the coldest area of your refrigerator, with proper covering. If food has been frozen and thawed, consume it as soon as possible.

As long as it is vacuum-sealed, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a month and use it within four days of opening. However, if you buy frozen crab and keep it inside the fridge right away, it can have a six-month shelf-life.

Remember, crab is delicate seafood: it requires proper storage and preservation. Or else it will be spoiled and be affected by harmful bacteria. Therefore, to relish your favorite shellfish, maintain the appropriate protection to help prevent illness.

How Long Does Uncooked Crab Last At Room Temperature?

How Long Does Uncooked Crab Last At Room Temperature

Meat or fish, raw and cooked, are sensitive and need proper handling – especially when you keep them at room temperature. However, the smell and appearance may seem unaffected; exposure to warm surroundings spoils these perishable items fast. Especially shellfish like crabs.

Crab has a maximum shelf life of 1-2 hours at room temperature. Bacteria rapidly breed at room temperature, especially if it’s above 40℉. Therefore, crab meat may go bad after two hours at room temperature. So, we suggest you refrigerate it as quickly as possible.

Time And Temperature To Store Crabs

Time And Temperature To Store Crabs

Based on the type of crabs, different crabs have a different shelf life. Here we will talk about the average at what temperature you should store crabs.

If it’s about living crabs, don’t just put them in the freezer as the too low temperature can certainly end their life shelf. Make sure you store them at higher than 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, tell me, what is your plan about the living carbs? Do you want to store them for a longer time? If yes, then you will need to feed them small fish regularly. And, you can hope for the carbs to be okay for weeks to months. 

When it’s about crab limbs, try to store them in the freezer for less than 2 months. About the temperature, it should be under 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Frozen crab meat may last up to three months. Though the seafood’s flavor will deteriorate after three months, it will still be edible.

For the canned crab meat, you can keep them in the freezer for about three months if you store them properly. However, if you open the can, the shelf life is 3 to 4 days.

How To Store Cooked And Uncooked Crab?

Crab is delicious; all we want is to enjoy that meat as long as possible. However, preserving crabs, both cooked and uncooked, requires knowledge and craftiness.

Therefore, here are the ways to store cooked and uncooked crabs.

1. Cooked Crabs Preservation

When you cook large batches, you must know how to store cooked crab. Here’s what you can do to store cooked crab in the freezer:

  • Get a vacuum package and place the cooked crab meat in it.
  • If using a vacuum package is not your option, use multiple layers (3-4 layers) of a cling film to wrap the meat. 
  • The ideal temperature for this case would be -24 degrees. In this case, the lower the temperature, the better your storage will be.

The cooked crab will be okay for around 6 months following the steps mentioned above. You can try Chicken of the Sea Lump Crab for an easy and healthy meal anytime on the go.

2. Uncooked Crabs Preservation

Now, what about living and uncooked crabs? Can you put it in the fridge?

The answer is affirmative. But we don’t suggest storing crabs alive as there’s a chance they can sometimes die for no apparent reason. Still, you can follow the steps below carefully to avoid any storage mistakes.

  • Get a bag and place the crab in it. Make sure you don’t make the crabs suffocate. So, avoid closing the bag completely.
  • Place the bag in the vegetable compartment of your fridge.
  • About the temperature, set it to +4 to +6 degrees.
  • Place the crab near foods with no smells.

How to know if the crab is going to die? – it’s indeed a common query of many.

Look at the shell of your crab. If it has lost its shine, there’s not much time left. This time, you can simply boil the crab and fridge it. You can expect the boiled, frozen crab to b okay for as long as 6 months.

How Do You Know When Crab Is Spoiled?

How Do You Know When Crab Is Spoiled

Eating spoiled crab can lead you to complex situations. However, finding out if the crab is spoiled is an easy thing to do.

  • Smell

The first thing you can do to detect a bad crab is check its smell. If the crab is fresh, it shouldn’t have any smell or odor. Don’t eat the crab if it smells strange (strong, fishy, rotten, or sour).

  • Appearance

Look at the color of your crab meat. The fresh crab mear should have a pure white appearance. The shell should look fresh and bright red. If you notice the meat’s color turns brown, it’s better not to eat the flesh.

  • Touch

You can even detect the crab by simply using your hands and feeling the texture. Rub your fingers together when you touch the crab meat. Fresh meat shouldn’t feel wet or have mucus on it.

Other than these factors, you should always look at the expiry date. You can consume the crab if it doesn’t cross the expiry date.

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Crab?

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Crab

Many often ask – is it okay to eat spoiled crab?

Absolutely not!

Research shows that most shellfish produce domoic acid when they’re spoiled. If you unintentionally consume rotten crab, you’ll face the consequences like nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain right away.

If you don’t get treatment as soon as possible, you may experience dizziness, headache, weakness, and worse situations. Speaking of worse cases, the worst that can happen to you is a short-term memory loss or even death.

Things You Should Consider While Buying A Crab

Preserving carbs can be easy if you buy crabs thoughtfully. Follow the tips below to buy crabs, ensuring longer shelf life and savoring.

  • Buy fresh crab that’s still alive or has already been cooked and processed somehow, like crabmeat, crack-and-eat legs, etc. Don’t buy dead crabs as they contain harmful toxins.
  • If you buy crabs live, they should look like crabs. Therefore, make sure it has all its limbs. If you can touch it, you don’t want it.
  • While buying raw crabs, obviously, you will enjoy the meatier ones. Therefore, purchase crabs with heavyweight and healthy shells. They contain more meat than the lighter ones.
  • You can buy cooked, ready-to-eat crab in fresh, frozen, or pasteurized cans. All of these should be cold enough when you buy them. You can try Crown Prince White Crab Meat to add fat-free flavor.
  • Avoid crab meat that smells bad. For example, blueing can happen with a frozen crab but not properly stored. You should avoid this because the texture and taste will be bad.
  • The meat should be white if you buy fresh or frozen crab parts in the shell. Keep an eye out for signs of freezer burn, like extra ice crystals inside the package and on the crab. Keep the crab frozen until you’re ready to heat it, and keep it there until then.


  • How do you know when the crab is cooked?

About 18 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the crabs, is how long you should cook them. When the crabs turn orange and the meat flakes when you poke them with a fork, they’re done. To serve, remove the crabs carefully with clean tongs and serve them on a platter with a sprinkle of seafood seasoning and a few lemon wedges.

  • How to steam crab meat?

Steaming helps keep the crab’s tasty juices and stops them from getting a lot of water, which could happen if you boil them. This is how to cook crabs:

  • Bring some salted water to a boil in a large boiling pot.
  • You can steam your crabs in a steamer basket or place some bottom crabs in the boiling pot to act as a raised surface for the steaming of other crabs.
  • For up to 20 minutes, cover your pot, depending on the size of your crabs. Using tongs, remove the steamer or carbohydrates from the pot and allow them to cool before consuming.
  • Why is crab meat pasteurized?

Pasteurization only kills the bacteria, but it doesn’t change the food’s color, flavor, or texture. As long as the crab meat goes through a good pasteurization process, it can stay in the fridge for 18 months. After that, it’s safe to eat. Once you open the can, the crabmeat has the same three to five-day shelf life as fresh cooked crabmeat.

Take Away

Crabs are one of the most delicious seafood worldwide. However, being a delicate one, preserving crab is complex. Therefore, a common question arises pretty often- how long does uncooked crab last in the fridge?

If you buy raw crabs, you can keep them in the refrigerator for not more than 4-5 days. However, if you buy frozen crabs, you can keep them for around 6 months. However, remember, it is essential to quickly keep uncooked crab flesh refrigerated until ready to cook and consume.

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