Keeping our food fresh is always a constant battle. Over time, bacteria form, and the integrity of our King Prawns degrades with or without proper refrigeration. Therefore, it's essential to start a post about freshness with some education regarding spoilage.
Luckily, it's pretty easy to recognize when your prawns are on their way out. So if it's been a couple of days since you cooked up raw prawns, or you're looking to reheat some garlic prawns from the weekend, it's probably a good idea to give them a check. Your health is important to us, so if you are experiencing any of these signs of spoilage, we urge you not to consume your prawns.
Signs of Spoilage
Generally, there are three things to consider when determining the freshness of your prawns–condition, color, and odor.
- Condition: At harvest, our prawns are at the peak of natural health and contain no preservatives. Start by making sure they still have a firm body and the shell is attached to the flesh. If they appear loose in the shell or darkened spots appear underneath the shell, the meat has started to decompose inside, not good. However, in some cases, there are black spots on the surface of the shell (Search: Shrimp Melanosis); if all else checks out, these are still good. Whether raw or cooked, if your prawns start to feel slimy to the touch–toss 'em.
- Color: Our prawns are delivered with naturally rich translucent blue shells. Over time, they will lose this color and shine and turn darker. As this change happens, it is an excellent visual indicator to tell you to eat or store them for another time. When cooked, they should maintain a clean reddish-pink and white color; if anything else appears discolored, don't risk it.
- Odor: Whether raw or cooked, the easiest way to tell how your prawns are keeping is by simply smelling them. Our prawns live in a seawater environment throughout their entire life, so in the beginning, they will likely have a slightly salty smell when raw. However, if your prawns ever begin to have a sour or fishy smell, throw them out!
We want you to get the most out of our delicious King Prawns, so we've tested and devised some guidelines regarding expiration under different circumstances.
Room Temperature (≥20°C)
Raw Prawns: 2 hours
Cooked Prawns: 2 hours
Raw Prawns: 48-72 hours
Cooked Prawns: 3-4 days
Frozen (<0°C) (Best Taste)
Raw Prawns* : 3-6 months
Cooked Prawns**(<0°C): 8-10 months
*If you intend to refreeze your prawns, we recommend you only thaw them in the refrigerator (24 hours). Do not refreeze prawns more than two times. **Do not refreeze cooked prawns.
Helpful Storage Techniques
How you store your King Prawns can be the key to ensuring their lasting freshness. When our King Prawns are delivered, they are in a sealed bag. This bag works well on its own, but we recommended opening the bag, rinsing your prawns thoroughly, patting dry, and repackaging (taking note somewhere of the harvest time and date).
You should store your prawns in the coldest part of your refrigerator–usually the bottom. Unlike some other refrigerated items, we want the prawns to breathe a little. So wrap them loosely in wax (waterproof) paper or foil. If you can set them on a bowl of ice, that's even better. If you have cooked your prawns, you should store them in an airtight container after cooking, and they should last for up to 3-4 days.
Your prawns should be completely dry. We think overwrapping your prawns in an airtight heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper can be great. However, additionally packaging them inside a heavy-duty freezer bag can prevent freezer burn for long-term storage. For the best-taste, cook them before 3-6 months–frozen cooked prawns last longer at 8-10 months.