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How long is imitation crab good for? Latest Update

An imitation crab is simply a crab that has been created through science and technology. It’s a crab that looks like a real crab, tastes like a real crab, but is actually just meat with seafood seasoning. How long is imitation crab good for? We have all the answers for you on this page.

Do you want to know how many days is imitation crab good for? Imitation crab can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 3 days, and in the freezer, it can last up to 9 months. These time frames apply to both raw and cooked products. When purchasing, be sure to check the “Use By” date on the package. Make sure it’s submerged in ice water before cooking, so it doesn’t get freezer burn.

It is important that when eating this type of crab, you cook it all the way through, or not at all will taste bad. You should also be aware that some types of crab are not meant for consumption, such as snow crab, lobster, or prawns. 

How many days is imitation crab good for 

how long is imitation crab good forThe answer to this depends on some factors, including the temperature, moisture, and packaging at which your raw or uncooked imitation crab was purchased. For the most part, it is safe to eat up to 3 days after purchase. 

In general, you should not store your crab in the refrigerator as it may cause it to become cold-sensitive and spoil. Instead, keep it refrigerated until ready to use it. You can store it for 2 weeks or more at room temperature without becoming “spoiled.”

It’s best to consume or utilize it within two days of purchase. The texture and flavor will begin to decline after that time. To preserve the quality of your crab legs, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

The shelf life of crab is determined by changes in temperature and stored in a refrigerator. The texture may change over time due to natural shrinkage, refrigeration, and hydration.

How long does imitation crab last in the fridge opened

How long does imitation crab last in the fridge openedIf you buy it whole and refreeze it, there’s no problem. It can stay fresh in the refrigerator for four to six months. If you cook it first and then put it back in the fridge, it should be used within two or three days. If you place it at room temperature for longer than three days, it will get worse and become congealed or begin to ooze out of its insides.

 It’s the perfect after-dinner treat for your family and friends. Open the bottle and let it breathe for 5 minutes before serving; this allows the flavors to mix and makes it even better than expected. Be sure not to overhandle the crab, as this will only cause it to spoil quicker.

Upon initial opening, it should be eaten or used within 2 days. Flavored varieties of imitation crab also contain preservatives and/or food coloring, which can cause spoilage if not used immediately.

How long does imitation crab last in the fridge unopened

Unopened imitation crab should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to four weeks. It’s important not to wash or use it before the expiry date as doing so could result in harmful bacteria growing inside of it.

This can make you sick or even kill you. As long as you follow the recommended storage protocol, it can last for an extended period before consumption.

Unopened imitation crab is also safe to eat even after 3 months. Be sure to store it in the original container or an airtight container with an approved lid at room temperature.

What happens if you eat spoiled imitation crab

What happens if you eat spoiled imitation crabYou might feel a little sick to your stomach for hours. But what if you ate a terrible piece of meat—you can be sick for days or even  weeks. The symptoms of eating spoilt crab are similar to those of food poisoning. Some people may have abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting. 

One may also be at risk for an illness called Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection. This bacteria can affect the mouth, stomach, and intestines. Symptoms of vibriosis may include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Young children are more likely to develop more severe symptoms such as seizures or shock because of their smaller body size.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat expired imitation crab?

No, you can’t eat expired imitation crab. That’s because the protein in live crab contains an enzyme that breaks down when it dies or is exposed to bacteria. In this case, the protein denatures at around 44°F (6°C), transitioning from a stretchy to a hard state. So no matter how long ago your crab died, it will still be chewy.

Can you get sick from imitation crab?

No. However, certain types of shellfish will make you ill if they are improperly prepared or handled. Raw shellfish may contain bacteria that cause botulism or other illness. Do not eat any raw shellfish, including crab.

Can I freeze imitation crab meat?

You can freeze imitation crab meat, but be aware that it will not thaw appropriately in the refrigerator. Instead, remove it from the freezer when it is almost thawed, and leave it at room temperature for some hours (or place it in the fridge) before using it. It may not be as tender as fresh but should still taste fine.

Why does imitation crab say do not freeze?

The FDA has warned consumers not to freeze crab, especially Alaskan blue crab, due to the risk of bacteria growth. The freezing process kills off most bacteria, but some can remain. Improperly thawed frozen crab may be contaminated with these bacteria and could cause serious illness. 

Can I eat imitation crab if I’m allergic to shellfish?

You can eat imitation crab if you are allergic to shellfish. Allergens in crab include but are not limited to: fish, crustaceans, and mollusk. While some allergic reactions may cause hives or swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, others cause anaphylaxis – the symptoms can vary depending on which allergen your body reacting to. 


This article explains the shelf life of imitation crab. It covers signs of spoilage and ways to prevent food from spoiling. It also includes tips and advice on what to do with imitation crab that has gone bad. The shelf life of imitation crab is affected by many factors, including temperature, transportation, and storage conditions but knowing how long is imitation crab good for will indeed make the difference.

What happens if you eat spoiled imitation crab

Hot Imitation Crab Dip

It is filling, creamy, and hearty. Make certain to serve it hot. The best dippers for this dip are breads, crackers, and vegetables!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hot Imitation Crab Dip
Servings: 4
Calories: 364kcal


  • 1 Microwave
  • 1 Bowl


  • 1 LB imitation crab meat
  • 1 TB mayo
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 TB water
  • ground black pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, excluding the imitation crab flesh. Stirring in between, microwave for 30 second intervals until well heated and smooth. Mix thoroughly by stirring.
  • Add the crab meat and combine gently. Cover and heat for two minutes in the microwave. If desired, season with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve warm with vegetables, toast, or crackers.



Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 860IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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