How Long Can I Keep Leftover Steamed Crabs?

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Keep steamed crab cold to store it.
Keep steamed crab cold to store it. (Image: one opened snow crab leg image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Steamed crab makes for a delicious meal. Leftovers are tasty in salads, soups or quiches. However, take care with leftovers to avoid food-borne illnesses caused by improper or overlong seafood storage.

Time Frame

Ideally, store steamed crab leftovers for no more than one to two days in the refrigerator. This guideline is optimum for food safety, according to Clemson University Cooperative Extension. If you keep the steamed crab in an airtight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, Maryland Seafood and Aquaculture says it will be safe for up to seven days.

Considerations

Frozen crab meat will keep for up to three months. However, whole steamed crabs often contain undigested stomach contents and organs that can harbor bacteria and pose a risk for food-borne illness. Separate the meat from the shell and claws before you freeze it.

Crab meat separated from the shell is safe for freezing.
Crab meat separated from the shell is safe for freezing. (Image: dressed crab image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com)

Warning

Illness-causing bacteria can grow in seafood that is stored too long or incorrectly, according to Clemson University Extension. Store leftovers properly and consume them quickly to ensure food safety. Spoiled crab has an ammonia-like "off" odor, a sticky texture, and sometimes a yellowish color.

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