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Shelf Life of Imitation Crab Meat

Category Food Safety
The shelf life of imitation crab varies depending on packaging and storage. Unopened vacuum sealed packages are typically good in the fridge for two months or the "use by" date. Once opened, use within 3 days. If frozen, use within 6 months is recommended. This is a guide about the shelf life of imitation crab meat.
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By 0 found this helpful
March 30, 2017

So I'd put some crab out to make crab salad or something. In the next couple days I had to rearrange the fridge and freezer. I had couple other packages in freezer now I don't know which ones are which. I live on disability and $16.00 month food stamps I'm very smart shopper. Also because of my health I have to eat certain things. If I see it on sale I'll usually get more than one. Recently my doctor told me I was anemic, which is why I had the fake crab. Since crab isn't really real crab what your opinions?
Thank you so very much.

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March 30, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You treat it just like you would treat fresh fish so two to three days max.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2008

I am 8 1/2 months pregnant and I love the imitation crab meat. I purchased frozen crab meat a while back and thawed it (kept in the refrigerator). So now it's been about a week since I ate the thawed imitation crab meat from the refrigerator but I'm getting worried now that I shouldn't have eaten it. What is the shelf life of the imitation crab sticks once thawed and left in the refrigerator? Anxiously awaiting your response.

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Nadia from Ontario, Canada

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

When in doubt, throw it out!

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I don't know about shelf dates or times for crab meat but I do know a bit about eating bad foods and I feel very conifident in saying if you were going to have a problem you would have already had it. You can always call your dr.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with Glenn'sMom. In addition, the imitation crabmeat is actually made from a VERY highly salted fish-based product--it's not shellfish at all. The salt will act as a preservative. I'm not sure how long I've kept it around in the fridge, but I think quite a while sometimes. You would know by smell and taste if it was spoiled.

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By Syd (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

Call the manufacturer on the 800# on the package. The best information will come from them. Have the package wrap when you call them, if possible; if not get info from another package at the grocery store.

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They will also, most likely send you a cents off coupon.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I don't know about highly-salted fish, but fresh fish should never be kept past the third day!

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May 21, 20080 found this helpful

Thank-you all - sound advise always appreciated:)

At this point, I've felt perfectly fine so don't think I ingested any "poison"...in future I won't keep any fish type product in the fridge more than 2/3 days.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 5, 2018

I had imitation crab meat a few hours ago and noticed that the package said to use by September 1 and today is September 4. I'm worried that I can get sick. It was closed and in the fridge.

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

You do not say if the package had been frozen and then how long kept in refrigerator after thawing so I will assume your imitation crab was not frozen. If your food was stored in a cold refrigerator until prepared than I do not feel it would have been unsafe to eat - 3 days after "use by date".

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Here is a statement from a food safety site:
"Is frozen imitation crab meat safe to eat after the expiration date on the package? Yes, if properly stored - commercially frozen imitation crab meat will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the imitation crab meat will remain at peak quality."

"How to tell if frozen imitation crab meat is no longer good? If dry spots or discoloration have developed on the frozen imitation crab meat, freezer burn has begun to set in - this will not make the imitation crab meat unsafe to eat, but it will harm the texture and taste."

Here is a site that answers your question.

www.stilltasty.com/.../16990

articles.latimes.com/.../fo-23985_1_shelf-life

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

If the surface is still dry, or slightly shiny, it's okay. Also smell it. But if the surface is "slimy" or slick, toss it.

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I buy this every month and take it out of the package right away. I put it in a plastic food storage container with a folded up paper towel inside to keep the inside dryer.

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

I would not worry about a few days. Open the package. If it smells and tastes good, go ahead and eat it.

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

I have had food poisoning and if you didn't get sick with in an hour or less, you will be fine.

Use by dates are for "optimium quality" and unless it smells or tastes bad, many people including me have used items up to a week after use by date and it is fine.

BTW...My food poison was from frozen yougurt from a name brand store and the second was from ice cream from another big box shoppe. Ugh!

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September 7, 20180 found this helpful

If it did not have an obvious gooey, sticky film on it, you're fine. That's usually the tell-tale way to know you've got expired imitation crab meat.

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