Pretty much what it sounds like. 1.25 pound whole Maine lobster cooked mid-day on Saturday and refrigerated until Monday evening. Still in the shell, claws, tail, and all. Still good?

I normally assume proteins will hold for 3-4 days, but I'm not as trusting with fish as meats, and I'm even more suspicious of shellfish. Is that hunch justified?

  • why the lag between cooking and eating?
    – hobodave
    Aug 9, 2010 at 15:13
  • Actually, it was for someone else, who wasn't around, and i wanted to know, if I should eat it, if they wouldn't be back in time.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 9, 2010 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


According to stilltasty.com two days is the max, so you'll be fine as long as you refrigerated it within two hours of cooking.

Other sources claim durations of 4-5 days. As sarge suggests, use your nose.

Other sources:

  • wrong, sorry. at the restaurant we used to have a cold lobster dish on the menu, which of course required preparation ahead of time. if chilled quickly after cooking, lobster lasts several days in the refrigerator with no ill effects.
    – daniel
    Aug 9, 2010 at 18:31
  • @roux: Thanks! I generally trust stilltasty, though they tend to be a bit conservative. Updated my answer.
    – hobodave
    Aug 9, 2010 at 18:42

When in doubt, use your nose. If your shellfish develops a different smell after cooking you should be leery of eating it. That actually applies to all proteins that are cooked by themselves. Also any changes to texture and any visible changes to the surface should also be cause for alarm. Fridged food has very different spoilage rates depending on how constant the temp in your fridge remains, so you should always use those internet guidelines as maximums in stead of guarantees. (The website writer isn't going to be the one hugging the toilet if their wrong after all)

  • 1
    While your nose is a useful tool, bear in mind it is not infallible. Not all spoilage produces off odours, and not all noses can detect them in the early stages. So using your nose is more of a negative proof; you can always be sure that if something smells bad it is definitively bad. But if it smells okay, it might still be bad. Use the when in doubt chuck it out rule with shellfish.
    – daniel
    Aug 9, 2010 at 20:30
  • totally true... I was more saying that you need to use more than a generic "use by this" to test your food for freshness or you're still running the risk of eating something thats going to make you regret it. Aug 9, 2010 at 21:49

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