It seems that the Internet has not quite caught up with sous-vide technology, I'm getting a lot of conflicting information by Googling.

I am making Gumbo for sale at private clubs. I'm packaging it frozen, with instructions to let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and then bring just to a boil for service. So, I want to fully pasteurize the shrimp, yet not have it completely "cooked". The goal is to have it safe if not cooked further at all, yet not be overcooked when heated for service.

Modernist Cuisine says 122F, but doesn't give a minimum time for safety.

Typically shrimps cook quickly and do not need to be prepped as long as other foods. High quality shrimp that is very fresh can be cooked at 122°F or 50°C. It should be noted though that full pasteurization may not occur if it is not cooked long enough. Non-sushi grade shrimp is best cooked at 132°F or 55.6°C. Since shrimps may vary in size, these are cooked between 15 to 35 minutes, depending on how big or small these are.

The Black Peppercorn recommends a temperature of 149F for complete cooking.

So, what is the actual minimum for safety (time and temperature)?

My shrimp are medium sized (~50 per pound), purchased frozen at Sam's Club, defrosted just now and in the fridge.

  • 2
    Conflicting information by Googling means the Internet is working as intended :-)
    – TFD
    Sep 10, 2015 at 2:45

2 Answers 2


From Douglas Baldwin's sous vide guide :

Fish intended for immune compromised individuals or for cold holding (i.e., cook-chill) should be pasteurized for at least the times in Table 3.1 (to achieve 6D reduction of Listeria monocytogenes). While such a pasteurization will reduce all non-spore forming pathogens and parasites to a safe level, it will not reduce the risk of HAV or norovirus infection from shellfish. Since a 4D reduction of HAV in molluscan shellfish requires holding at an internal temperature of 194°F (90°C) for 1.5 minutes, the risk of viral contamination is best controlled through proper sanitation and hygiene (National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, 2008). Since the spores of non-proteolytic C. botulinum are not inactivated by pasteurization, the fish should be stored at below 38°F (3.3°C) for no more than three to four weeks.

And then gives tables for pasteurization. I'd assume it'd fall under 'lean fish' if we assume that shrimp and fish are similar (as only crabmeat is singled out in the FDA's Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance), and use the value for the temperature desired and the size of the shrimp at their widest point.


Here's the thing. Below 130F you're not really pasteurizing your food at all. If eating the shrimp raw isn't safe then eating it at 122 isn't safe either. Check out this article for more details. http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2004/the-danger-zone-reevaluated/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.