How Long Do Scallops Last?

Scallops are delicious shellfish with a subtle, delicate flavor. This luxury ingredient is perishable, so you need to know how to store scallops properly. Do you keep them in the fridge or the freezer? Cooked or fresh? How long do scallops last?

Fresh scallops will last for three days and cooked scallops for four days if correctly stored in the refrigerator. You can freeze fresh or cooked scallops for three months. Thawed scallops will last for two days in the fridge. Never leave scallops at room temperature as they spoil quickly.

Whether you buy fresh or frozen scallops, you need to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Improperly stored scallops develop bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Let’s look at how long scallops last and how best to keep them for the most extended lifespan.

How Long Do Fresh Scallops Last?

Fresh scallops will last only two hours at room temperature, three days in the fridge, or three months in the freezer.

You can buy fresh scallops, either shucked or unshucked. Most fresh scallops you buy are shucked, which means they have been removed from their fan-shaped shells. 

Sometimes you find unshucked scallops still in their shells. These scallops are still alive but cannot survive long once they’re out of water.

Whether you buy shucked or unshucked scallops, they will spoil quickly unless you keep them very cold, preferably below 40⁰F (4⁰C).

Always take a small ice-filled cooler with you when buying scallops to keep them on ice during the trip home.

Put the scallops in the fridge or freezer immediately after getting them home.

How Long Do Fresh Scallops Last At Room Temperature?

Any scallops left out for more than two hours are in danger of spoiling, so you should discard them.

Never leave fresh scallops at room temperature unless they are in a cooler on ice. 

How Long Do Fresh Scallops Last In The Fridge?

Fresh scallops will last for two to three days if stored correctly in the fridge. However, it is ideal to cook and eat fresh scallops on the day you buy them, especially if you plan to eat the shellfish raw.

If you buy shucked scallops, you don’t know how long they have been out of the water in the fish market and could already be past their prime, so eat them as soon as possible.  

Like the sea, fresh scallops should smell fresh, sweet, and salty.

The flesh should be firm, cream, pink or orange-colored, with no brown edges.

Pure white scallops have been soaked in chemicals to extend their lifespan, so you should avoid them.

Sea delicacies. Fresh seafood. Scallops on ice.

How Long Do Fresh Scallops In The Shell Last In The Fridge?

If you are lucky enough to find scallops in the shell, you need to keep them in the coldest part of the fridge. They will then last for three days. 

Scallops sold in their shells are usually alive and very fresh, so you need to treat them with care.

To check if the scallops are still alive, tap their shells – live scallops will close the shells. 

Please do not remove the scallops from their shells until you want to eat or cook them.

Place the scallops in a small bowl on a bed of ice cubes and cover them with a damp cloth.

Do not submerge the scallops in water. Keep checking that the ice has not melted and submerged the scallops. Replace the ice and damp cloth as necessary.

If you have not eaten the scallops within three days, you need to shuck them immediately and eat the shellfish within a day or so.

How Long Do Shucked Scallops Last In The Fridge?

Shucked scallops will last three days in the fridge if properly stored.

Most fresh scallops are shucked and cleaned immediately after being caught.

They are no longer alive but still need to be kept as cold as possible to prevent spoilage.

Scallops are not like mussels – the meat remains fresh for up to five days after catching, so long as they are stored well.

As soon as you get home after shopping, place the scallops in a freezer-proof bag or wrap them in greaseproof paper.

Lay them on a bed of ice cubes in the coldest part of the fridge. The bag or wrapping prevents the scallops from absorbing moisture and aromas in the refrigerator.

Do not store the scallops in water.

How Long Do Fresh Scallops Last In The Freezer?

Fresh scallops freeze very well and last for three months in the freezer.

If you know you aren’t going to eat your fresh scallops within three or four days, it is best to freeze the scallop meat as soon as possible.

You cannot freeze scallops in the shell as the cold will kill them.

Shuck and clean the scallops before freezing.

Please place them in a freezer-proof container, Ziplock bag, or tightly wrapped in plastic cling film and freeze.

Squeeze as much air out of the wrapping as possible to prevent spoilage.

Buying frozen scallops is very convenient. They are usually packaged in freezer-proof plastic bags for easy storage.

However, once you open the packaging, repackage the unused scallops in a Ziplock bag and squeeze all the air out before sealing.

Store your fresh or already frozen scallops in the coldest part of the freezer, as far from the door as possible.

To thaw frozen scallops, place them in the fridge overnight and use them as you would use fresh scallops. Thawed scallops will last for two days in the refrigerator.

How Long Do Cooked Scallops Last?

Cooked scallops do not last longer than raw scallops: three days in the fridge and three months in the freezer.

Once scallops are cooked, you still need to store them correctly, as all seafood spoils quickly.

You can steam, grill, fry, or bake scallops but do so gently and quickly, or they can become rubbery and tough.

Scallops seared in garlic and parsley butter served on crumpled paper

How Long Do Cooked Scallops Last At Room Temperature?

Cooked scallops can stand out on the table for two hours after cooking. It would help if you then refrigerated them to prevent spoilage.

How Long Do Cooked Scallops Last In The Fridge?

Cooked scallops last for three to four days when stored properly in the fridge.

Allow the cooked scallops to cool to room temperature. Warm scallops will create steam and moisture while refrigerated, which will ruin them.

Refrigerate cooked scallops in fridge-proof glass or plastic containers, freezer-proof Ziplock bags, or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Remove as much air as possible. Ensure that the package is airtight because the scallops will absorb aromas and moisture in the fridge that can damage them.

How Long Do Cooked Scallops Last In The Freezer?

Cooked scallops will last for two to three months in the freezer.

Before freezing, allow the scallops to return to room temperature. Steam from the scallops will cause freezer burn.

Freeze cooked scallops in freezer-proof plastic containers or freezer-proof Ziplock bags. Try to remove all the air from the packet and see that the scallops are airtight to prevent spoilage.

Keep scallops in the coldest part of the freezer, as far from the door as possible.

To thaw frozen cooked scallops, place them in the fridge overnight and use them within two days.

Conclusion

To maximize the lifespan of scallops, always store them in the fridge or freezer, whether fresh or cooked, shucked or unshucked.

They will then last for three days in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer.

Never leave scallops at room temperature for longer than two hours, or else you run the risk of spoilage and food poisoning.