How long can you keep frozen lobster before it goes bad?

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The shelf life of frozen lobster really depends on how it was packaged and frozen. Our commercially frozen lobster tails should stay fresh for six months, probably longer. Other companies’ lobster may last longer (or for less time) depending on how they’re packed, when they’re sold relative to their freeze date, etc.  Check your lobster’s packaging for clues like a use by date or freeze date.

Commercial freezers work much more quickly than home freezers and thus better protect what they’re freezing. Home frozen lobster may not last as long (and shelf life will vary with how it’s packaged and stored after freezing).

– Question Submitted by Latoya


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30 Responses to “How long can you keep frozen lobster before it goes bad?”

  1. 1
    Rose Taylor says:

    We bought Lobstertail pn Monday. Today she wants to fix it. It was refrigerated all the time. Is it still safe to eat them?

  2. 2
    Matthew says:

    Hi Rose,

    I’d ask the company you bought the lobster tails from. Assuming they were fresh all along, it depends on what age they were when you bought them. I can’t really give you a general guideline because how long they were sitting fresh at the store (and how they were handled before they got there) will likely change how long they can sit in your fridge.


  3. 3
    nancy states says:

    I have some thawed lobster tails.

    The package says I can keep them for a week. I just bought them . will this work?

  4. 4
    Matthew says:

    Hi Nancy,

    I need some clarification to better answer your question…I’ve reached out via e-mail and will answer you there.


  5. 5
    Dolores says:

    I received frozen cooked lobster(not in the shell) in December 2015. It was not commercially packed. I still have some. Is it still safe to eat.

  6. 6
    Matthew says:

    Hi Dolores,

    There are too many variables at work here and we’re not home freezing experts. I’m afraid it’s impossible for us to say.

    Marx Foods

  7. 7
    joanne Martin says:

    I’ve had my lobster in the freezer for like 2 years is it still good to eat ?

  8. 8
    Matthew says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Unfortunately I have to give you the same answer as Dolores above. We are not freezer experts and there are just too many factors for us to say for sure.

    I will say that in the food service business, 2 years is often regarded as the broadly generalized max for unopened commercially packed & frozen foods in an ideal environment (and I’m sure there are plenty of shorter exceptions)…so it’s probably wise to discard at this point.

    Marx Foods

  9. 9
    Gwen says:

    How long does cooked lobster meat keep in the freezer?

  10. 10
    bill says:

    I bought and froze live lobsters in ziplock bags any idea how long they would last they have been in the freezer about 5 months

  11. 11
    Keith Arthur says:

    I put live lobsters in ziplock bags and froze them, any idea how long they would last? they have been in there for about five months.

  12. 12
    Matthew says:

    Sorry Keith & Bill, we can’t really offer any guidance here. It’s just not our area of expertise.

    Marx Foods

  13. 13
    Cheryl Hanrahan says:

    My husband and I travelled to Nova Scotia last summer and brought home a can of frozen lobster meat. We kept it is a cooler surrounded with ice until we got home, but by then the ice had melted and been replaced with fresh ice a few times, so we put it in our fridge . That was August of 2016. My husband wants to use the lobster in a bisque… Would it still be OK to use if it has been kept in the fridge all this time… It is now Feb, 2017?

  14. 14
    Matthew says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    It seems very unlikely to me that it’d still be good, but how the product was processed may be a factor. I’d reach out to the manufacturer directly for your answer.

    Marx Foods

  15. 15
    Chris Holmes says:

    My wife has a pet lobster, we call him ‘Red’ he’s going to be 8 this June!
    He’s cooked and frozen in salt water and comes from Canada. He’s the produce of ‘Orion’ and in the original factory sealed packaging. It says on the side it’s good for several months in the freezer.
    Would it be considered manslaughter if I gave it to the mother in law.

  16. 16
    André Simard says:

    We took a can of Rocky Point frozen lobster out of the freezer (more than a year old) and noticed that the top of the can appears slightly rounded. Is it still good, should we open it?
    Please advise.

  17. 17
    Matthew says:

    Hi Andre,

    The frozen shelf life of processed lobster really depends on how it’s been processed. I’d reach out to the Rocky Point producers and ask them.

    As a general rule though, I would never recommend eating anything from a bulging can – that can indicate activity by botulism bacteria, which produces a potent neurotoxin.

    Marx Foods

  18. 18
    Matthew says:

    Hi Chris,

    Red sounds like a true collector’s item! Your wife must be very proud indeed.

    Based on my knowledge of the legal system, gleaned from watching far too many episodes of Law & Order, I’d say you might be on hook for murder. I’d advise against it.

    Indeed, even if a zealous prosecutor doesn’t come after you, your wife may begrudge the sacrifice of her prized (if chilly) companion.

    The best course of action may be to keep the little guy in cryostasis until humanity reaches a point of scientific development where he can be defrosted & revived. Future generations are sure to thank you for your forbearance.

    Perhaps they will erect a monument in your honor.

    Best of luck to the three of you. Give Red a pat for me.


    Marx Foods

  19. 19
    Be Pagan says:

    I brought greenhead lobsters (12)4-5oz Maine lobster tails last year march 14, 2016. It came well packaged via HSN (home shopping network). U think it’s still safe to eat them? ? I actually made a year now.. Thank. You! !

  20. 20
    Joyce says:

    I have frozen lobster tails – one pack marked use by March 2016 and one pack marked use by November 2016. Will this still be good to cook.

  21. 21
    Matthew says:

    Hi Joyce,

    I’d advise against it.

    Marx Foods

  22. 22
    Matthew says:

    Hi Be Pagan,

    There should have been some sort of expiration date on the packaging, I would use that as your guide or reach out to the producer.

    Marx Foods

  23. 23
    roseann says:

    I bought lobster tails big ones december 2015 froze them and forgot about them, shame on me. they were very expensive naturally. re the still good?

  24. 24
    Theresa DiDio says:

    I received lobster tails from a local fisherman for Christmas. Cooked some and froze four others. They were placed in a plastic bag but not sealed. Also put a bag of frozen shrimp which was purchased in the supermarket. I just threw it all out this a.m. But now I feel guilty that I wasted good food. Did I do the right thing?
    Thanks for your help. Terri DiDio

  25. 25
    Matthew says:

    Hi Theresa,

    My guess is that the lobster tails were still safe to eat. However, if there was a lot of air in the bag, they were quite possibly freezer burned at this point and their flavor/texture may have been pretty damaged.

    Often with freezer burn you’ll see discoloring (white clouding) around the edges. If you remember seeing that on the tails on their way out, they were probably in trouble.

    I hope that makes you feel better!

    Marx Foods

  26. 26
    Matthew says:

    Hi Roseann,

    Sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier. It looks like there was a glitch in the blog’s comment notification system. I think their ship may have sadly sailed 🙁

    Marx Foods

  27. 27
    gidget nelsen says:

    daughter purchased a sea queen maine lobster(whole and raw) says keep frozen has sticker on bottom best bt 6-16-17 does that mean should be tossed its been in her freezer it is red i thought raw was black she wants to cook but its over year and i dont want her to get sick please advise thanks

  28. 28
    Tim says:

    I have some crayfish from December 2017 still in the freezer , I had some last week and it was fine and I’m cooking more tonight and it’s December 2018.
    Has anyone else cook them after this amount of time in the freezer ?

  29. 29
    Lee says:

    Bought shrimps and lobster tails 2016. Both were fresh and wrapped in brown paper is it still good? My mom got sick and father passed away so forgot was in the freezer.

  30. 30
    Dave Powell says:

    I have frozen lobster tails for 2 yrs..are they still safe to eat..?