Whether it’s boiled, steamed or grilled, cooked lobster is a favorite among seafood lovers. But when it comes to leftovers, lobster has a short shelf life. It requires safe storage to slow the growth of pathogens that lead to food borne illnesses. Not heeding the FDA recommendations results in a swift increase in pathogen growth, robbing the cooked lobster of freshness and rendering it unsafe to eat.
On the Table
Once cooked, lobster has a limited shelf life at room temperature. When your meal is over, it is best to place any leftover lobster in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Left out in temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above, cooked lobster only remains fresh for two hours. If the temperatures spike to 90 F or higher, the cooked lobster only keeps for an hour before it needs to be tossed out.
Cooked lobster remains fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days when stored under optimal temperatures of 40 F and below. Refrigerators that do not have a visible thermostat tend to cause some uncertainty when it comes to checking for ideal temperatures. If you are unsure of your refrigerator’s temperature, purchase a standalone appliance thermometer and set it in the back of the refrigerator just to be on the safe side.
Wrapping it Up
For optimum freshness, wrap cooked lobster tightly in aluminum foil before placing it in the refrigerator. Aside from keeping the cooked lobster looking and tasting its best, the aluminum foil places an odor barrier between the fishy smell of the cooked lobster and the other food items in your refrigerator. Wrapped in aluminum foil, the cooked lobster can go from refrigerator to oven for reheating without any special preparations.
Freeze cooked lobster if you are unable to eat it within the four-day refrigeration period. Freezing buys you some extra storage time -- up to six months -- before taste and texture begin to change and the cooked lobster no longer has the same freshness that it did before storage. Store the cooked lobster in a freezer bag, freezer container, freezer wrap or foil.