Why is shrimp mushy

Why should IQF shrimp say "do not thaw under running water"?

To update

Jeff Axelrod commented (thank you very much) that most of the shell has been removed from the Costco IQF shrimp. In this case, "DO NOT GROW UNDER RUNNING WATER" most likely means, if you do you will get "shrimp pulp" some of which will even flow down the drain. The shrimp can ingest the water and become mushy and dissolve. I saw this in our kitchen and tried to erase it from memory.

This also means that the bacteria trapped under the shell are less of a concern.

the original answer / caution regarding safety :

Aside from the fact that the prawns ingest the water, become mushy and can fall apart under running water, could this pose a security problem.

It is possible that the pressure from running water is pushing or squeezing some bacteria, normally found on the outside of the shell (and destroyed), in and under the shell (e.g., between the belly and the shell) where it is are protected from heat and not completely killed when cooking.

Bacteria moving in from outside the meat gave Costco a lot of headache. In the meat case it was pressed mechanically by the needles of the tenderizer. You could also hedge against a similar thing that happens to the shrimp and running water.

If you thaw them in a tight freezer bag submerged in water (even if it's running) it should be safe.


Cold flowing Water is one of the most widely accepted methods of safe thawing. I have to vote because I pointed out that running water is the problem and because there are no quotations on the claim that there is a safety problem. nfsmi-web01.nfsmi.olemiss.edu/documentlibraryfiles/PDF/…


Yes, and the OP asks WHY costco would make this claim. My personal guess is that they are concerned about lawsuits in a contentious society, but I have no evidence so I did not respond. You made a fairly strong - and counter-intuitive claim - with no quotes or evidence. Your profile states that you attended "Cooking School" so you should be trained in hygiene and food safety and be able to provide advice or assistance. If you provide this, I'll remove my disapproval.


@Jefromi I think in this context IQF probably stands for Individually Quick Frozen.


It is possible (and likely) that they are really concerned that the shrimp will be mushy. Check out the IQF conveyor belt here: youtube.com/watch?v=GZgwjFYruW4. Until the last prawns are done ...

Jeff Axelrod

The shells are removed from the Costco IQF shrimp (with the exception of a small portion on the tail).