Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you still can't find what you are looking for feel free to contact us.

Does Phillips Crab Meat have to be kept refrigerated?
Phillips Crab Meat should be kept refrigerated (38 degrees F, 3.3 degrees C or below) at all times (including before the can has been opened). Please remember that without proper temperature storage, the product will not be able to reach its intended shelf life-this is true with all pasteurized products. Keep crab meat in the coldest part of your refrigerator, on the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat or produce bins. Do not store on your pantry shelf; Phillips Crab Meat must be kept refrigerated at all times, opened or unopened.
Why can`t I keep Phillips Crab Meat on my pantry shelf next to my canned tuna?
Phillips crab meat is not pasteurized to the same time/temperature levels as shelf-stable seafood products. During pasteurization, these shelf-stable products are subjected to a much higher temperature for a much longer time (technically, 250 degrees F for 4 hours), which kills all the harmful bacteria as well as friendly bacteria. While this high level of heat allows the product to remain safely on the shelf for an extended period of time, it also compromises the taste and texture of the product. Crab meat is a very delicate protein, subjecting it to this level of pasteurization destroys the subtle flavors and aromas and ruins the delicate texture of the meat. While there is sterile, shelf-stable crab meat available on the market today, it is unfortunately a low-quality product. Phillips` pasteurization process uses the least amount of heat for the least amount of time to kill pathogens (harmful illness-causing bacteria) while still ensuring that flavor, texture, and aroma are kept to a high quality level.
When does Phillips Crab Meat expire?
Phillips Crab Meat has a refrigerated shelf life of 18 months from the date of production with proper handling and temperature control. Refer to the bottom of the crab meat package for the expiration date; it will be written in Month/Day/Year format. Please remember that without proper temperature storage, the product will not be able to reach its intended shelf life
Once opened, how long will the crab meat keep?
Once opened, please consume within 48 hours to ensure a safe, high quality product. Crab meat should be handled with the same care given fresh seafood; please keep under constant refrigeration (38 degrees F or below) and be careful about what you eat. If you only are able to consume a portion at a time, we recommend that you put the remainder into a prepared recipe (such as crab cakes or crab soup) before freezing.
Can Phillips Crab Meat be frozen?
We strongly recommend that you do not freeze the product, as freezing will compromise the delicate flavor and texture of the meat. One of the benefits of Phillips` pasteurization process is that it gives the product an extended refrigerated shelf life, allowing chefs and consumers more time to consume the product without having to worry about quick spoiling. If you must freeze the product, we recommend that you first put it into a prepared form, such as crab cakes or crab soup; this will help to minimize the effects of the freezing on the texture and taste of the crab meat. Please visit Phillips Recipe Center for hundreds of crab meat recipes.
When do Phillips Crab Cakes and other frozen products expire?
Our frozen products are best consumed within twenty-four months of production. To find the production date for your retail product, please look for an embossed or lasered code on a side panel of the box. Each box is printed with a Julian date that refers to the chronological date of production (1 through 365 each non-leap year) followed by the year of production (0 through 9), followed by a batch code (0 through 9). For example, crab cakes produced on January 2nd of 2007, 3rd batch of the day, would be coded 00273. This is preceeded or followed by the time of production (ex: 12:34).
What is pasteurization?
Pasteurization is a controlled thermal process (heating and cooling) that eliminates any pathogens that would naturally occur in the product. This process allows us to offer an 18-month refrigerated shelf life.
Is Phillips Crab Meat already cooked? Does it require any additional preparation before consumption?
Phillips Crab Meat is fully cooked and is delicious straight out of the can. No additional preparation is necessary.
What is Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP)?
Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP) is an additive used to prevent the formation of struvite crystals (small, gritty particles) from naturally occurring magnesium ammonium phosphate during the pasteurization process. SAPP is a man-made product made from naturally occuring elements. It is not an allergen and is on the U.S. Government list of G.R.A.S. (generally recognized as safe). We add the SAPP as recommended by the Seafood Pasteurization and Minimal Processing Manual, which is written by Sea Grant, a U.S. Government funded program.
Can I get Phillips products shipped to me directly?
Please visit our seafood shipping website at to place your order online. Please note that as our products are highly perishable and must be shipped priority to ensure safety and quality, a substantial shipping cost will be assumed.
What is the difference between the grades of crab meat? What is the recommended use for each grade?
Please visit our Understanding Crab Meat page for a full explanation of the grades, and visit our Recipe Application page for some of our favorite recipes for each grade.
Do I need to rinse and/or drain Phillips crab meat?
You should not rinse the crab meat. If there is any excess liquid in the container, you can simply drain off before use.
Can I freeze crab cakes after making them from scratch?
You can freeze your crab cakes to be cooked at a later date. Be sure to individually wrap each cake. We do not recommend cooking them first.
Can I refreeze your products after I have cooked them?
We recommend you thaw only what you think you will need. You can refrigerate cooked seafood as it may last up to 3 days for reheating. If needed you may freeze. Always freeze single layers of product, well wrapped and that has been first chilled.
Can I eat crab meat after the best if used by date?
We strongly advise that you do not eat the crab meat after the best if used by date has passed. The crab meat was packaged and pasteurized 18 months prior and we cannot guarantee our product past the printed date without being evaluated by a trained professional.

Phillips Foods, Inc.
3761 Commerce Drive
Suite 413
BAltimore, MD 21227
Customer Service:
1-888-234-CRAB (2722)
9am to 5pm EST Monday through Friday