The number of shrimp in each pound varies depending on the size of the shrimp. Labels indicate a count with a set of numbers that indicate the number of shrimp in every pound. For example, shrimp packages labeled as 21/25 contain between 21 and 25 shrimp per pound. As a rule, the smaller the count, the larger the shrimp and the fewer shrimp there are per pound.
Because there are no standards regulating size, there is no way to make sure that the "jumbo" shrimp bought in one store are the same size as the “jumbo” shrimp sold at another. Instead, consumers should look at the count listed on the label. In addition to size, some important things to look for when buying shrimp include smell, touch and general condition. Although shrimp can have a mild aroma, it should not be overtly fishy. When touched, shrimp should feel wet and clean without any slipperiness or sliminess. The shells should be tight and glistening without any signs of wear and tear.
Because the size of the shrimp does not indicate quality, consumers should buy shrimp according to recipe and cooking need. Although the largest shrimp may be ideal for grilling, it may have a mealy texture in other dishes.