Even if potatoes are long-lasting veggies, you must learn how to know potatoes are bad. Potatoes were originally grown in the Andes mountains, South America. It is not surprising to know that most households have potatoes stored in their house. Their life depends on various factors such as how they are stored and whether it’s cooked/uncooked. In today’s post, let’s take a closer look at how to know potatoes are bad. Spoiled potatoes will show some signs indicating they are no longer safe to eat. You can keep on reading further to find out how to know potatoes are bad.
How To Know Potatoes Are Bad?
In this section, I will tell you how to know potatoes are bad. Potatoes are healthy and delicious tuberous vegetables that can be used in many dishes. To help you understand when do raw potatoes go bad, I’ve given a few spoilage signs visible in rotten potatoes.
Just like human skin, even the skin of potatoes also forms wrinkles. Their skin can sag and develop dark spots as they age. The presence of such aging signs is a warning that it is not in its best condition anymore.
Raw, fresh potatoes smell earthy, nutty, and starchy! But once it starts to go bad, it will have a bitter, musty, and moldy scent. But sometimes it can be a little tricky to know if the potatoes are still in good condition just by their smell. From the outside, they will look fine, but they are already rotten from the inside.
Let us now check out the other spoilage signs to understand how to know potatoes are bad much better.
Potatoes do not completely stop growing even after harvesting. When potatoes are stored for too long in a humid climate, they form small sprouts. Sprouts are small bumps or indentions where the tubers stem and sprout new plants. This mostly happens to organic potatoes cultivated using no chemicals.
Large Green Spots
Before the sprouts appear, green spots are formed first. Green spots indicate that a toxin called solanine and chaconine is present in potatoes. These toxins are concentrated in the sports, peel, or just below the peel. These spots are also developed when potatoes are stored in a direct sunlight area.
Keep on reading further to know more about how to know potatoes are bad or safe.
Soft And Mushy Texture
As I have mentioned earlier, potatoes’ skin will age like human skin. A bit of aging won’t change the taste of potatoes. But if they are too soft and mushy in texture, they are not safe to eat.
When potatoes are not stored properly, it develops molds on their surface. This mostly happens when potatoes are stored in high humidity and poor temperatures. Small moldy spots are fine, but potatoes with large molds are unsafe to consume.
You can now keep on reading to learn more about how to know potatoes are bad.
Spoilage Signs Of Cooked Potatoes
It is not easy to determine when cooked potatoes go bad. But if you suspect that your cooked potato is going bad, you can look out for the following spoilage signs. In this section, I will help you understand how to know potatoes are bad if they are cooked.
Spoiled cooked potatoes will always eliminate a strong offensive odour. Once a cooked potato smell foul, sour, or moldy, that’s a clear sign that it is no longer safe to eat. However, sometimes a clear liquid separates from mashed potatoes. If it liquid smells offensive, it’s better to throw them in the trash.
You can easily confirm whether your cooked potatoes are still safe by taking a look at them. If you see there’s mold growing on it, you should throw them away! Molds on cooked foods can be brown, red, white, black, or blue-gray in color.
Since potatoes are cooked in different ways, the feel of cooked potatoes varies. You can test for the appropriate texture using a toothpick or a fork. Simply check whether the consistency of the food is changed. When the texture of cooked potatoes looks odd, it’s spoiled.
Now, you must be wondering how to know if red potatoes are bad. Fresh red potatoes must be firm to the touch and free of black spots. But if the potato becomes soft, mushy, smell moldy, or has long sprouts, you should throw them away! A musty or moldy odour is a hallmark of spoiled potatoes.
You can keep on reading to check out how to know when sweet potatoes are bad.
Spoilage Signs Of Sweet Potatoes
Have you ever wondered how to know potatoes are bad(sweet potatoes)? We all know sweet potatoes are high in fiber and antioxidants. They are also rich in beta-carotene and help to improve your immune system. But consuming spoiled sweet potatoes can be equally dangerous.
Here, I will tell you how to know sweet potatoes are bad and safe to eat.
- Spoiled sweet potato is oozing, soft, and squishy.
- The outer layer of bad sweet potatoes turns dark brown or black.
- In extreme cases, they develop black or brown spots showing signs of molds.
- Mostly spoiled sweet potatoes give off a strong pungent smell.
- The inside part of a bad sweet potato will look drier compared to a good one. It will become oxidized and discolored much faster.
If there are only a few sprouts present and the veggie is still firm, you can cut the sprouted portion. Make sure you either cook and eat it right away or else plant it in your backyard. Let us now find out how long do potatoes last.
Normal Shelf Life Of Potatoes
Till now, I hope you’ve understood how to know potatoes are bad. The shelf life of potatoes varies depending on the room temperature. For instance, raw potatoes will stay fresh anywhere from 1 week to a few months. Some people also refrigerate them for 2 to 3 months.
When it comes to cooked potatoes, they can stay fresh for at least 3 to 4 days when stored in the refrigerator. Cooked potatoes can last up to 1 year in the freezer. But the quality of cooked mashed potatoes suffers due to freezing.
But remember that the type of potato (sweet, russet, etc) will also affect how long the potatoes stay good.
Side Effects Of Consuming Spoiled Potatoes
After understanding how to know potatoes are bad, let’s check out their side effects. Consuming spoiled potatoes carry a high risk of food poisoning. If you have a food allergy, you might experience the following side effects.
- Stomach cramps
In severe cases, these symptoms can even cause death! Make sure you throw away any cooked potatoes older than 4 days.
Tips To Store Potatoes
It is very important to pay close attention to storage conditions to help potatoes last longer. Here, I’ve given some useful tips you can consider once you understood how to know potatoes are bad.
- Always keep them in a cool, dark, dry place such as a pantry, cellar, or cabinet that keeps out sunlight.
- Uncooked potatoes are best when left in an open container that allows air to circulate around the tubers.
- Whereas cooked potatoes should be always refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or below.
- Never keep potatoes sealed in airtight bags or containers.
- You should never keep fresh potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer.
- When possible separate spoiled potatoes from fresh potatoes.
Are Sprouted Potatoes Bad?
No, not all sprouted potatoes are bad. Recently sprouted potatoes are safe to eat as long as you remove the sprouts. Never eat/cook potatoes with sprouts because they contain harmful toxins like solanine.
Are Soft Potatoes Bad?
Yes, soft potatoes are bad but it is okay to cook slightly soft potatoes. Slightly soft potatoes without any molds or odour are safe to eat.
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What Happens If You Eat Bad Potatoes?
Bad potatoes contain high levels of solanine and can cause solanine poisoning. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, headache, dizziness, among other things. Mild solanine poisoning should only last around 24 hours- but definitely seek medical help if you need it!
Do Potatoes Go Bad When They Sprout?
Sprouts are a sign of imminent spoilage in potatoes. Sprouts form from potatoes’ “eyes,” which are merely small bumps or indentions where the tubers stem and sprout new plants. Although sprouts may look unappealing, recently sprouted potatoes are still safe to eat as long as you remove the sprouts.
How Long Until A Potato Goes Bad?
Potatoes can last for up to several months in a cool pantry. If stored at room temperature, they are best if eaten within one to two weeks. Once cooked, keep them in the fridge for no more than three days.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From A Potato?
Especially once cooked, potatoes are a high-risk food for bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
In the above post, I’ve explained how to know potatoes are bad in detail. Potatoes are known for their long shelf life. Some spoilage signs that uncooked potatoes show include dark spots on the skin, soft/mushy texture, and foul odour. While cooked potatoes develop molds and eliminate a strong offensive odour. However, the spoilage signs are the same when it comes to how to tell if russet potatoes are bad. To keep your raw potatoes fresh and firm, try to store them in a mesh bag. Thus, you can now easily differentiate between fresh and spoiled potatoes after learning how to know potatoes are bad.
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