“A fresh potato is perfect for making French fries, chips, and vodka!”
There are times when you forget a bag of fresh spuds in your panty. Later on, you buy another large bag full of potatoes to realize you already had a huge stock at home.
That inevitably brings up one question: How do you know when potatoes go bad?
Maybe you wanted to stock two or three bags of potatoes, so you Googled ways to preserve them for a longer period. While doing so, you ended up finding conflicting details, and that is why one shouldn’t refrigerate potatoes.
Or perhaps, you just discovered that your fresh spuds have sprouted, and you are in the middle of making lunch.
There are various possible reasons you may have searched for potatoes to last longer and keep them from spoiling like:
- Should you toss the spoiled potatoes in the bin?
- Can you still eat the sprouted potatoes!
- How long do potatoes last?
- How to store fresh spuds in the proper condition?
If any of the above concerns or questions sounds familiar to you, then you will find all the answers right here!
This post is just for you because here we will go through shelf life, signs of potatoes turning bad, how long it lasts at room temperature and in the fridge, and much more.
So let’s get rolling!
First, let’s discuss the perils of eating spoiled potatoes.
THE HEALTH RISKS OF CONSUMING SPOILED POTATOES
Did you know that cooked potatoes are a great risk of getting spoiled?
If you eat a cooked potato that has turned stale, then there is a high chance of food poisoning.
Once the potatoes are cooked, they begin to harbor bacteria and pathogens that can cause severe sickness like staphylococcal food poisoning, botulism, listeria, salmonella, and much more.
If you have a foodborne illness, you might see the following symptoms after eating a spoiled potato:
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle aches
If you notice any of these signs, rush to the nearby hospital and get treatment.
The study reveals that in a worst-case scenario, the above symptoms can lead to hospitalization, dehydration, and even death. Your life is worth more than just a mere spoiled cooked potato, so get rid of them if they are older than three days.
Many people also ask if potatoes even expire. Let’s know more!
HOW LONG ARE POTATOES GOOD FOR?
Well, if you keep them in the pantry at the right temperature, it will last up to three to five weeks.
Potato shelf life depends on various factors such as the humidity of your climate, type of potato, the preparation method (boiled, fried, or cooked), selling date, and much more.
Suppose you just bought potatoes and didn’t use them for a week, it will still be edible. Yes, they are good for your health even if the selling date has lapsed.
Below, we have prepared a chart to explain to you the shelf life of potatoes:
|Past Date||Past Date||Past Date|
|Russet or White Potatoes last for||Three to Five Weeks||Three to Four Months||—|
|Yukon Gold Potatoes last for||Two to Three||Two to Three||—|
|Red or New Potatoes last for||Two to Three||Two to Three||—|
|Fingerlings last for||Two to Three||Two to Three||—|
|Sweet Potatoes last for||Three to Five Weeks||Two to Three||—|
|Sliced Potatoes or French Fries last for||—||One to Two days||Six to Eight Months|
|Cooked Potatoes last for||—||Five to Seven Days||Six to Eight Months|
|Baked Potatoes last for||—||Five to Seven Days||Six to Eight Months|
|Mashed Potatoes last for||—||Four to Six Days||Six to Eight Months|
|Instant Dry Potatoes last for||One Year||Four to Five Days||—|
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- While cooked potatoes last for six to eight months in the freezer, raw ones do not, so if you want to preserve them, you should better cook them before freezing.
- When you store fried, cooked, baked, or boiled potatoes, make sure to put them in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. By doing so, it will last up to ten to twelve months.
- If you have cut raw potatoes, put them in a vessel full of cold water and refrigerate them. These spuds will be good for one day.
Now, the main question arises, “How do you know when potatoes go bad?“
In the next section, find the red flags to know the potatoes quality is deteriorating.
SIGNS THAT POTATOES HAVE GONE BAD
Even after keeping the shelf life of potatoes in mind, you will still have to keep an eye on these veggies for any kind of spoilage.
It completely normal for spuds to smell nutty or earthy, but a moldy, foul, or musty odor is a sign of spoilage.
And sometimes, a spud may look fresh from the outside but on the inside, it may have a bad spot or a blemish.
A weird smell coming out of a fresh-looking spud is a clear warning too!
So here is how to determine whether the potato had gone bad or still edible:
1. Wrinkly Surface
Want to know the very first sign of your potatoes turning stale?
Well, the wrinkly surface is the first stage!
You might notice its skin turning soggy and mushy. If that is the case, we suggest you throw the spud right away because keeping them with the other potatoes might contaminate the fresh ones.
These signs are noticeable, so if you notice the fresh spuds are still free from blemishes or bruises and are frim, they are edible.
If not, then it is time to throw them away.
The potatoes should be kept in a proper place because mold tends to grow on the surface when they are exposed to humidity.
You might also notice discoloration.
What to do when it happens?
First of all, you will have to check the other areas of mold. You must also inspect if the mold has reached the insides of this vegetable.
If you find a mold growing into multiple molds, then they are no longer fresh to consume. So it is best to throw them.
3. Sour or Musty Scent
Generally, fresh potatoes have an earthy smell. On the other hand, the spoiled ones have a strange, moldy, or musty odor.
Sometimes, the potatoes will look fresh, but don’t get fooled. Even the fine-looking ones from the outside, which do not have a wrinkly surface, can turn stale once it starts to smell foul.
Even fuzzy or bluish-grey, white, red, black, brown spots on the potatoes are clear indications of your potatoes have gone bad.
So the best thing to do here is to discard them as they are no longer edible.
4. Spuds Begin to Sprouts
If the potatoes are kept in the humid climate for too long, they will begin to develop new white sprouts with tiny green leaves at the top.
Later on, the fresh spuds will no longer remain fresh and lose their vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
However, green sprouts do not necessarily mean they are spoilt. It indicates that their quality is deteriorating.
They may lack some nutrients, but they are still edible. So it is best to use them immediately before their quality drops even further.
But if they are already ruined, get rid of them already and plant the new sprouts.
5. Green Spots
Sometimes, the potatoes get exposed the direct sunlight or very cold temperature for an extended amount of time, and that develops a green tinge on their surface.
But that is completely normal!
So what should you do?
If you notice a green spot, you can cut off that part, and you are good to go. Later, you can use the rest of the potato for cooking.
Wondering, “How long do potatoes last at room temperature or in the fridge?”
Then let’s uncover it in the next section!
HOW LONG WILL POTATOES LAST IN THE FRIDGE AND AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?
1. Storing Potatoes at room temperature
The best way to keep the raw and uncooked potatoes is by storing them at room temperature.
When you keep them in a dark and cool place (cooler than room temperature by warmer than the fridge), the bag of potatoes can last up to two months.
But if you don’t have an unheated basement, you will probably have to stick to the room temperature.
So at room temperature, the fresh spuds will remain fresh for two weeks.
Here is how to store them:
Keep the potatoes loosely covered in a cardboard box, mesh bag, or paper bag for proper air circulation.
Now, do you want to know how long can cooked potatoes last in the fridge?
Then, let’s unearth the alternative to room temperature, which is the fridge in the next sub-topic.
2. Storage of Potatoes in Fridge
Keeping potatoes in the fridge is not the right place to store fresh spuds, but sometimes, we don’t have any choice.
Humidity, hot conditions, and lack of pantry space are the main reasons you want to refrigerate your potatoes.
For whatever reason, you have decided to store them in the fridge; it will last for three weeks.
But storing them in the fridge will cause the starch in the potatoes to turn sweet, and you don’t want your spicy food to taste sweet, now do you?
Seven Simple and Easy Ways to Store a Bag Full of Potatoes
Potatoes, onions, and garlic have a longer shelf life than other vegetables.
However, the spud’s life also depends on how you store it. The procedure might help them to delay the spoilage and last longer.
Below, we have shown the seven best ways to store the potatoes or any starchy vegetables so they can stay fresh and tasty for a longer period.
1. Don’t wash your potatoes
When you bring home a bag full of fresh spuds, avoid washing them at any cost before storing them.
If you do so, it will go bad sooner than you can imagine.
If they are too muddy, you can clean them with a dry cloth.
2. Keep potatoes in a humid, cool, and dark place.
You need to provide the right environment and temperature for potatoes.
Experts reveal that the ideal temperature for storing them is between forty-five to fifty degrees F.
The other factors that play important roles are light, humidity, and temperature.
Generally, it is best to store these produce in a dark, dry, and cool place such as a pantry or a cupboard.
It will keep them fresh for up to three to five weeks.
Looking for another great option?
You can place the potatoes in your dry and well-ventilated basement. But make sure to protect it from heavy exposure to light, be it artificial or natural because they may develop green spots.
3. Avoid storing potatoes in the fridge.
We recommend you avoid storing raw potatoes in the refrigerator.
As we said before, the extra-cool temperature turns its starch into sugar and shortens the shelf-life.
So keep them in the fridge is not a great idea.
4. Keep them away from onions, bananas, or apples.
Another helpful tactic to preserve the potatoes is by keeping them away, and by “away” we mean far away from apples, bananas, and onions.
It is said that the spuds release high levels of a ripening agent called ethylene gas that can lead to premature ripening.
Want to preserve the potatoes?
Then, you better store them away from the listed vegetables.
5. Place the potatoes inside a breathable container.
Ideally, fresh potatoes should be kept in a breathable container.
Plastic bags and airtight containers are a big no! They are not great options because they tend to shorten and create a damp environment. And you already know what happens when water and potatoes come together.
We recommend you put the spuds in a fruit bowl or boxes to keep them fresh.
But do remember to put them away from ethylene veggies and fruits to keep them from sprouting.
6. Can the potatoes
Canning the spuds is the other best way to keep them fresh for a longer period.
You will need a jar to keep the blanched (partially cooked) potatoes.Once the spuds are canned, you can use them any time to prepare any quick recipes.
If you store in the right cooling spot, they will last up to 12 to 18 months.
7. Regularly check on your potatoes.
Last but not the least; make sure to check on your potatoes no matter what procedure you use to store them.
If any of them show any signs of spoilage, remove it immediately because if one goes bad, others will too!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Potatoes are said to be the starchiest root vegetable and are known for longer shelf life. However, their shelf life depends on how you store them. Follow our mentioned ways so that your potatoes can last up to weeks and prevent foodborne illness. Now that you know how to keep your potatoes, you no longer have to be scared about spoilage. As you have learned in the post, fresh spuds are best when stored in a dark and cool place: A pantry or a basement.
If you live in a tropical region and your potatoes don’t last in the pantry, then you can try putting them in the fridge at the highest temperature. Maybe you will find them in good condition. Lastly, even if you have stored the potatoes in the fridge or at room temperature, keep checking them once a week and get rid of the bad ones.