How to Tell if Potatoes have Gone Bad?

It’s no fun to buy rotten potatoes, and they may ruin a meal in a matter of days. Check for mushy patches, dark spots, sprouts, and a solid odor to tell whether potatoes are past their prime. Throw away any of these signs if you see them! Slice the potatoes into quarters to see if they’re too mushy or tough. Throw aside any potatoes that are limp or sprouted.

side view of basket and bowl full of potato on sackcloth on wooden surface and background with copy space

Potatoes Nutrition Facts

nutrition facts of potato

How to Tell if Potatoes are Bad?

Even if you keep a close eye on the shelf life, you should still inspect potatoes for symptoms of rotting:

Step 1

The aroma of rotten potatoes differs depending on the kind. Fresh potatoes have an earthy, starchy smell, but decaying potatoes have a moldy odor. While rotten potatoes may appear in good condition on the outside, they will not smell rotten. Those potatoes should either be discarded whole or quartered. If there are no bruises or dark marks on the potato, it is safe to consume.

Step 2

Potatoes that have become mushy should be discarded, and mold should be avoided at all costs. It’s still a clue that the potatoes are going bad, even if it’s not as noticeable as it is with other meals. If any of these indicators appear on your potato, it should be discarded right away. If a rotten potato contains mold or flaws, it is not edible.

Step 3

The smell of spoiled potatoes is a sure sign that it’s time to throw it out. The potato will be moldy and have a rotten smell. In addition to the smell, a mushy or soft potato signifies that it’s gone wrong. A shrieking potato should also be discarded if the insides are green. This is a tell-tale sign of spoiled potatoes, so don’t wait until they become too soft to eat them.

Step 4

On the inside, a potato may contain a defect or a poor place that is not visible from the surface. A strong odor emanating from an otherwise healthy-looking potato indicates that the inside has decayed or begun to mildew.

Step 5

It’s critical to detect the indicators that a potato is past its peak, whether it’s rotten or fresh. If there is visible mold or black spots on a potato, it is most undoubtedly rotten. The potato’s eyeballs are unhealthy and should be removed. A potato is spoilt if the sprouts are more significant than 5 inches in diameter. It’s also dangerous to eat!

Step 6

Besides the smell, other indicators indicate that a potato is likely to spoil. A green patch on the potato indicates that the poison has begun to spoil. The softening of the potato is the symptom. After cutting off the afflicted area, you can utilize the rest of the potato. However, if the potatoes have creases or long sprouts, they should be discarded.

What Happens if you Eat Rotten Potatoes?

Of course, we expect something unpleasant to happen if we eat some nasty potatoes by accident. Is it possible to become sick from rotten potatoes? Yes. Poisonous potatoes can be found in the wild.

Here are some terrible effects due to eating rotten potatoes:

  • Solanine is a neurotoxin found in potato plants. A sprouting potato– it’s growing into a plant!– can be deadly because the spud is the root crop, and the plant is toxic. The skin and sprouts of potatoes contain the greatest solanine, this is a naturally occurring toxin in food plants and functions as a pesticide.
  • Solanine poisoning can be caused by eating poor potatoes. Headaches, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and difficulty breathing are some symptoms.
  • Diarrhea, shock, and hallucinations are some of the other symptoms

What about Sprouted Potatoes?

Sprouts indicate that potatoes are about to deteriorate:

  • Potato “eyes” are little bumps or indentions where the tubers shoot and sprout new plants, and produce sprouts.
  • Although sprouts may appear unattractive, newly sprouted potatoes are safe to consume if the sprouts are removeBreakeak them off with your fingers to accomplish this.
  • Because the sprouts contain solanine, chaconine, and other harmful glycoalkaloids, you should avoid eating them. These chemicals can cause significant side effects, such as headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and neurological and digestive issues.
  • Toxins can be found in any potato section with a greenish hue. To avoid being ill, it’s preferable to cut away any green areas of the skin or flesh.
  • If your potatoes have sprouted, consume them as soon as possible. Sprouts take sugars and nutrients from the plant as they grow, causing it to wilt, shrink, and lose its crunch.

Whether a potato is spoiled or fresh, it’s essential to recognize the signs that signal it’s past its prime. If a potato has visible mold or black spots, it is likely rotten. The eyes on the potato are not healthy and should be removed. If the sprouts are more than 5 inches in diameter, a potato is spoiled. It’s also not safe to eat!

How to Store Potatoes?

Raw potatoes should be kept in a cold, dark environment with plenty of air movement. When refrigerated, cooked potatoes should be stored at 40°F (4°C) or below, and frozen potatoes should be kept at 0°F (-18°C) or below. Fresh potatoes should never be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, even though chilly temperatures are excellent for potato storage. Browning and softening increased sugar content, and even a rise in acrylamides could all occur from this. Fresh potatoes should never be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, even though chilly temperatures are excellent for potato storage. Browning and softening increased sugar content, and even a rise in acrylamides could all occur from this. Keep your potatoes away from other types of products if possible. This reduces their exposure to ethylene gases, hasten sprouting or deterioration.


Potatoes are a starchy root vegetable well-known for their long shelf life. However, how long they last are determined by how they are stored and prepared. If kept cool, dark, and dry, raw potatoes can be preserved for several months. To avoid foodborne illness, they should be eaten or frozen within a few days of being cooked. Potatoes with a strong odor or mold growth should be discarded.