How to Tell if Rhubarb is Bad?

You may be wondering how to tell if rhubarb is terrible. Fortunately, there are some easy steps to take. Check for mold. If you find a spot, cut it off and discard it. If the spot is large, throw out the entire stalk. If it smells bad, throw it out as well. Several signs can point to rotten rhubarb. If the rhubarb you purchased doesn’t smell like sulphur, it’s most likely rotten. Rinse it thoroughly with water before eating, and keep it refrigerated.

Whole stalks of rhubarb will last three to seven days if stored properly. Keeping them in the fridge will prolong their shelf life and prevent them from rotting. Keep them out of the reach of insects and other fruits that produce ethylene, as they will cause the rhubarb to spoil more quickly.

How to Tell if Rhubarb Is Bad

Ripe rhubarb loses its tart flavor and becomes fibrous. It may also lose its color and flavor. You should immediately throw out this type of rhubarb. Frost can also cause rhubarb to go wrong. Frost will also change the texture and taste of rhubarb. If this happens, freeze the rest to keep it fresh longer. If rhubarb is fresh, it should keep for about seven days. You can also freeze it and use it within a few days. You can also keep rhubarb in the refrigerator for a week or two. Freezing it, however, is not the most beneficial option for long-term storage. You can leave it out on the counter or in your pantry for two to four days. Then it will start to fade and spoil. However, it’s best to eat it within a day or two when it comes to eating.

How to Tell if Rhubarb is Bad?

There are a few indicators that your rhubarb has gone wrong. To determine whether or not rhubarb has gone wrong, look at its appearance, color, texture, and fragrance.


If you see mold or any other organic development on your rhubarb, it’s lousy rhubarb, and you should throw it out. If the mold is just a remote location on one of your rhubarb’s parts, you can clip that part off and toss it, but if the mold has taken over a considerable portion of your rhubarb, you can destroy the entire rhubarb.

It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t smell rhubarb with visible mold since mold can develop mycotoxins in the rhubarb. If you inhale the odor of such rhubarb, the mycotoxins will disrupt your natural micro flora, weakening your immune system.


If you detect significant dark brown or black colored spots on your rhubarb, it is best to discard them.


If you discover the rhubarb has grown exceptionally soft or mushy, it is best to throw it because it has gone rotten.


If you do a sniff test and detect an off-odor or sulphur-like odor, it is best to discard the rhubarb. Rinse rhubarb before cooking it. It should be firm and ruby red. To retain its color and flavor, blanch it for around 40 minutes. Once it is blanched, please remove it from the freezer and dry. If the rhubarb is still firm, you can freeze it. Try a small piece of it before freezing it to avoid spoilage.

How Long does Rhubarb Last?

It should be fine if you leave it out at room temperature for a week. It all relies on the quality of the stalks you purchased and the temperature in which they are stored (lower is better). Of course, they can grow moldy in as little as a day or two, so I wouldn’t keep them in the cabinet for longer than 3 to 4 days.

  • Whole stalks

When stored correctly in a cool, dry, and dark pantry area away from direct sunshine and heat, whole rhubarb stalks last around 3-7 days. It would help if you never kept rhubarb in a humid atmosphere since the excessive moisture level can degrade the quality of your rhubarb.
When stored correctly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, whole rhubarb stalks survive for about 2-3 weeks.

  • Cut rhubarb

When stored correctly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, cut rhubarb lasts around 2-4 days.
It’s worth noting that these statistics represent the rhubarb’s expected shelf life, during which time you can enjoy the most excellent quality.

Can you Freeze Rhubarb?

Yes, rhubarb can be frozen, but once it is thawed, the texture will alter. When properly kept, frozen rhubarb lasts 10-12 months. So, to freeze rhubarb, first, wash it thoroughly and then chop off the ends. Cut the rhubarb into pieces that will easily fit into the plastic freezer bag. Blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before chilling in ice-cold water. Drain the water and pat the rhubarb dry after that. Place the rhubarb slices on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Transfer them to a plastic freezer bag and keep them in the freezer once they’ve frozen. If you wish to thaw frozen rhubarb, you can do so overnight in the fridge or the microwave or a basin of cold water.

How to Tell if Rhubarb Is Bad?

Some Additional Factors

  1. Prep. Remove the ends of the stalks and wash them. After that, trim them into lengths that will fit into the bag or container you’ll be using. If you’re planning on using them in a recipe, cut them up, so they’re ready to go.
  2. (Optional) Blanching. Plunge the rhubarb chunks into boiling water and immediately chill in cold water. This preserves the vegetable’s color and flavor ([MF]). Allow the rhubarb to dry before continuing thoroughly.
  3. (Optional) Pre-freeze. Place the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet (lined with a silicone mat to remove the tray easier once frozen) and freeze. The vegetable pieces will be frozen after a few hours. In this manner, you may stuff as many as you like into a single container while still being able to grab one or two if you only need one or two.
  4. Packaging. Depending on your preferences, use airtight containers or freezer bags. If you like, you can label it. If you don’t freeze the rhubarb ahead of time, the chunks will stay together. Sticking isn’t an issue if you place exactly how much you need in each container for a single dish.
  5. Freeze. For long-term storage, place everything in the freezer.

How to Properly Store Rhubarb?

  1. Rhubarb stalks can be stored whole in a cold, dry, and dark part of the pantry, but fresh rhubarb should be stored in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.
  2. Always keep cut rhubarb pieces in the refrigerator.
  3. When refrigerating fresh rhubarb, please place it in a perforated plastic zipper bag with a damp paper towel. Suppose you don’t have access to a perforated plastic bag. In that case, you can leave some room open when sealing an everyday plastic zipper bag to ensure that it receives the essential continuous airflow.

Can Old Rhubarb Make you Sick?

Rhubarb contains oxalate, which can cause disease or death if consumed in large amounts. Most rhubarb’s oxalate is found in its leaves, so simply clip and discard them. Rhubarb contains oxalate, which can cause disease or death if consumed in large amounts. Most rhubarb’s oxalate is found in its leaves, so simply clip and discard them. Rhubarb stalks have almost no toxicity. Oxalic acid in high amounts can harm your heart, digestive system, and respiratory system. According to some reports, to attain a deadly dose, a person would need to swallow 11 pounds of rhubarb leaves.

Is Frozen Rhubarb Toxic?

Let’s distinguish between frozen rhubarb and rhubarb that has been frostbitten.

Frozen rhubarb is harvested in the spring and early summer, cut and frozen quickly. It’s just the stalks, no leaves, as fresh and crisp as they can be throughout the season. Frozen rhubarb can be found in the frozen foods department of stores, and you can also freeze rhubarb yourself. You may chop up many healthy, fresh rhubarb stalks, put them in a freezer-safe bag, and keep them for up to 6 months if you have a lot of them.

Frost-touched rhubarb remains in the ground. The stalks and leaves of the rhubarb will go limp once it gets its first frost (mid-fall). It’s pointless to consume that rhubarb. The flavor is barely discernible, and the texture is too fibrous.


Try freezing it if rhubarb doesn’t look good enough to eat. Freezing rhubarb can retain its freshness for months. After that, you can thaw it out. Alternatively, you can prepare it before freezing. Some people blanch the rhubarb before freezing. Rinse it under cold water.

When rhubarb is wonderful, freeze it in a glass or freezer bag. Besides being good for you, rhubarb has purgative and digestive effects. While its primary use is an ingredient in pies, it is also used to cure constipation and diarrhea. The presence of tannins in the plant causes it to act as a stimulant laxative, which speeds up bowel movement. However, be cautious while using rhubarb with other stimulants since they can dehydrate you and deplete your minerals.