How To Tell If Strawberries Are Bad



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How To Tell If Strawberries Are Bad

Everyone loves strawberries. They are juicy and sweet and go well with so many other ingredients.

Usually, when you buy strawberries, you buy them in a huge bunch, and even though you think you’ll eat them all, chances are, some of them will go bad before you get the chance. 

If you don’t know when strawberries have gone bad, you’ve come to the right place! We will show you just how to tell when strawberries have gone bad, how long they last, and the best way to store them. 

Once you know what to look out for, you won’t have to worry about guessing if your strawberries are still safe to eat ever again! 

How To Tell If Strawberries Are Bad

Luckily, even if you don’t have much experience with strawberries, it’s easy to work out when they have gone bad. Most of working out when fruits or vegetables have gone bad is using common sense, and strawberries are no exception. 

Typical signs of spoilage include: 


The most obvious sign that your strawberries have gone bad is when mold appears on them. The mold will be an off-color, usually white or gray.

If you see this on your strawberries, it is important that you do not eat them anymore and you throw the spoiled strawberries away. 

“Off” Smell

Another tell-tale sign that your strawberries have gone bad is the smell. When strawberries are safe to eat, they smell fresh and even a bit sweet, but when they have gone bad, they will smell “funny” or “off.”

It’s hard to describe this smell, but you will know it when you smell it. 

Soft & Mushy

Strawberries are pretty soft when they are still safe to eat, but they still have a delightful crunch to them! They will be much softer, bruised, and mushy when they have gone bad.

If you see these signs on any strawberries you have stored, it’s best to throw them away and avoid eating any more of them. 

Loss Of Color

This usually only happens when strawberries have been stored away for quite a while. Their red color will start to dull, and they will even lose their color completely in some cases.

When this happens and you notice it, throw them away immediately because they won’t eat safely. 

Sometimes, some strawberries will be a bit green in color, and you may think this means they have gone bad but don’t throw them away in this case.

Usually, when a strawberry is a bit green, this just means that they aren’t ripe yet, so store it properly and wait for it to gain its red color. 

Fresh hand picked strawberries

How Long Do Strawberries Last

The length of time a strawberry will last purely depends on the temperature at which they are being stored.

When they are stored at room temperature, they usually only last a day, so if you aren’t keeping them in your refrigerator, you will have to eat them within 24 hours of getting them. 

The recommended way to store them is in your refrigerator because they will last about seven days and taste fresher. If you want them to last even longer, you can freeze strawberries. When they are frozen, they won’t go bad for a few months, but they won’t taste as fresh. 

The shelf life of strawberries purely depends on the circumstances in which they are stored. This can boil down to which container you use, what temperature you store them, whether they are dehydrated if any spoiled strawberries are already in the batch and more. 

How To Store Strawberries

If you don’t know the best way to store your strawberries, we are here to help! It might seem like a complicated process to store them in a way that won’t allow them to spoil easily, but as long as you follow these tips, you can enjoy them longer. 

You will first want to pick a batch of strawberries at the grocery store that appears to be the freshest.

You can ask to sample the strawberries in some places, but if this option is not available, you can simply inspect them instead. 

When inspecting the strawberries, be vigilant and look for things like mold. Once you have chosen your batch, take them home and leave them as they are for as long as possible. 

If you plan on eating them immediately, you can just store them on your countertop in the container they came in. They will only last for about 24 hours, but that is more than enough time in this case. 

If you want to keep them for longer than a day and don’t plan on eating them immediately, the best place to store them is the crisper drawer in your refrigerator.

You will want to put them into a plastic container, and if they are a bit moist, place some paper towels in the bottom of the container. This will absorb the excess moisture and help them last for longer. 

When you store them, ensure they aren’t getting crushed by any other fruits or vegetables, as this can cause them to bruise and even spoil faster. 

Storing them in the refrigerator is your best option, but if you don’t mind freezing them, you can always keep them in the freezer to use much later. (curious about strawberries ripening? Read here).

Final thoughts

Working out if your strawberries have gone bad is quite a straightforward process. You just need to look out for mold, an “off” smell, lack of color, and if they are soft and mushy. 

Once you work out that your strawberries are bad, just throw them away and consider trying different storage methods to make sure you get the optimal shelf life out of them.

Further Recommendations:

Video: How to Tell If Your Strawberry Is Bad

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