Imagine how much food people may have wasted before using fridges and freezers. However, even with the help of these devices, they will go bad, which is why we tend to rely heavily on expiration dates.
These dates give people an idea of when the food should be consumed, tossed, or stored away. Doesn’t matter how long or short the date is because it’s always useful!
One popular food people may wonder about going bad is sweet potatoes. In this article, we will figure out if sweet potatoes can go bad and everything else you need to know about the topic!
Can Sweet Potatoes Go Bad, and if So, How Long Do They Last?
You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that sweet potato can go bad, just like any other food out there.
What sets this food apart from some other foods out there is the amount of time it can stay fresh. This, of course, depends on certain conditions.
If these conditions are not met, then the sweet potato isn’t going to last exceptionally long.
The best way to ensure your raw sweet potatoes will last the longest amount of time possible is to put the whole sweet potato in a cool, dry place.
This will enable it to last a maximum of 4 weeks before it needs to be used or tossed. If you cut the raw sweet potato, you only have 3 to five days, and this is if you happen to put it in the fridge.
Never leave them on the counter because this guarantees they are going to go bad. Maybe not in the blink of an eye, but it will happen faster than you think it would.
For cooked sweet potatoes, it depends on if you are putting them in the fridge or freezer. In the freezer, cooked sweet potatoes will last about 3 to 4 days before they need to be tossed or eaten.
If they have been put in the freezer, then they can last a month in some cases.
So, it depends on whether the sweet potato is in raw or cooked form and how it is stored. Sometimes, the simplest things can lead to something becoming spoiled.
What Happens if You Eat Bad Sweet Potatoes?
The biggest risk of eating a bad sweet potato is coming down with food poisoning or some bacteria-borne illness like salmonella or listeria.
Common symptoms of these illnesses are usually vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, fever, and diarrhea.
You are just going to have a moderate to mild sickness on your hands and be out of commission for a few days.
In rare circumstances, you can get seriously ill, but again, this is something that is rare and doesn’t always happen.
In the next section, we’ll tell you how to tell if sweet potatoes are bad so you can avoid getting sick.
How To Tell if Sweet Potatoes Are Bad
There are some telltale signs of a sweet potato going bad. They include:
- If the sweet potato is soft, shriveled, or mushy, then it needs to be tossed.
- Any discolorations or mold on the sweet potato means it needs to be thrown away immediately. This is one of those signs that are more obvious than some of them because mold is pretty easy to spot.
- The sweet potato should never have a bad odor to it. If you smell any bad odor, you know what to do. You have to toss it into the garbage because eating it will give you nothing but stomach cramps… among other symptoms.
- If there are a lot of sprouts, then you can’t eat them. The only way you can be if you can get rid of all the sprouts on the sweet potato.
- Cooked sweet potato needs to be automatically thrown away if it’s been sitting in the fridge for more than four days. After that, you need to toss it into the garbage. To make your sweet potato last longer, all you have to do is store it in the freezer. Storing food in the freezer will ensure that it will last longer than it usually would in, say, the fridge.
How to Safely Store Sweet Potatoes
To prevent your sweet potatoes from going bad, you need to store them properly. You can do this by:
By following all these rules, you’ll know exactly how to tell if your sweet potato has gone bad!
- We mentioned this before, but sweet potatoes usually need to be stored in a dark and cool place, like a cabinet or something.
- Wrapping them in a paper towel or a perforated plastic bag will help them last even longer.
- The two rules we mentioned above are for raw potatoes. It’s a little different for cooked potatoes. Cooked potatoes last the longest when they are in the freezer. They can last for up to six months in the freezer if safely stored, so if you want to make them last, keep them in the freezer.
By following these simple suggestions, you will be able to make sure your raw and cooked sweet potatoes last for as long as possible.
Food is expensive nowadays, so extending something’s shelf-life makes all the difference.
This way, you don’t have to run out to the grocery store and waste more money!
And there you go, all your sweet potato lovers out there! You now know that just like any other food, sweet potatoes can indeed go bad.
It’s recommended you don’t eat bad sweet potatoes, and the best way to avoid it is by knowing the signs of it going bad. Another way to protect yourself is through proper storage!
Remember, we understand that accidents happen, and sometimes you might end up eating something that has gone bad.
We have all been there at some point. The best thing you can do is just try not to make the same mistake twice.
You might also be interested in the following:
- Do Spices Go Bad?
- Do Pickles Go Bad?
- Do Carrots Go Bad?
- Do Potatoes Go Bad?
- Do Mushrooms Go Bad?
- Do Onions Go Bad?
- Do Hot Dogs Go Bad?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.