Can out-of-date avocado make you sick? (+5 Ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can out-of-date avocado make you sick?”, and how to tell If an avocado is rotten?

Can out-of-date avocado make you sick?

Eating Out-of-date avocado won’t make you sick unless the avocado is spoiled. An overripe avocado won’t have the best quality but is safe for consumption. However, the older the avocado is, the higher the chances there are of mold and rancidity. Therefore, make sure you inspect the out-of-date avocado carefully before consuming it.

Safety of overripe avocados 

The safety of an overripe avocado depends on how much It has decayed. The decay progresses from the stem towards the rest of the fruit. Avocado flesh that has just started to develop a brown color, can be consumed safely. 

Discolored, moldy, sour-smelling, or rancid areas of the fruit should not be consumed. It is natural for the avocado to turn brown after it has been cut. This occurs due to oxidation and can be observed in the case of many fruits like apples. Such avocado is safe to eat. 

Avocados that are too ripe but unspoiled can be used in baked goods or in guacamole, smoothies, and salad dressing.

The shelf life of avocados

Unripe avocados will last 2 to 7 days in the pantry until fully ripe. Ripe avocados will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days If kept in the refrigerator. While cut avocado will stay prime quality for 2 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

How to tell if an avocado is rotten? 

The following parameters can tell you if the avocado is rotten or not.

Mushy texture

Avocado should yield slightly to the gentle press of your palms. If it does not give even a little bit, it is underripe. If it has mushy spots all over, it has started to rot.

Blackened rind

Ripe avocados should appear dark green or brown. If they start to turn black, they have started to rot. This is only applicable for Hass avocados. Avocado varieties like Zutano and Fuerte stay green even if they are fully ripe.

Dark and stringy flesh

If the avocado has black or brown spots or dark streaks in its flesh, it is rotten. If the flesh is fibrous but appears and tastes fine, it may not necessarily be rotten. Similarly, an avocado that comes from young trees has dark streaks, therefore, dark streaks or fibrous flesh alone is not a sure sign of spoilage.

Off flavor or odor

If the avocado gives off a sour or rancid smell instead of fruit and nutty odor, it is spoiled. The rancidity occurs due to the oxidation of the unsaturated fats present in the fruit. Rancidity results in the production of potentially dangerous compounds, therefore, never consume a rancid avocado.

Mold growth

If the avocado has white or grey spots over the rind or in the flesh, discard it right away. Do not whiff it, the fungus spores may irritate your breathing system upon inhaling especially if you are allergic to them.

How to buy the best avocado?

  • Avocados ripen once they are off the tree. So a fresh avocado should feel firm all over the surface or soft throughout. 
  • Like any other fruit, always avoid buying an avocado that has pits, blemishes, or any bruises on its skin.
  • Shake the fruit to check If you can hear the stone moving inside. Never buy an avocado with a loose pit.

How to refrigerate avocado safely?

Chopped avocado

Yes, you can chop the fruit to portion size and toss it well after sprinkling it with some citrus juice to prevent browning of the fruit flesh due to oxidation. Put them in a plastic/Tupperware container. Make sure It is sealed tight and you are good to go. You could also use silicon-based avocado savers to keep the half-cut fruit in the fridge.

Mashed avocado

Mash up the fruit and mix in some citrus juice to preserve it. Place the mashed fruit inside a resealable bag. Press it down to spread evenly. Squeeze out all air. Seal it tight and put the bag in the fridge.

Unripe avocado

It is not advisable to refrigerate unripely avocados. Doing so lengthens the ripening process of the fruit so much that the fruit can turn mushy and unfit for use before even ripening properly.


In this article, we answered the question “Can out-of-date avocado make you sick?”, and how to tell If an avocado is rotten?


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!