Can potatoes go bad? (+5 Ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can potatoes go bad?”, and how to tell If potatoes are bad?

Can potatoes go bad?

Yes, potatoes can go bad. Potatoes have a pretty good shelf-life. They won’t spoil quickly unless stored incorrectly. Read on If you want to know how to tell If the potato shave gone bad.

How to store potatoes?

  • Do not wash the potatoes before storing them. If they look too dirty, you can brush off the dirt and dust but do not let moisture anywhere near the potatoes.
  • Ideally, potatoes should be kept at 7˚C to 10˚C or 45˚F to 50˚F. The pantry is too hot and the fridge is too cold as compared to this temperature. Your best bet is an unheated basement.

At room temperature 

For storing the potatoes at room temperature, make sure the area is well-ventilated, dry, and dark, away from the heat sources.

Keep the potatoes in a basket. If they are kept in a plastic bag, poke holes in it and keep it open from the top.

If the potatoes are stored at warm temperatures, they start to sprout. Smaller sprouts can be cut off and the potato can be used.

Inspect the potatoes every once a week to remove the bad ones. This prevents the mold or bacteria from spreading to the rest of the potatoes.

In the fridge

The problem with refrigerating potatoes is that the cold temperature stimulates the conversion of potato starch into sugar and the potatoes end up tasting sweet. Refrigerated potatoes need to be placed at room temperature before cooking with them or else they will change their color during cooking.

If the pantry environment is too warm for the potatoes, the last resort is refrigeration. You might wanna give it a try and see for yourself If the potatoes are good to eat or not.

The cooked potato should be stored in an air-tight container or a freezer bag and kept in the fridge.

How to tell If potatoes are bad?

  1. Depending upon the humidity of the storage area, the potatoes will either become dried out or mushy. Such potatoes should be discarded.
  2. Mushy or soft potatoes are often accompanied by a sour or musty smell. Such potatoes belong in the bin.
  3. Mold spots are an obvious indication of spoilage. However, if the moldy spot is not deep and small, it can be cut off and the rest of the potato can be used.
  4. If the potatoes are exposed to sunlight frequently, they will turn green. Green potatoes might contain a toxic compound. It is not recommended to consume such potatoes. 
  5. Frequent exposure to sunlight may also cause sprouting of the potatoes. The sprouts can either be cut off and the potato can be used or you can discard the potato for quality reasons.

Other FAQs about Potatoes which you may be interested in.

How to tell if potatoes are done boiling?

Are potatoes fruit?

Are potatoes a root?

The shelf-life of potatoes

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of different types of potatoes under varying storage conditions.

In the pantryIn the fridge In the freezer
Past the printed date Past the printed date Past the printed date 
Russet or White potatoes3-5 weeks 3-4 months 
Yukon Gold potatoes2-3 weeks 2-3 months 
Red or New potatoes 2-3 weeks2-3 months
Fingerlings 2-3 weeks2-3 months
Sweet potatoes 3-5 weeks 2-3 months 
Sliced potatoes or french fries 1-2 days 6-8 months 
Cooked potatoes 5-7 days 6-8 months 
Baked potatoes 5-7 days6-8 months 
Mashed potatoes 4-6 days 6-8 months 
Instant Dry Potato Package 4-5 days —–

Health benefits of potatoes

Good source of anti-oxidants

Potatoes are a rich source of flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds have excellent anti-oxidant properties and prevent cellular damage due to free radicals.

Control blood sugar

Potatoes contain resistant starch. As the name suggests, this starch is resistant to digestion. Therefore, it passes down to the large intestine where it becomes a source of nutrients for the healthy gut bacteria. This has been linked to promoting blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance.

Promotes digestive health

The bacteria in the large intestine turn the resistant starch into short-chain fatty acids, most commonly, Butyrate. Butyrate prevents colon inflammation and reduces the risk of colon cancer.


People suffering from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity are allergic to gluten protein present in wheat, rye, barley, and other foods. Potatoes are a nutrient-dense and gluten-free choice of food for gluten-sensitive people.

Keeps you full for longer

Potatoes keep you full for longer regulating your hunger patterns. This is very helpful for weight loss. A study has shown potatoes are more filling than croissants.


In this article, we answered the question “Can potatoes go bad?”, and how to tell If potatoes are bad?


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