Can you eat an overripe pineapple?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can you eat an overripe pineapple?” and discuss how to tell if a pineapple is overripe. We will also discuss the risks of consuming overripe pineapples and how to tell if a pineapple has gone bad. Additionally we will also discuss their shelf life and tell you whether you can freeze them or not.

Can you eat an overripe pineapple?

Yes, you can eat an overripe pineapple. An overripe pineapple may turn orange or have brown spots but it still can be used. You can cut off the discolored parts and then use it to make desserts or to cook (10,12). 

The best way to use them is promptly in recipes like smoothies or baked goods where taste and texture changes may be less noticeable (10).

However you should look for signs of spoilage that we will discuss in this article later before consuming it so that you do not get sick.

How to tell if a pineapple is overripe?

Here’s how you can tell if a pineapple is overripe (1,2).

  • Look at the color of the pineapple. Ripe pineapple has a yellow, goldenish hue to it while an overripe pineapple may appear orangish or brownish.
  • The leaves would also be wilted or brown at this point.
  • Overripe pineapple may also have a soft or mushy texture.
  • You can also tell if a pineapple is overripe by giving it a sniff test. Overripe pineapple may smell bitter or sour.

Are there any risks of consuming overripe pineapples?

Yes, eating overripe pineapples may pose some risks especially due to the potential microbial growth. 

According to studies, overripe pineapple is the ideal host for the existence of the bacteria Salmonella typhi, which causes typhoid fever. Symptoms include: headache, loss of appetite, and watery diarrhea (9).

How to safely consume overripe pineapples?

To safely consume overripe pineapple and reduce any risks, thoroughly wash the pineapple under running water to remove any surface pollutants. Washing to help lower the microbial load on the fruit. 

If you intend to eat the overripe pineapple fresh, consider incorporating it into recipes such as smoothies, jams, fruit salads, or prepared foods where minor changes in texture and flavor may be less evident. Cooking with heat can also help inactivate potentially hazardous microorganisms (10,11).

How to tell if a pineapple has gone bad?

Since an overripe pineapple can go bad very quickly you should look out for signs of spoilage. Here’s how you can tell if a pineapple has gone (3,4,5).

  • If your pineapple is overly mushy or has some liquid oozing out of it then it has gone bad. You can check this by squeezing it from the bottom.
  • Look for any discolorations as well. Brown spots or brown flesh are a sign that the pineapple has gone bad.
  • Look for growth of mold as well since mold can grow on pineapple and spoil it. In case there is any mold, you should throw out the pineapple otherwise eating it can make you sick.
  • Another way by which you can tell if a pineapple has gone is by giving it a sniff test. Rotten or spoiled pineapple will have a funky odor unlike a fresh pineapple which smells sweet and tangy.
  • If all else looks fine, taste a little bit of it and see if it tastes fresh. If it tastes sour or bitter then it most likely has gone bad. 

How long do pineapples last?

The shelf life of pineapples usually depends on how you store them. Pineapples can last for about 1-3 days when kept at room temperature on the countertop or in the pantry (2,6). 

When kept in the fridge, they can last for about 4-5 days so if you wish to extend their shelf life, consider placing them inside the fridge (2,6). 

If you have cut up the pineapple and wish to store it for later then do so in an airtight container or a ziploc bag. You can also brush them with some citrus fruit juice to minimize or slow down oxidation. They should be kept in the fridge where they can last for about 3-4 days (7). 

Frozen pineapples have the longest shelf life lasting for 12 months in the freezer (8).

How to store pineapple?

If the pineapple has reached the color break stage, it is best to store pineapples between the temperatures of 7 and 12 °C (45 and 55 °F) for prolonged preservation (2).

To prevent water loss, it is advised to keep the relative humidity (RH) between 85 and 95% because greater RH values are linked to less moisture evaporation. Ripe pineapples can be kept at a temperature of 7 °C (45 °F) for roughly 7 to 10 days (2,4,6).

It’s very important to remember that keeping pineapples in cold storage for an extended period of time will prevent them from further ripening and may cause serious chilling damage when they are taken out (4,6).

Fruit collected at the quarter-yellow stage can be stored for an additional week for every 6 °C (11 °F) drop in storage temperature. The longest feasible storage life is approximately 4 weeks at a temperature of 7 °C (45 °F) (2).

It is essential to remember that when the fruit is removed from storage, it is prone to chilling injury, which results in interior browning within 2 to 3 days (2,5).

Can you freeze a pineapple?

Yes, you can freeze a pineapple to make it last longer since it does not have a very long shelf life. Since freezing a whole pineapple would take a lot of space in the freezer due to its size, what you can do is cut it up in smaller slices, freeze them separately on a sheet pan and then transfer them into a ziploc bag. Place the ziploc bag back in the freezer (8).

Keep in mind that the texture of the pineapple may be compromised when you thaw it so it might not always be ideal to freeze your pineapple unless you do not want it to rot (8). 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat an overripe pineapple?” and discussed how to tell if a pineapple is overripe. We also discussed the risks of consuming overripe pineapples and how to tell if a pineapple has gone bad. We also discussed their shelf life and told you whether you can freeze them or not.


1. E. J. L. Aguilar, et al. Determination of Pineapple Ripeness Using Support Vector Machine for Philippine Standards. 7th International Conference on Control Science and Systems Engineering, 2021, 283-287.

2. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agricultural Research Service Agriculture, Handbook Number 66, 2016, 491-494.

3. Leneveu-Jenvrin, C., et al. Changes of Quality of Minimally-Processed Pineapple (Ananas comosus, var. ‘Queen Victoria’) during Cold Storage: Fungi in the Leading Role. Microorganisms, 2020, 8(2),185.

4. Hong, K., et al. Quality changes and internal browning developments of summer pineapple fruit during storage at different temperatures. Scientia Horticulturae, 2013, 151, 28 , 68-74.

5. M. Barth et al. Microbiological Spoilage of Fruits and Vegetables. USDA, 2009.

6. Paull, R.E., Chen, C.C. Pineapple: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Fruit, Nut, and Beverage Crops, 2014.

7. How should I store cut fruit and vegetables? USDA, 2023.

8. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.

9. Bereda, G. Typhoid fever in a rare form caused by eating overripe pineapple: A Case Report and Literature Review. Research Square, 2022.

10. Anusha, V. et al .Utilization of Overripe Discardable Fruits of Pineapple and Banana for Preparing Value – Added Products. Int J Sci and Res, 2022.

11. Joy, P.P. Benefits and use of Pineapple. Pineapple Res Stat, 2010.

12. Pineapples: Shipping Point and Market Inspection Instructions. USDA, 2008.

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