Do potatoes go bad when they sprout

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do potatoes go bad when they sprout?” We will also discuss what is the best way to preserve the freshness of potatoes, their health benefits, and how you can tell if potatoes have gone bad.

Do potatoes go bad when they sprout?

No, potatoes do not go bad when they sprout. Although this was a common belief, there is no evidence that sprouted potatoes are not safe to consume, as long as you remove the sprouts, of course.

I know they might not look very yummy with all of those sprouts, but if needed you can still use them to prepare several dishes. Sprouts do not mean that potatoes have expired but it means they are starting to degrade.

Why can you not eat the sprouts in potatoes?

Sprouts appear when potatoes have been sitting for a long time in the pantry or the fridge, there is controversy about the safety of consuming sprouted potatoes. 

It is said that eating sprouted potatoes is not detrimental to human health as long as sprouts are removed.

Potatoes are entitled because of their high glycoalkaloid compounds, which have shown several health benefits, such as

  • Antibiotic effect.
  • Lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Controls cholesterol levels.

Despite their health benefits, when sprouts are consumed in large amounts they can become toxic and cause some serious symptoms. 

These symptoms can appear within a few hours to up to an entire day after having eaten sprouted potatoes.

Some symptoms of an excessive intake of glycoalkaloid compounds are

  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Headaches.
  • Confusion.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • And sometimes it can have lethal consequences.

If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.

How long do potatoes last?

The shelf life of potatoes can vary according to several factors, some of them can be the way they are stored or if they have been cooked. When cooked, potatoes exhibit a shorter shelf life as they need to be eaten within 3 days.

Raw potatoes exhibit a larger shelf life as they can be kept in their best quality from 1 week to a few months. To achieve this, you need to store them in a space where they are not near any

  • Sunlight.
  • Heat sources.
  • Humidity sources.
Shelf life of potato
Fresh potatoes (10°C)2 to 3 months
Fresh potatoes (room temperature)1 to 2 weeks
Raw potatoes (cut and stored in water)24 hours
Mashed potatoes3 to 4 days
Baked potatoes3 to 4 days
Boiled potatoes3 to 4 days
Frozen potatoes10 to 12 months
Uncooked potatoesSeveral years

Remember that these times are roughly approximate, it might be different for each case, just make sure you meet the requirements of the storage place for your veggies and you will be good!

Also, you need to know that freezing might not be the best option to preserve potatoes, or dishes with this ingredient. This is because when thawed, potatoes will end up with a mushy texture that is not that appealing. 

How can you tell when potatoes are bad?

Years ago, it was believed that sprouted potatoes can lead to serious consequences, which can happen when consumed in large quantities, but this is not entirely true. You can still enjoy your potato, you only need to remove the sprouts.

This does not mean that sprouts do not indicate anything, because you can tell when is near the spoilage of the ingredient.

However, is not always that easy, some other symptoms might need you to throw the potatoes away, like

  • Wrinkly texture. As time passes, potatoes will become squishy and wrinkles will start to appear. Whenever you spot any wrinkles in your potatoes, it is time to say goodbye.
  • Mold growth. Mold can appear when food is exposed to humidity, which is why it is not advisable to rinse potatoes before storing them. If you notice abnormal fuzzy spots, throw them away!
  • Musty smell. Your nose will be a good companion to determine if potatoes are still fresh. Potatoes should normally exhibit a fresh and earthy scent. So, when this changes to a musty odor, it is time to discard them.  

Where is the best place to store your potatoes?

You can store your potatoes in three different ways: at room temperature, stored in the freezer, or in the fridge. It has been declared that the appropriate temperature for storing potatoes oscillates from 7 to 10°C. 

Neither the pantry, fridge, or freezer can assure these conditions, which is why you can store them in any place, but it is recommended to put them inside an airtight container that will help preserve their quality a little longer.

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can you refrigerate potatoes

Why do potatoes turn black?

How to store cut potatoes


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do potatoes go bad when they sprout?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.