Do sweet potatoes go bad? 

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Do sweet potatoes go bad?” methods to store sweet potatoes and detect spoilage in sweet potatoes.

Do sweet potatoes go bad?

Yes, sweet potatoes can turn bad. In general, sweet potatoes do not get spoilt quickly but if it develops mold or if it is kept in inappropriate storage conditions, it is likely to get spoilt quickly.

Sweet potatoes should be kept away from damp or moist places and away from light as well. Sweet potatoes might develop tubers when stored though this would not be an indication of spoilage. You can remove the tubers and consume them.

When you incorporate sweet potatoes into a dish, make sure to refrigerate them adequately as inappropriate storage conditions can alter the taste of the dish. Canned sweet potatoes can get spoilt if exposed to room temperature for more than an hour.

How to detect spoilage in sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes can get spoilt naturally because of aging. Exposure to excess light or moisture can also hasten the spoilage process in sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato skins have eyes on them. If you observe any growth coming out of these spots, it would indicate that the potato is losing its nutritional value. 

It does not indicate spoilage but it would be better to remove these sprouts before cooking potatoes.

  • If you notice that your sweet potatoes have started emitting a foul odor, it is better to discard them.
  • If you observe discoloration in sweet potatoes, it is yet another indicator of spoilage. Spoilt flesh of sweet potatoes can have a purple, orange or yellowish color whereas spoilt skin of sweet potatoes can have purple, yellowish, red, or black color. 
  • Mushy sweet potatoes indicate a reduction in freshness. The ends of the potatoes would turn to black or brown color which could indicate deterioration. 
  • The wrinkling of sweet potatoes indicates loss of moisture of potatoes and it is better to discard them.
  • If you notice black or brown spots on the tubers, it is an indication of deterioration. If the spots are superficial, you can cut them off before using them. If you observe an abnormal growth on the potatoes, discard it.
  • If you notice white or green spots on the sweet potatoes, it is better to throw them away as it is a sign of mold growth. If the molds are present on the surface of the potato, it might not affect it internally. You can check this by cutting the vegetable.
  • If you notice black spots on the tuber area of the sweet potatoes, it is better to discard the sweet potatoes. Black spots can contribute to a bitter taste in the potatoes.

How to store sweet potatoes?

  • Fresh sweet potatoes should be allowed to dry thoroughly and then stored in a basket or paper bag. This would promote air circulation and reduce the process of spoilage.
  • You can store the sweet potatoes at a temperature of 45 to 55℉ in the pantry. Avoid storing the sweet potatoes next to strongly odored foods. Unopened sweet potatoes can be left in the pantry for almost a year.
  • Avoid storing fresh sweet potatoes in the fridge as storing them there could contribute to the development of white spots in the potatoes.
  • Cut sweet potatoes can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Sweet potato slices can be kept for 24 hours. If kept for a long time, an orangish color and acidic taste would develop. Cooked ones can be kept in an airtight container.

Adding a pinch of lemon juice to the sweet potatoes can protect them against discoloration.

  • Dishes containing sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries can be flash frozen and kept in the freezer in an airtight container. 

Other FAQs about sweet potatoes that you may be interested in.

What is the shelf-life of sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes can be kept in a dry place in the pantry. If the sweet potatoes are canned, they can stay for a year.

If sweet potato fries are stored in the refrigerator, they can stay there for 2-3 days. You can freeze the potatoes and the shelf-life would extend to a few more months.

Type of sweet potatoesApproximate shelf-life in the pantry Approximate shelf-life in the fridgeApproximate shelf-life in the freezer
Fresh sweet potatoes1-2 months2-3 months__
Cooked sweet potatoes__6-7 days5-6 months
Unopened canned sweet potatoes1 year____
Unopened frozen sweet potatoes__6-7 days6-8 months
Unopened fries__2-3 days5-6 months
Unopened dry1 year____
Opened canned__6-7 days__


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Do sweet potatoes go bad?” methods to store sweet potatoes and detect spoilage in sweet potatoes.