How can you tell if carrots are bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how can you tell if carrots are bad” with an in-depth analysis of different ways to spot bad carrots. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of carrots.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How can you tell if carrots are bad?

You should consider the appearance, texture, and smell of carrots to give a final verdict about whether or not carrots have gone bad.


If you spot a mold or some organic growth on your raw or cooked carrot, then the best thing you can do in this scenario is to get rid of the whole carrot.

Moreover, molds can also produce mycotoxins in carrots that have gone bad and if you consume or even inhale these mycotoxins they can disturb your gut flora and can weaken your immune system.

It is worth mentioning that if there are holes in the carrot, then it is recommended to discard such a carrot. Last but not least, if you spot some dark-colored spots on your carrot then you can cut those parts of the carrot but if the spots are really large then it is better to discard the whole carrot.


Fresh raw carrots are firm to touch. So if you feel something slimy, gooey, or if the carrot is mushy, limp, or if there is some fluid oozing out of it then it is an indication of a bad carrot and you should discard it.


If you smell some off-smell or rotten smell while taking a sniff test of your carrots then it is better to get rid of such carrots.

You should consider the points mentioned above while making a final verdict on whether or not the carrots are suitable to consume.

It is worth mentioning that eating bad carrots which are bacteria-laden can cause certain food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

If you suffer from diarrhea or vomiting after eating bacteria-laden carrots then it is recommended to seek medical care and also drink plenty of water. The reason behind drinking plenty of water is that it will compensate for the fluid loss that the body is facing because of vomiting and diarrhea.

If you do not consume enough water then vomiting and diarrhea can lead to electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, dizziness, and weakness in the body.

Shelf life of carrots

Fresh carrots

Fresh whole carrots have a shelf life of about 3-5 days when kept in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry, away from direct sunlight and heat.

The place you are going to keep your fresh carrots should be well-ventilated and it should not be humid as the high moisture content of the humid environment can mess up the quality of your carrots and can even make them more prone to the growth of molds

On the other hand, if you keep your carrots wrapped in a damp paper towel or cloth in the fridge then they last for about 3-4 weeks when kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Moreover, if you have stored your fresh carrots dipped in the water in a container, they last for about a month easily in the fridge.

Cooked carrots

Cooked carrots last for about 3-5 days when they are stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, cooked carrots last for about 2 hours at room temperature. Bacteria grow at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit therefore it is recommended to discard the cooked carrots that are left in the open for more than 2 hours as there is a great chance that the bacteria would have already spread over it and would have spoiled it.

If the outside temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit then cooked carrots last for only about an hour when left out in the open. 

Cooked carrots last for about 10-12 months when stored in the freezer properly in a plastic freezer bag.

Thus keeping the carrots in the freezer will increase their shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the carrots.

Now when you want to thaw frozen carrots, you can either thaw them by leaving them in the fridge overnight or you can defrost them in the microwave or a bowl of cold water.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of carrots and within this time you can enjoy the best quality of the carrots.

You can read the nutrition facts and the health benefits of carrots here.

Other FAQs about Carrots that you may be interested in.

Can you cook carrots in the microwave?

Can baby carrots go bad?

Why are my carrots slimy?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how can you tell if carrots are bad” with an in-depth analysis of different ways to spot bad carrots. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of carrots.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.