In this article, we will answer the question “How long do organic carrots last?”, and how to store carrots long-term?
Read on if you want to know what happens if you eat bad carrots. This article also includes a brief guide on how to identify bad carrots.
How long do organic carrots last?
At room temperature
Properly stored organic carrots can last 15 days at room temperature. Whole organic carrots will naturally last longer than the peeled and cut organic carrots.
In the fridge
Whole raw carrots have a self-life of 3-5 weeks in the fridge if properly stored. Baby carrots will last 1-2 weeks less than their adult counterparts.
In the freezer
Properly frozen carrots last 10-12 months. The carrots remain safe to eat after 12 months but the quality won’t be the same. Raw frozen carrots develop significant changes in texture, color, and tase. They also lose most of their nutrients.
What happens if you eat bad carrots?
There is a high chance of getting foodborne illness by eating raw carrots than by eating cooked carrots. Carrots are susceptible to attack by bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes or Bacillus cereus.
Consuming bad carrots will lead to food poisoning. Common symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. These symptoms should be gone within 3 days. If they don’t, consult your doctor.
How to tell if the carrots have gone bad?
White blush appears in the form of tiny white spots all over the upper surface of the carrots. This happens due to dehydration. Carrots with white spots are not deemed unfit for consumption.
Once the white blush appears, things can go down pretty quickly. So, you need to consume such carrots as soon as possible or discard them.
The presence of black spots on the carrots indicates that the carrots have been subjected to high moisture and temperature during storage.
These black spots are fungus spores produced by the pathogenic fungus Alternaria radicina. Carrots with black spots should be discarded immediately.
Soft, mushy, or slimy carrots are a sign of rot. Do not try to wash off the slime and eat the rest of the carrot. The slime contains toxins that seep into the carrots and cannot be removed by washing.
The rotten or putrid smell coming off from your carrots is a bad sign. Get rid of the carrots immediately.
Store-bought carrots come with a printed expiration date. Keep track of the date to make sure the carrots do not expire.
How to store carrots long-term?
Freezing is a great way to prolong the shelf-life of raw, blanched, or cooked carrots. Blanched carrots freeze the best. Follow the steps below to successfully freeze blanched carrots.
- Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them into whatever shape or size you prefer.
- Fill a pot with water. Bring this water to a rolling boil.
- Toss the carrots into the boiling water. Blach for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the blanched carrots into the ice-cold water bath to halt the cooking process.
- To avoid freezer burn, put the blanched and cooled carrots into a freezer bag.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag.
- Put a clear label on the bag and chuck it in the freezer.
Freshly harvested carrots
Freshly harvested carrots can be stored under the sand. The sand should be clean and the area should be dark and well-ventilated like a basement.
Remove the stems of the carrots before storing them. This will extend the shelf-life of the carrots upto 6 months.
Alternatively, you can simply cover the carrots, while they are still underground, with mulch and leaves just before the winter arrives.
Storing cooked carrots
Cooked carrots can either be refrigerated or frozen. Use good quality air-tight containers or heavy-duty plastic bags to store cooked carrots. Refrigerated cooked carrots last 3-5 days while frozen cooked carrots have a shelf-life of 10-12 months.
Dried or dehydrated carrots have an exceptional shelf-life. Make ⅛-inches thick slices of the carrots and blanch them using the same method as described above. Dehydrate the blanched carrots at 125℉ for 10-12 hours in the food dehydrator.
Pickling carrots involves submerging the carrots in a pickling solution along with spices and herbs. Pickling extends the shelf-life of the carrots upto 0-15 days in the fridge.
Carrots should be canned using the pressure cooker canning method. The pressure cooker processes the carrots at 250 or more.
Such high temperatures are sufficient to destroy the spores of Clostridium botulinum. Botulism spores survive in the water bath canning.
In this article, we answered the question “How long do organic carrots last?”, and how to store carrots long-term?