How to know if a potato is bad

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to know if a potato is bad?” with an in-depth analysis of shelf life and the storage of the potatoes. Moreover, we are going to discuss the nutritional value and the health benefits of potatoes.

How to know if a potato is bad?

If the potatoes aren’t stored properly, they can go bad. You can easily get to know about the bad potatoes by noticing the few signs.

Some of the signs of the bad potatoes are as follows;

  • If the potatoes seem mushy or soft, it indicates that they have gone bad.
  • Although potatoes have an earthy smell, the musty or the mouldy odour of the potatoes indicates that potatoes have gone bad.
  • If you cut the potatoes and you see any blemish or the dark spots on the insides of the potatoes, they have most probably gone bad.

If your potatoes have gone bad, you should discard them and not consume them.

How long can you store your potatoes?

The shelf life of the potatoes depends on their storage and the way they have been cooked too.

The shelf life of the potatoes is as follows;

  • Uncooked raw potatoes can last from 1 week to a few months depending on storage.
  • If the potatoes are kept in the pantry or the root cellar, they will stay longer there because of the cool temperature there.
  • If you have cooked potatoes, they will last for 1 week if kept in the fridge.
  • In the freezer, the cooked potatoes will last for up to 1 year.

How can you properly store the potatoes?

Proper storage of the potatoes is necessary to keep them protected from spoilage.

While storing the potatoes, you should keep in mind the following things;

  • You shouldn’t store your raw potatoes open on the table as high temperature or moisture can cause sprouting.
  • They should also be protected from direct light to lower the rate of glycoalkaloid toxins formation.
  • You can keep the potatoes in the pantry, root cellars or cabinets to increase their shelf life.
  • Keeping the potatoes in the box, open bowl or the perforated bag will increase the shelf life as they provide the circulation of air through it.
  • Also, keep the potatoes away from the other items to avoid their exposure to the ethylene.

Can you put the potatoes in the fridge?

You shouldn’t keep the raw, fresh potatoes in the fridge.

However, the cooked or the mashed potatoes should be kept in the fridge to keep them fresh for a longer time.

You can also freeze the cooked potatoes to further increase their shelf life.

In the fridge, cooked potatoes should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

And the temperature at which they have been frozen must be o degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the nutritional value of potatoes?

The nutritional value for one medium(173 grams) of baked russet potatoes provided by the USDA is as follows;

  • Calories: 164
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 24mg
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Fibre: 4g
  • Sugars: 1.9g
  • Protein: 4.6g

What are the health benefits of potatoes?

Potatoes are nutritious vegetables although they are rich in starch.

But the other compounds present in the potatoes make them part of a balanced diet.

Some of the health benefits of the potatoes are as follows;

  • Due to the rich amount of magnesium, potatoes help regulate blood pressure.
  • Potatoes also help in strengthening the immune system due to the presence of vitamin C in them.
  • A rich amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients are also present in the potatoes that help in repairing cells damaged by oxidative stress.
  • Fibre present in the potatoes is also beneficial in weight maintenance and controlling blood sugar levels.

How can you prepare the potatoes?

There are several recipes in which potatoes are used.

Potatoes are fried, turned into chips and used in sauce, butter and cheese etc.

In terms of nutrition, baked, roasted or boiled potatoes are the best to use.

You can top your potatoes in the following ways;

  • You can add olive oil or avocados to add fat to your baked or roasted potatoes.
  • You should use greek yoghurt on your baked potatoes.
  • You can also serve the baked potatoes with salsa or broccoli.
  • You can make the potato fries in the oven.
  • You can also make mashed potatoes using low-fat sour cream, milk(low fat), and chives.
  • Potato slices are also added to the soups and the stews.

Here are the recipes for the potatoes.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to know if a potato is bad?” with an in-depth analysis of shelf life and the storage of the potatoes. Moreover, we discussed the nutritional value and the health benefits of potatoes.


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.