How to know if eggplant is spoiled (5 ways)

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “how to know if an eggplant is spoiled”, discuss the different methods of identifying spoiled eggplant and the potential health effects of eating spoiled eggplant.

How to know if eggplant is spoiled?

We can tell if an eggplant has been spoiled by its textures, if it is soft and feels squishy in your hand and not shiny anymore then it’s spoiled. We can identify if it’s spoiled or not by slicing it. If its color is brown then it is not healthy to consume it. It may also have dark spots on its skin.

You can determine if your eggplant is spoiled by looking at the following 5 sings:

  1. Hardness: If it’s not hard then it is probably spoiled. Soft skin is an indication that it’s spoiled. Before buying the eggplant we should check its skin. If it’s not hard then we should avoid buying it.
  1. Shininess: If the skin of the eggplant is rough and rugged then it has gone spoiled. The shiny surface of the eggplant is an indication that it is healthy to eat. The shine is due to the wax produced by the vegetable which acts as a protective layer.
  1. Slimeness: When cut, the eggplant is slightly slimy which means that it has spoiled. The seeds of eggplant also become slimy.
  1. Brown color: If the color of the eggplant is brown after cutting it then it is probably spoiled. The brown color reflects that the eggplant is not fresh.
  1. Rotting spots and smell: If there are rotting spots on the surface of the eggplant then it is spoiled. If it smells bad or rotten then it is spoiled. We can use our senses to tell if it’s rotten or not.

It is also important that you check for molds. You should not eat spoiled eggplant, especially if it is contaminated with molds as they can produce dangerous mycotoxins that can make you very sick (1). 

Can you get sick from eating spoiled eggplant?

Yes, consuming spoiled eggplant can lead to different health problems due to the possible growth of harmful pathogens (2-3).

After consuming spoiled eggplant, you may experience certain symptoms indicative of foodborne illness. Here are some examples of the most common symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting: Consuming spoiled eggplant contaminated with pathogens like Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including nausea and vomiting (3).
  • Diarrhea: Pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens can cause food poisoning and result in diarrhea (2-3).
  • Abdominal pain and cramps: Harmful bacteria like Campylobacter and Shigella can cause abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea (4).
  • Fever: Infections caused by certain pathogens, like Listeria monocytogenes found in spoiled eggplant, may lead to fever and flu-like symptoms (5).
  • Food poisoning: Consuming spoiled eggplant contaminated with toxins produced by bacteria like Bacillus cereus can cause food poisoning (6).

It is essential to note that in order to minimize the risk of foodborne illness, it is crucial to handle and store your eggplant properly, following the best hygiene practices (7).

What should you do if you suspect you have eaten spoiled eggplant?

If you accidentally consume spoiled eggplant, you should first stay calm and avoid panicking. Next, assess your symptoms and be vigilant for immediate signs such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or allergic reactions. 

If you experience severe symptoms or have concerns, seek prompt medical attention. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins and bacteria, potentially alleviating some symptoms and aiding in recovery. 

Finally remember that proper cooking can help eliminate harmful bacteria or parasites that may be present, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses (8). Thus, it is essential to cook eggplant to the appropriate internal temperature to ensure food safety.

What is the shelf life of eggplant?

The whole eggplant lasts for about 4-5 days if not stored in the refrigerator. It means that after plucking it will last for about 4-5 days at room temperature. 

If we store the whole eggplant in the refrigerator then it will last for about 2-3 weeks and after freezing, it will last for about 9-12 months depending on the condition. 

Sliced eggplant will last for about 30 minutes at room temperature after that it will start turning brown. We can still eat it but it is not healthy. 

In the refrigerator, it will last for 3-4 days and after freezing it will last for about 9-12 months depending on the condition.

How to properly handle eggplant to avoid spoilage?

You can follow the next recommendations to avoid spoilage while handling your eggplant:

  • After buying the eggplant, if it’s in the plastic bag, take the eggplant out of the plastic bag because it is not a good way to keep them.
  • Store the eggplant in cool, dark, and pantry environments at a temperature near 50 F. It will last for about 2-3 weeks. Do not store it in a very cold place.
  • After slicing the eggplant will turn brown after some time, probably 30 minutes and it is not very appetizing. So don’t store it after slicing.
  • Frozen eggplant can be stored for almost a year after blanched (boiling it and then drying it before storing). Freezing is usually used for commercial purposes.
  • We can also store it after it has been made into a dish. We can store it for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.


In this brief article, we answered the question “how to know if an eggplant is spoiled”, and discussed the different methods of identifying spoiled eggplant and the potential health effects of eating spoiled eggplant.


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