We’ll take a look at how to determine if spinach is spoiled in this brief article. We’ll also touch on the dangers of spoiled spinach if consumed, as well as explain ways to store spinach for the longest possible shelf life.
How to know if spinach is spoiled?
The easiest way to decide if your spinach has gone bad is to look at it. If it has wilted, slimy, dull leaves, it might be time to throw it out. Fresh spinach has hardy green leaves with firm stems and a dry texture.
How to tell if spinach has gone bad
Fresh spinach will have a bright green color, with crisp leaves and firm stems. Here are some ways to tell if your spinach is fit for consumption or not.
Fresh spinach is bright green in color. If the leaves appear dark green, yellowish, or blackish, the produce has gone bad. Dark spots are another sign to look out for.
When fresh, your spinach should have relatively dry textured leaves with firm stems and crisp edges. If the leaves are wilted and/or slimy, it’s, time for the spinach to hit the trash.
Fresh spinach has a very fresh and light, mild “leafy” scent. As it rots, the smell grows stronger and more pungent. If it smells ammonia-like or otherwise unpleasant, it is past its expiration date.
If your spinach has mold on it, it is not fit for consumption. Mold usually appears as blue or black spots on spinach and is hazardous for your health if consumed.
- Packaging date
If buying packaged spinach, check the packaging for a “best by” or “use before” date, as it will be a good indicator of freshness provided the packaging isn’t damaged.
How to store spinach for the longest possible shelf life
Whether fresh or cooked, spinach does not have a very long shelf life and will go bad quickly. However, there are ways to improve its shelf life. Here are some of them:
When refrigerated, spinach can last for up to a week. Make sure you keep it as dry as possible in the fridge and store it in a sealed container. Lining it with paper towels helps with reducing moisture as moisture can accelerate the spoilage of spinach.
It helps to keep the spinach unwashed until right before you need to use it since washing lets unnecessary moisture into the leaves. Moreover, storing it with the soil in ziplock bags is another great way to keep the moisture away from the leaves.
Freezing is the best way to extend the shelf life of spinach. To freeze spinach, wash it beforehand and pick out all the yellowing or wilting leaves. Afterward, dry it out thoroughly with kitchen towels or a salad spinner if you have one.
Finish by placing in freezer bags and vacuum sealing them to force as much air out as possible. Freezing can extend the shelf life of spinach by up to a year if you do it properly and under hygienic conditions.
Bear in mind, however, that frozen spinach will only last a day or two once thawed, and will not last as long as it would have, had it not been thawed, even if re-frozen.
And finally, it is worth noting that spinach does lose some of its nutritional content if it is stored for long periods of time, so it is best to buy fresh produce in small batches according to your consumption, especially if you’re using spinach mainly for its nutritional content.
Dangers of consuming spoiled spinach
Spinach can introduce pathogens such as E.coli or the norovirus into your body if it has gone bad or is used without washing. Both of these can lead to food poisoning and/or other problems such as Abdominal pain and cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Always be sure to wash your spinach and inspect it for spoilage before you use it to help avoid problems with your health.
If you have spinach that’s not very fresh and yellowing or wilting, it’s best to use it in a cooked dish. Cooking helps eliminate any microbes, as well as help cover up the stale taste.
Other FAQs about Spinach that you may be interested in.
We’ve taken a look at how to determine if spinach is spoiled in this brief article. We’ve also touched on the dangers of spoiled spinach if consumed, as well as explained ways to store spinach for the longest possible shelf life.