How to Tell If a Mango is bad? (+5 things to look for)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to Tell If a Mango is bad?”, the health consequences of eating a spoiled Mango and how to handle mangoes to avoid their spoilage.

How to Tell If a Mango is bad?

If a mango has gone bad then it will show the following signs of spoilage:

Important: It is not recommended to eat spoiled mangoes as this can cause severe health problems due to the presence of harmful microorganisms and their toxins (1-6).

  1. If the mango skin has large mushy areas or sunken spots, it has gone bad.
  1. If the juice is oozing out of the damaged or cut mango skin, it needs to be discarded.
  1. If the mango develops large black spots that continue deep down, the fruit should be discarded. If the spots are small and the flesh of the fruit is firm, remove the blemished areas and eat the rest of the fruit.
  1. If you notice any signs of mold on soft areas of mango,  discard the mango immediately.

Can you get sick from eating a spoiled Mango?

Yes, you can get sick from eating a spoiled mango. Spoiled mangoes can harbor harmful pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Norovirus, or Clostridium botulinum (2-3, 5-6). 

These pathogens can cause various symptoms of foodborne illness, including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting, muscle aches, and in severe cases, complications like dehydration or kidney problems (7). 

If you suspect that you have consumed a spoiled mango or are experiencing any symptoms of foodborne illness, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

What should you do if you suspect you have eaten a spoiled Mango?

If you suspect that you have eaten a spoiled mango and are concerned about potential foodborne illness, it is important to take certain steps. Here is a comprehensive guide on what to do:

  1. Monitor your symptoms: Pay close attention to any changes in your health and watch for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, or other signs of foodborne illness (7). Note the time of onset and the severity of the symptoms.
  1. Stay hydrated: If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, it is essential to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration (8). Drink plenty of fluids like water, oral rehydration solutions, clear broths, or electrolyte-rich beverages. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks as they can worsen dehydration.
  1. Seek medical advice: If you have severe or persistent symptoms or if you have a weakened immune system, it is advisable to seek medical attention. 

Contact your healthcare provider, describe your symptoms, and inform them about your suspicion of consuming a spoiled mango. They can provide appropriate guidance and treatment based on your specific situation.

  1. Preserve evidence: If possible, keep any remaining portion of the spoiled mango or any packaging or receipt associated with it. 

This evidence may be helpful for identification purposes and potential investigations, particularly if there is a suspected foodborne illness outbreak.

  1. Report the incident: Contact your local health department or food safety authority to report the incident. Provide them with details about the spoiled mango, the symptoms you experienced, and any other relevant information. 

Remember that reporting such incidents helps authorities identify potential food safety risks and take appropriate action to protect public health.

How to properly handle a Mango to avoid spoilage?

To properly handle a mango and avoid spoilage, follow these guidelines:

  • Storing unripe mangoes: Store unripe mangoes in a well-ventilated container such as a paper bag or fruit basket. Keep them away from heat sources like sunlight or stovetops. 

The paper bag will trap the ethylene gas released by the mango, which speeds up the ripening process. You can accelerate ripening further by placing a fruit or vegetable like an apple, banana, or tomato inside the bag to increase the concentration of ethylene gas.

  • Storing ripe mangoes: Once mangoes are ripe, refrigerate them. The cooler temperatures in the refrigerator slow down the ripening process and extend the shelf-life of the fruit.
  • Handling cut or sliced mangoes: If you have cut or sliced mangoes, store them in an air-tight container and place them in the refrigerator. This helps preserve their freshness and prevents spoilage.

To pick the freshest mango:

  • Consider texture: Fresh mangoes should be firm to the touch but yield to gentle pressure. Avoid mangoes with soft or mushy spots.
  • Examine appearance: Look for mangoes with a fully pumped football shape. They should be round around the stem. It’s normal to see some brown freckles or spots on the mango skin, but avoid mangoes that have a flat shape as they may have stringy textured flesh.
  • Check the smell: Sniff the mangoes near the stem. If they emit a pleasant fruity and sweet smell, the mango is perfectly ripe. However, if the stem gives off a sour or acidic odor, the mango is overly ripe and should be avoided.
  • Don’t rely on color alone: Different mango varieties exhibit different colors when ripe. Some varieties may appear green but are fully ripe inside. Therefore, do not judge the ripeness of a mango solely based on its color.

To properly ripen mangoes:

  • Use a paper bag or newspaper: To speed up the ripening process, place the mangoes in a paper bag or wrap them in a piece of newspaper. This traps the ethylene gas released by the mangoes and helps them ripen at room temperature.
  • Submerge in uncooked rice: Alternatively, you can submerge the mangoes in a bowl filled with uncooked rice. Check the mangoes every 6 to 8 hours. It typically takes 1-2 days for the mangoes to ripen completely using this method.

By following these guidelines you will safely enjoy fresh and delicious mangoes while avoiding spoilage.

How long do Mangoes last?

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of mangos under different storage conditions:

At room temperature In the fridge 
Unripe mango 1-7 days until fully ripe 
Ripe mango2-3 days 5 days 
Cut mango 3-4 days 


In this article, we answered the question “How to Tell If a Mango is bad?”, the health consequences of eating a spoiled Mango and how to handle mangoes to avoid spoilage.


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