How to tell if blackberries are bad? (3 Ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell if blackberries are bad?”, and how to store blackberries to keep them fresh for longer?

How to tell if blackberries are bad?

Blackberries are not fresh anymore when they lose their deeply pigmented blue-black appearance. Also, the bulbs will become squishy and the berries will develop a mushy texture. If you notice the following signs, discard the blackberries because they have spoiled.

  1. Mold growing on blackberries is an obvious sign of spoilage. This appears like white or green webs or spores.
  2. If the berries feel sticky or slimy upon touching, discard them. Moreover, if the bulbs are squished and the juice is oozing out of the berries, they are bad and should not be eaten.
  3. Give your berries a whiff. If they give off a sour smell, throw them away.

Buying blackberries

To keep the blackberries last for longer, buy the freshest berries with a full plump. If you are buying frozen, check the expiry date. To buy fresh berries, check for the uniform blue-black color, plump, and firm texture.

To get prime quality blackberries, head to the farmer’s market. Farmer’s market sells the fruits that have been harvested 1 or 2 days earlier, hence, they are at their fershest.

How to store blackberries?

Treat them like strawberries and as soon as you get home, search for the damaged berries and remove them from the rest of the fruit. This practice stops the spread of spoilage. After removing the damaged, squished, and moldy berries, wash the rest of the berries if you are going to consume them right away.

If you want to freeze them, dry them after washing. If the berries will be used up within a day, room temperature storage is fine. Otherwise, store them in the fridge by keeping the following things in mind.

Use well-vented containers

Store the berries in their original vented clamshells. If you do not have that, make sure the container used for storing berries has holes to let the fruit breathe. If not, keep the lid open from the corner for air-circulation.

Use paper towels to soak up excess moisture

Before putting the berries in the container, line it with some paper towels. This step is optional for short-term storage but is very helpful if you want to keep the berries for about 4-5 days.

Protect the berries against crushing

Do not stack any other item on top of the clamshell container of the berries. The berries will squish under pressure. Moreover, do not overcrowd the storage bags, or else the berries will become mushy.

How to freeze blackberries?

Dry frozen blackberries last quite a long time. This storage method is particularly helpful if you bought the berries in bulk and need to store them for months. Follow the instructions below to freeze-dry your blackberries the right way.

Washing and drying

After washing the berries properly, spread them on paper towels for at least 15 minutes. After about 15-30 minutes, pat them dry using paper towels. This step will remove the excess moisture from the surface of the berries.

Flash freezing

Spread the berries on a baking tray or sheet evenly so that they do not touch each other. Line the baking tray with parchment or wax paper. This is optional. Slide the tray into the freezer and let the berries freeze until solid. Flash-frozen berries won’t stick together.


Once the frozen berries are rock solid, transfer them to a freezer bag. Squeeze out maximum air from the bag. Use a straw to suck all the air out. Label the bag and put it in the freezer.

The berries will stay fresh for 6-8 months. They won’t be as fresh as new after 8 months but they will be safe to eat with reasonable quality. Do not defrost if the blackberries are to be blended in a smoothie or used in cooking. 

For thawing blackberries, the best practice is to leave them in the fridge overnight. If you are in a hurry, dip the freezer bag in lukewarm water until the berries have thawed.

Other FAQs about Blackberries which you may be interested in.

Can you eat blackberries whole?

How long do blackberries last?

Blackberries will keep fresh on the countertop for 1-2 days while they can last a week in the fridge. Use the refrigerated berries within 3-5 days for peak quality. 

How to eat blackberries?

  • Blackberries to yogurt are like avocado on toast. Besides mixing berries with yogurt is the perfect way to make flavored yogurt.
  • Top your tapioca or cereal, add to your smoothies or milk-shakes. Make blackberry sauce, or add to your frozen dessert.


In this article, we answered the question “How to tell if blackberries are bad?”, and how to store blackberries to keep them fresh for longer?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.