How to tell if sweet potatoes are bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to tell if sweet potatoes are bad” with an in-depth analysis of ways to spot bad sweet potato. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of sweet potatoes in different mediums and the proper way to store sweet potatoes.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How to tell if sweet potatoes are bad?

There are a couple of indicators that point out that your sweet potatoes have gone bad. You should consider the appearance, texture, color, and smell of the sweet potatoes to give the final verdict about whether or not the sweet potatoes have gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or some organic growth on your sweet potato, then the best thing you can do in this scenario is to get rid of it. If you consume such sweet potato, it can cause many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes even fever.

If you see some holes in your sweet potatoes, then it is the indication that they are past their prime age and have started to deteriorate.

Texture

It is worth mentioning that fresh raw sweet potatoes are firm to touch. So if you feel something slimy, gooey, or if the sweet potatoes are mushy, limp, or very soft then it is an indication of a bad sweet potato and you should discard it.

If your sweet potato has shriveled then it is better to get rid of it, as the sweet potatoes shrivel when they have significantly lost their moisture content.

Color

If the color of the sweet potato has darkened and it has a deep shade of brown or black, then it is best to toss out such sweet potato.

Smell

If you smell something acidic, putrid, or something that does not quite feel like the sweet potato itself then it is the indication of a bad sweet potato and you should get rid of it.

What is the shelf life of sweet potatoes?

Fresh sweet potatoes last for about 2-3 weeks when they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. It is worth mentioning that you should store sweet potatoes in a well-ventilated place and you should never store sweet potatoes in a humid environment as excessive moisture can mess up the quality and freshness of sweet potatoes.

Moreover, you should not store your sweet potatoes in a very cold or a very hot temperature as the cold temperature makes them hard from inside, and in hot temperature, tiny holes can form inside the sweet potato.

On the other hand, cooked sweet potatoes last for about 3-6 days if they are stored in an air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes can even last for more than this, provided that they are stored properly.

You can read about the nutritional profile and benefits of sweet potatoes here.

Can I freeze sweet potatoes?

In the case of cooked sweet potatoes, you can freeze them. All you need to do is to put your cooked sweet potatoes in a plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container and afterward store it in the freezer. The cooked sweet potatoes last for more than a month when kept in the freezer. 

In the case of fresh sweet potatoes, we do not recommend you to store them in the freezer as the cold temperature of the freezer can mess up the texture and quality of sweet potatoes.

How to properly store sweet potatoes?

  1. Fresh sweet potatoes can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
  2. You should store fresh sweet potatoes in a well-ventilated place.
  3. You should not store your fresh sweet potatoes in a humid environment.
  4. In the case of cooked sweet potatoes, always let sweet potatoes cool before storing them in the air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. If you store hot sweet potatoes in the plastic zipper bag or container moisture will build up inside it that provides a suitable environment for bacteria to grow.
  5. Moreover cooked sweet potatoes should always be stored in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to tell if sweet potatoes are bad” with an in-depth analysis of ways to spot bad sweet potato. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of sweet potatoes in different mediums and the proper way to store sweet potatoes.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/do-sweet-potatoes-go-bad/

https://www.canitgobad.net/can-sweet-potatoes-go-bad/#:~:text=If%20the%20sweet%20potatoes%20start,the%20tubers%20in%20the%20trash.

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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