What happens if you eat bad pineapples?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What happens if you eat bad pineapples?”. We will also talk about how to tell when pineapples go bad, what is the shelf life of pineapples and how to safely store pineapples.  

What happens if you eat bad pineapples?

Eating bad pineapples is harmful as they may have infectious bacteria and molds that can result in food poisoning (1). 

Bacteria like Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Bacillus can infect the pineapple’s skin, which can subsequently spread to the edible portions of the pineapple when cut. Staphylococcus food poisoning can strike as soon as Thirty minutes of eating, causing nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort (1,2).

The presence of molds are also something that can be harmful to human health since they can produce mycotoxins that can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal issues, and even long-term health complications. 

Fusarium and Talaromyces genera are one of the main types of fungus species found causing pineapples spoiling (13). 

How to tell if pineapples have gone bad?


When pineapples go bad, the rind of the pineapple is greenish and yellow with a prominent brown netting pattern. Don’t be fooled by the common belief that green fruit is unripe (3).

On the contrary, because picked pineapple can’t ripen much, completely green fruit will not get sweeter. A completely ripe pineapple is a vibrant yellow rather than pale (3,4).

Cut pineapple, both fresh and canned, starts off yellow, but as it dries out, it turns pale yellow. When you see an orange exterior with brown flesh, be cautious because this could be the first clue that the decaying process has begun (3,4).


The smell of ripened pineapple is sweet at first, but as it ferments, it becomes bitter, vinegar-like, and acidic. A lack of smell indicates that the pineapple is not fully ripe. Avoid the one that has a chemical smell (3,4).


Pineapples should be firm throughout, with robust, brilliant green leaves on top. It is a symptom of over-ripeness and the start of rot if it seems dry and mushy on the exterior with a soggy base covered in white blotches (3,6).


Pineapple is delicious, and any change in its smell indicates that it is fermenting and is on its way out. Fruit that has a strong or bitter taste should be avoided. You can consume it if the taste is normal, even though it appears to be overripe (3,4).


The leaves of a pineapple begin to dry out and lose color when it is about to rot. Their crown will become brittle, brown, and shriveled (6).


Fungi growth is indicated by the appearance of white patches on the pineapple surface, leaves, and beneath the skin. You can clip the afflicted portions of the fruit before eating it, but you should always throw out completely damaged fruit (5).

White polyp-like formations can be seen along grooves in pineapple flesh in rare instances. Don’t be alarmed because it’s the ovaries that will produce seeds. This type of fruit is completely safe to consume (4).


Canned pineapple is safe to eat, provided that the can does not leak or become bulged or rusted. The fruit colors will darken as it is exposed to the air, and the liquid inside may produce a fermented, cider-like fragrance (7).

What is the shelf life of pineapples?

Pineapples’ shelf life typically depends on how you keep them. When kept at room temperature on the counter or in the pantry, pineapples can last for one to three days (6,8). 

They can keep for around 4-5 days in the fridge, so if you want to increase their shelf life, think about doing so (6,8). 

If the pineapple has been sliced up and you want to keep it for later, put it in an airtight container or a ziploc bag. To lessen or delay oxidation, you can also brush them with some citrus fruit juice. They should be kept in the refrigerator, where they can keep for three to four days (9).

What affects the shelf life of pineapples in the fridge?

Several factors can reduce the shelf life of pineapples in the fridge (6,10,11). 

  • Chilling injury, which can cause tissue damage and quick degeneration, can be brought on by low temperatures. 
  • Second, inappropriate storage conditions, including excessive wetness or humidity, might encourage the growth of bacteria and mold. 
  • Third, ethylene from nearby fruits might increase the ripening and degeneration of nearby fruits. 
  • Fourth, physical harm sustained during handling or transit may facilitate microbial penetration. 
  • Finally, due to higher respiration rates and increased vulnerability to microbial attack, storing pineapples when they are fully ripe can shorten their shelf life in the refrigerator.

How to store pineapples?

Fresh fruit has a short shelf life. As a result, select the one that seems to be healthy and fresh, with green leaves and no soft spots. Make sure you don’t leave the pineapple in the kitchen for too long.

The Whole Fruit

Pantry: This fruit can keep fresh for about 3 days if kept at room temperature. Its shelf life is enhanced by the cold and dry environment (6,8).

Sadly, in such circumstances, you can expect an increase in acidity without an increase in sweetness. Furthermore, storing food in the pantry for an extended period will cause rot in a few days.

Refrigerator: If you place an uncovered pineapple or the one wrapped in a perforated plastic container in the refrigerator, it will last 4 to 5 days. If you want to avoid bruises, don’t put anything more on top of it (6,8).

Freezer: Try not to freeze a whole pineapple because of its shape, which makes it impossible. Plus, if you thaw it, it won’t last long (12).

Slices And Chunks

Refrigerator: Before putting the pineapple in the refrigerator, place it in a sealed jar. If you want to use a zippered plastic bag, try to push out as much air as you can (8,9).

Pouring simple syrup over the pieces in a firmly sealed jar is another way to extend the storage term. Pouring citrus juice over sliced pineapple slices is the greatest way to keep them from browning (12).

Freezer: Freshly cut pineapple can be frozen in syrup, but be aware that some taste will be lost. Placing it in a jar or ziplock bag is a preferable alternative. It will last up to six months this way. When stored in a freezer-safe container, it will last much longer (12).

Canned Pineapple

Pantry: Because canned pineapple does not require special storage conditions, a pantry is a perfect place. There are four alternatives on the market for you to pick from (7):

  • Slices
  • Chunks
  • Crushed
  • Juice

Keep in mind the product’s expiration date, however, it will be edible for months beyond that date (7).

Refrigerator: Keep leftovers in the fridge after opening the can and eat them within 4-5 days (7).


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What happens if you eat bad pineapples?”. We have also talked about how to tell when pineapples go bad, what is the shelf life of pineapples and how to safely store pineapples.  


1. Omorotionmwan, F.O.O., et al. Antibacterial Characteristics and Bacteria Composition of Pineapple (Ananas comosus [Linn.] Merr.) peel and pulp. The Bioscientist., 2013, 1(1):22-27.

2. What You Need to Know about Foodborne Illnesses. FDA, 2022.

3. Leneveu-Jenvrin, C., et al. Changes of Quality of Minimally-Processed Pineapple (Ananas comosus, var. ‘Queen Victoria’) during Cold Storage: Fungi in the Leading Role. Microorganisms, 2020, 8(2),185.

4. Hong, K., et al. Quality changes and internal browning developments of summer pineapple fruit during storage at different temperatures. Scientia Horticulturae, 2013, 151, 28 , 68-74.

5 .M. Barth et al. Microbiological Spoilage of Fruits and Vegetables. USDA, 2009.

6. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agricultural Research Service Agriculture, Handbook Number 66, 2016.

7. Shelf-Stable Food Safety. USDA, 2015.

8. Paull, R.E., Chen, C.C. Pineapple: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Fruit, Nut, and Beverage Crops, 2014.

9. How should I store cut fruit and vegetables? USDA, 2023.

10. Opara, U.L., Pathare, P.B. Bruise damage measurement and analysis of fresh horticultural produce – A review. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 2014, 91, 9-24.

11. Ahmmed, G., et al. Effect of Maturity and Storage Condition on Shelf Life and Post-Harvest Quality of Pineapple. United International Journal for Research & Technology, 2020, 01, 2020.

12.  Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.

13. Barral, B., et al. Diversity and Toxigenicity of Fungi that Cause Pineapple Fruitlet Core Rot. Toxins, 2020, 12(5):339.