When is a tomato bad?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “when is a tomato bad?”. We will also discuss how to store tomatoes for a long time. In the end, we will discuss what happens if you eat bad tomatoes.

When is a tomato bad?

A tomato has gone bad if there is mold growing on it. A bad tomato feels squishy and mushy on squeezing. There will also be fluid underneath a rotten tomato.

Mold is the most accurate indicator that a tomato has gone bad. The fungus will appear as dark green or black spots on the tomato’s surface. The skin of a tomato could also spot a white or gray fuzz.

When the skin of a tomato becomes wrinkly, it is also an indication of spoilage. When a tomato emits a bitter or putrid odor, it is no longer edible.

If the tomato is soft and spongy and shows cracks then it has gone bad and should be discarded. When the red color of tomatoes changes and there is some discoloration, it is time to throw them in the bin.

Regardless of whether it is whole, sliced, or diced, all these are indicators of spoiled tomatoes.

Tomatoes are enriched with an antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that provides many health benefits. It lowers the chance of developing cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It also prevents osteoporosis.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, calcium, folate, and vitamin K. They protect skin from sun damage.

How to store tomatoes for a long time?

To store fresh tomatoes for a long time, pick green unripened tomatoes. Put these at room temperature in a basement. If you intend to use your tomatoes in cooking, you can extend their shelf life by roasting, freezing, or pressure-canning them.

The easiest method is to simply stack them in a basket or container and insert papers between each layer.

You can alternatively keep them in the container that comes with the preserving jars, which will have individual compartments for each tomato. 

Protect them from direct sunlight. To block light, close the box and cover the top with a sheet.

The tomatoes can be kept in a cool, dark location for up to six months. Place them in a basement or underground to keep them cool. You can also place them at the bottom of a closet or in another seldom-used location. 

Check each tomato to see any sign of deterioration or spoilage. If one of your tomatoes begins to rot, it can contaminate the rest. It is best to throw out the rotten tomato.

When tomatoes are stored in the fridge, their flavor fades slightly, however when they are kept at room temperature, they tend to have a much richer flavor.

Tomatoes should not be stored in ethylene-producing products, as they will ripen and rot faster.

How to freeze tomatoes?

Tomatoes may be frozen fresh or boiled, in whole, sliced, diced, or puréed form. Tomatoes do not require blanching before freezing. 

As they become squishy when thawed, frozen tomatoes are best utilized in dishes like soups, sauces, and stews. 

To use the frozen tomatoes, extract them one at a time or all at once from the freezer and add them to any cooked tomato recipe.

Pick tomatoes that are firm and ripe for freezing. Sort the tomatoes, eliminating the imperfect ones.

Wash tomatoes carefully under cold water, and then pat them dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. After washing, remove and discard the stem scar and its surrounding region.

Soak tomatoes in boiling water for approximately one minute, or until the skins crack, to facilitate peeling.

Freeze the whole tomatoes by placing them on clean cookie sheets.

Once frozen, remove the tomatoes from the baking sheets. Place them into air-tight containers or freezer bags. Freeze after sealing tightly.

For optimal quality, it is advised that frozen tomatoes be consumed within 8 months. 

What happens if you eat bad tomatoes?

Fresh field tomatoes naturally do not contain any pathogenic germs, however, they can become contaminated due to bacterial infestation. 

They can become contaminated during harvesting, transporting, packing, and storing. Cross-contamination with raw meat can also manifest in bacterial growth.

Consuming tomatoes tainted with dangerous bacteria might cause illnesses. Contaminated tomatoes can cause Salmonella-associated food poisoning. It can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Rotten tomatoes also contain a toxin known as mycotoxin. Mycotoxins produced by rotting tomatoes are lethal, cause immunological weakness and cause cancer. 

In addition, they may induce liver cancer and kidney impairment. They also contain aflatoxins, which are harmful to one’s health. 

Special care should be taken before slicing, or ingesting store-bought tomatoes. It should also be emphasized that a fresh tomato left out for more than a week may have gone bad without developing mold. These tomatoes should not be ingested.


In this brief article, we answered the question “when is a tomato bad?”. We also discussed how to store tomatoes for a long time. In the end, we discussed what happens if you eat bad tomatoes.