Potatoes are common vegetables in homes. They are preferable because of their diverse uses in the kitchen. Potatoes can be roasted, deep-fried, baked, mashed (Best Potato Ricer Reviews in 2020), boiled, or sautéed. If you were making a stew and put excess salt, this vegetable can help you absorb the excess. They are also excellent in thickening stews.
See? The vegetable is invaluable. Did we mention its incredible taste and nutritional value? The best thing about potatoes is people of all ages can use them.
You can store potatoes when raw or cooked. Depending on the state you store them, their lifespan varies. Raw potatoes tend to last longer than cooked ones.
Also Read: Cider Vinegar & Olive Oil Potato Salad (aka: German-Style Potato Salad)
Which State Do You Store Your Potatoes In?
The best state to store your potatoes is in raw form. When raw, you can either refrigerate, freeze, or store in your pantry or root cellar.
When using a dry room or pantry, make sure it is dark and not too warm nor too cold. Like other tubers, the conditions necessary for germination are air, moisture, and sunlight. You do not want your potatoes to start sprouting if you don’t intend to plant them!
Additionally, potatoes can be peeled and kept in water. These can only last for 24 hours. After that, they turn grey and become sour.
If you plan to have a lot of potato recipes for breakfast, cooked potatoes are ideal. They help in reducing preparation time in the morning. When cooked, you can store them in a refrigerator or a freezer to avoid wastage.
Can Potatoes Go Bad?
Potatoes can go bad. However, they take time before reaching this state. Storage conditions are vital in contributing to the spoiling of potatoes.
Most raw potatoes are bought with a lot of soil when unpeeled. This soil is important in preserving your potatoes. Make sure you do not wash it since it would make your potatoes go bad quickly.
Instead, we recommend brushing the excess soil with a dry brush, but not too hard to avoid scraping off potato skin.
How Do You Tell Your Potatoes Have Gone Bad?
Whether you are concerned about your cooked or uncooked potatoes, there are a few ways you can check if they are spoiled or not.
Check whether your raw potatoes are firm when you hold and press them gently. If they are too soft and have some fluid oozing, they are spoilt. When your potatoes are in this state, you cannot even peel them because of their texture.
Another way of checking your potatoes is by looking at their colour. If they turned greenish, have black spots, or are greyish, they have gone bad. When cooked, greenish potatoes are bitter and can ruin a delicious meal.
Spoilt potatoes produce an unpleasant smell that is a huge turndown. They can make your entire pantry or storage room smell bad. If you only have a few, you can smell them in proximity to determine the bad ones.
Because raw potatoes do not go bad at a go, we recommend removing the spoiled ones from the rest. If a storage net was used, exchange it so that fluids from the spoilt potatoes do not continue causing spoilage.
However, you should not confuse sprouting on raw potatoes with going bad. Sprouts are normal because it is almost impossible to have an ideal temperature for storing potatoes. When they shoot, remove them with your fingers and consume the potatoes soon.
If you are checking spoilage in cooked potatoes, you can check for mould growth, which can be green, white, or grey. Also, potatoes become soggy, and in case of mashed ones, they produce a mucus-like substance that stretches when scooping.
How Long Can Potatoes Last?
If you are interested in buying potatoes in bulk but are not sure whether they will end up being wasted, there are a few things you should know.
You can store your raw potatoes in a pantry for approximately 2-5 weeks. But, if you prefer refrigerating them, they can have an extended lifespan of up to 4 months past the expiry date.
Peeled and sliced potatoes cannot be stored in a pantry. They can survive a maximum of 2 days when refrigerated or up to 8 months past their best before date when frozen.
Potatoes cooked in any form have a maximum of 7 days past their expiry date when refrigerated and 8 months when frozen.
Instant dry potatoes can stay in the pantry for a year and up to 5 days in a refrigerator. However, these forms of potatoes cannot be frozen.
What Happens if You Eat Spoiled Potatoes?
Potatoes that are spoilt to some extent, cannot be consumed. For example, raw potatoes that are too soft and have some oozing fluid are totally inedible.
However, cooked potatoes do not have this type of spoilage. So, it is easy to eat them without our knowledge.
But what actually happens? Different pathogens grow when potatoes go bad. They include salmonella, botulism, staphylococcus, and listeria. Some of them can be killed by preheating the potatoes under very high temperatures before eating.
Those that are not destroyed can cause food poisoning with diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever, vomiting, and nausea. When not acted on quickly, severe food poisoning can be fatal.
Is it Okay to Eat Potatoes that are past their Expiry Date?
When manufacturers are packing their products, they estimate how long they are likely to remain in their consumable condition. When the day reaches, it does not automatically discredit the potatoes.
Actually, some go bad even before their best before dates, though on rare occasions. Refrigerated raw potatoes can be consumed up to 4 months past their expiry days without causing unwanted effects.
You can eat cooked potatoes when refrigerated 7 days past their expiry date and 8 months when frozen.
However, because you can eat them past their best before date does not mean you overlook signs of spoilt potatoes. If they are past the date and you notice the symptoms we talked about, get rid of them. Food poisoning is a serious illness to risk eating unfit potatoes.
How Long Does Freshly Dug Potatoes Last?
Well, if you dig the potatoes yourself, you would not have an expiry date on them. They can last for many months, depending on the condition of the soil. If you dig them in a wet season, you should allow the soil to dry. Otherwise, your potatoes start rotting even before a month is over.
The storage space should not be damp or very warm, so your potatoes do not rot. You should properly ventilate the storage to get rid of the humidity. When these conditions are met, your potatoes can survive for long without going bad.
What Can You Do With Spoilt Potatoes?
Spoilt potatoes are not entirely useless. Before discarding them, there are a few things you can do. If you have raw potatoes that have turned green, check whether they have started sprouting.
If yes, you can replant them instead of throwing them away. However, because of their quality, these potatoes may not produce a bountiful harvest when compared to those planted healthy. The size of the potatoes harvested can also be affected, especially if the one you planted was small. But, if they are not for sale, this method is effective.
In case of rotten raw potatoes, they can be mixed with other peels from fruits and other food to create compost manure. This manure is rich in nutrients when allowed to decompose properly. It is ideal for people interested in organic farming.
Some people are tempted to feed their domestic animals with spoilt cooked potatoes. Although it is a way of repurposing spoilt food, we do not recommend it. The pathogens present in these foods are as harmful to these animals as they are to you. Some animals even refuse to eat this food because it smells awful.
Can Spoilt Potatoes Attract Insects?
If you are sensitive about insects and rodents, you are definitely concerned about them camping in your compound. Well, when both raw and cooked potatoes start spoiling, they attract insects, especially the tiny flies that can be hectic to get rid of.
Also, rotting potatoes produce worms, but these die on their own when the rotting potato stops rotting and starts to dry.
The exciting part is you can prevent them from coming. Keep checking your potatoes, remove the spoiled ones, and dry any fluids produced by such potatoes. Additionally, keep the storage area well ventilated.
When dealing with the cooked ones, make sure you wrap them properly before discarding. This way, it will be difficult for these insects to come since they will not feel any smell to attract them to your house.
Do you have plenty of potatoes and are wondering how to store them to make sure they do not spoil fast? This information can help you know how to go about them. If you are yet to purchase, consider these and how best you can store yours and how long they can remain unspoiled.