How to Tell If Mushrooms Are Bad? (updated 2023)

How To Tell If Mushrooms Are Bad

Do mushrooms go bad? Yes, mushrooms can grow bacteria and rot if stored for too long, similar to other vegetables. But then: How to tell if Mushrooms are bad? This article will help you find out, so read on.

There are several ways you can tell if your mushrooms have gone bad. You only need to use your senses and judgment.

Also, you will learn how to store mushrooms properly to extend their shelf life and avoid spoilage.

How to Tell If Mushrooms Are Bad

How To Tell If Mushrooms Are Bad

You can determine if your mushrooms have gone bad by examining their smell, feel, and appearance. These are the easiest ways to uncover their condition.

1. Mushrooms Are Smelly

If you smell an unpleasant odor from the mushrooms, that is a sign they have gone bad. Mushrooms do not have a strong, detectable odor. Normally, you can smell a mild, subtle odor from mushrooms if you hold your nose very close to them.

2. Mushrooms Are Slimy

For detecting freshness, if mushrooms are slimy, they are not edible anymore. Mushrooms stored in the refrigerator for a long period often become slimy. Though they are not really harmful at this stage, tossing them is still the safest practice.

3. Mushrooms Are Darker or Have Dark Spots

Dark spots indicate the fungi are rotting. Monitor your mushrooms the entire time you store them. You will know if you can use them or skip them if you see them turning darker or forming dark marks.

4. Mushrooms Have Wrinkles

Some older mushrooms get wrinkled as they dried out. While it is fine to dry out your mushrooms a bit as they are still moist veggies, you do not want them to get super wrinkly. If they appear wrinkled, it is best to discard them rather than eat them.

5. Mushrooms Are Stored for Too Long

In general, the shelf life of mushrooms is about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. However, if the mushrooms’ smell, look, and feel are still good past 2 weeks, you can safely consume them.

How to Properly Store Mushrooms

How To Store Mushrooms

Allow Mushrooms to Breathe

Allow some air in the container when you store your mushrooms. But make sure not to over-dry them. A common way of storing mushrooms is to put them in a paper bag leaving the top loosely rolled up. Then, store the bag in the refrigerator.

Keep Mushrooms In Store Containers

Keeping your mushrooms in the sealed containers you bought them in is one of the best storage methods. You do not have to move them to another container when they come in a cardboard container covered in plastic.

Take note not to open them or tamper with them until you are going to use them.

Make Use of Plastic Bags and Paper Towels

Another method for preserving the freshness of mushrooms is to put them in plastic bags lined with paper towels. If you will not use your mushrooms immediately, remember to regularly change the towels. 

Freeze the Mushrooms

Mushrooms may be frozen and used at a later time. However, since mushrooms hold a lot of water, freezing them raw becomes more challenging. If you are going to do this, freeze them on parchment paper first. After that, move them to an airtight bag with the air pressed out.

Cooking them first and then packing them into airtight containers or freezer bags is the most efficient way to freeze them.

How Long Do Mushrooms Last?


Style of Mushroom

(Refrigerated) Number of Days

Whole Fresh Mushroom

7 to 10 days

Sliced Fresh Mushroom

3 to 5 days

Cooked Mushroom

5 to 7 days

When using mushrooms for cooking, purchase them from a credible source, such as a supermarket, grocery store, or farmer’s market.

Remember, eating a rotten mushroom may cause illness or an upset stomach. For example, if left out for several hours after cooking, they can cause stomach issues when reheated.

To minimize the risk of disease, you should thoroughly clean mushrooms before consuming them and keep them refrigerated at all times.

In Conclusion

And that’s how to tell if mushrooms are bad. Make use of your smelling, touching, and seeing senses, and watch out for the warning signs of bad mushrooms. Also, remember the proper ways of storing your mushrooms.

Finally, delight in the flavor and nutrients that the mushrooms will bring to your dishes! Enjoy eating!

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