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How to Tell if Carrots Are Bad

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Carrots are an extremely healthy vegetable that can be used in many ways. They are great as snacks or an addition to a lot of recipes. Carrots are tasty, delicious, rich in vitamins, and can be eaten raw or cooked. 

Unfortunately, these root vegetables do spoil, so it is important to know the signs of carrots going bad, their shelf life, and proper storage. Here are things to look out for to know if your carrots have gone bad or are still safe to consume. 

Are My Carrots Bad?

Regular carrots that have gone bad will have visible mold growing on the surface. Mold goes deep into the food so if you see mold on the carrots, they should be thrown away immediately. 

Carrots that have dark spots can still be salvaged by cutting off the dark spots before using. Some carrots that are soft and floppy are still usable and it only means that they are about to go bad soon and must be consumed immediately. 

Fresh organic harvest of carrots from the farm

But once you see slime on the surface, it means they have already gone bad and must be discarded.

You may also have noticed that your carrots have white streaks after a time. This is called white blush and it develops when the carrots are exposed to the atmosphere causing the outer portion of the carrots to dry out.  This white blush is a sign that the carrots are going bad very soon.

A few white lines in your carrots do not render them unsafe to consume, but if you’ve noticed a lot of those white lines on the surface, it is best to just throw them out.

Another indicator to know if your carrots are bad is to smell them. Fresh carrots do not give off any specific smell. So if your carrots have an unpleasant and pungent odor, it is a sign of bacterial growth. 

Lastly, if your carrots have a mushy consistency and are slimmer than they were when you’ve bought them, they have already spoiled and are not safe to eat anymore. 

How to Tell if Baby Carrots Are Bad?

Baby carrots have the same signs as regular carrots when they go bad. But baby carrots spoil faster than full-size carrots because they don’t have any protective skin on them. 

Usually, baby carrots come with an expiration date on their packaging. But if there is no expiration date, the best way to know if they’ve gone bad is to check the smell, texture, and appearance of the carrots. 

Baby carrots have gone bad if they start turning white, have visible mold, a slimy texture, and a pungent smell.

How to Tell if Cooked Carrots Are Bad?

Cooked carrots spoil more easily than raw carrots.

Cooked carrots that have a bad odor mean that they have gone bad. 

Also, discard carrots when left at room temperature for more than 2 hours even if there are no distinct signs of spoilage. Cooked carrots that have been left in the fridge for more than 5 days should be discarded.

Are Soft Carrots Bad? 

Rotten Carrots on wooden table

Carrots that are soft and floppy are going bad but can still be used. Although they might not be as tasty and nutritious as fresh carrots. 

If your carrots are soft and floppy but aren’t slimy and don’t have visible mold, they can still be saved and consumed as soon as possible. Restore their stiffness by placing them in cold water for up to 5 hours before using. 

Are Slimy Carrots Bad?

Slimy carrots are carrots that have already gone bad and should be thrown away. Slime develops because of excess moisture and condensation on the carrots. Slime is one indication that your carrots are spoiled. 

Can Slimy Carrots Be Washed?

Slimy carrots can be washed but the slime doesn’t wash off easily. When there is slime on your carrots, they are already bad and are not safe to consume anymore. 

What Do Bad Carrots Taste Like?

Bad carrots will taste sour, soapy, and weird. Not like fresh carrots which are crunchy, juicy, and sweet. Bad carrots should not be eaten and must be thrown away. 

What Happens if You Eat Bad Carrots?

Eating bad carrots can lead to unwanted health issues and can cause negative effects on your digestive system. 

Bad carrots, when consumed, will cause mild digestive problems like food poisoning with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and even fever. Therefore it is not advisable to eat bad carrots to avoid health complications.

Can Eating Old Carrots Make You Sick?

Old carrots that have a slight indication that they will go bad anytime soon are still edible, although their taste and texture won’t be the same as fresh ones. 

Eating old carrots won’t make you sick, but eating carrots that already have mold, black spots, slime, and bad odor will cause health complications.  

Do Carrots Expire in the Fridge? 

Fresh vegetables in opened drawer in refrigerator

Carrots do expire in the fridge like any other vegetables. Extend the shelf life of your carrots by practicing proper storage and handling of these vegetables to preserve their freshness. 

How Long Are Raw Carrots Good For?

Raw carrots can be kept unrefrigerated for 3 to 5 days. When kept inside the fridge, they last up to 3 to 4 weeks. You can even freeze your carrots to extend their shelf life up to a year. 

When storing raw carrots in the pantry, don’t store them in a plastic bag. Moisture will get trapped and can cause mold to grow. Keep your carrots away from other fruits and vegetables. 

Carrots produce ethylene gas when they mature which speeds up the ripening and rotting rate of other fruits and vegetables.

When storing your carrots in the fridge, place them in a plastic bag with holes or keep your plastic bag wide open to keep them fresh inside the fridge. 

To freeze your raw carrots, you need to peel and slice them first, then blanch them in boiling water. Drain your carrots, cool them in ice-cold water, and place them in freezer bags. 

How Long Are Cooked Carrots Good For?

Cooked carrots should be consumed immediately. Cooked carrots, when left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded as bacteria grows quickly. 

Cooked carrots can be stored inside the fridge for 3 to 5 days and up to a year when frozen in an airtight container.