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How to Tell if Mango Is Bad

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Mango is one of the most popular tropical fruits in the world. During mango season, there’s nothing better than slicing a juicy, ripe mango that is full of flavor. As a result, it’s one of the most famous fruits around the world, from Taiwan and Thailand to Mexico.

However, mangoes aren’t cheap, so eating them when they’re ripe before they go bad is essential. In addition, spotting early signs that a mango is bad will help you avoid wasting money in the grocery store.

Typically, a mango is bad if you see black spots on the skin.

In addition, it can have large dents or soft spots. If a mango smells foul, it’s a sign you should throw it in the trash.

Eating a bad mango can make you sick. It’s also an unpleasant experience. Thankfully, nature tells you not to eat a bad mango by making it taste rotten and giving it a texture you won’t want to keep eating.

If you’re wondering whether a mango is good or bad, here are some tips on things to look for to spot a rotten mango. Hopefully, it will help prevent you from getting sick or buying mangoes you shouldn’t.

Thai mango, yellow ripe mango in wooden basket on wooden table

Is Mango Supposed to Be Sour?

Mango is a citrus fruit with a lot of vitamin C, which tends to be sour. Therefore, the earlier you eat a mango, the sourer it will be. Some types of mangoes are sourer, while others are sweeter depending on the variety. It all depends on what you like.

When you first buy a mango in the grocery store, there’s the high chance that it is not fully ripe because farmers and stores often stock mangoes earlier to keep them on the shelf longer for consumers.

After you bring it home, you may need to let it sit for a day or two until it’s softer and fit for consumption.

If you cut into a mango early, it’s likely to be sour because the sugars haven’t had enough time to develop. As the mango matures, it becomes softer and sweeter.

Holding on to a mango longer before you cut it will reduce how sour it is, but most mangoes generally have a sour taste, especially when not fully ripe.

Woman buying fresh mangoes in the supermarket

How Do You Tell if a Mango Is Good to Eat?

Cutting open a mango too early can be just as bad as waiting too long. If you’re too early, the mango will be hard and inedible.

Before cutting a mango open, you should press against the outer peel or skin to see whether it’s soft. It shouldn’t be too soft but give a bit when you push into it.

After cutting it open, the flesh of the mango should have a yellow or orange shade of color. It should look juicy but still have a solid texture to it.

Regarding smell, a good mango will have a pleasant citrusy smell. The aroma shouldn’t be overpowering or really all that strong until you cut it open.

A view of several mangoes on wooden table

How Long Do Mangoes Last in the Fridge?

Keeping your mangoes refrigerated helps to slow the ripening process. If you buy a mango at the store, you may want to leave it out on the counter to let it ripen until it’s good to eat.

However, if you’re not planning to eat the mango for another few days, you can stick it in the fridge until around a day or two before you eat it.

An unopened mango can last around a week or two in the fridge just like other fruits such as apples or pears. How long it lasts depends a lot on how ripe it is when you buy it. A riper mango, of course, won’t usually last as long in the fridge.

After you cut the mango, the slices will last a few days before they turn soft and start to spoil.

Ideally, you’ll store the cut mango in an air-tight container to stop air from getting to it and turning it darker. You’ll generally get a couple of days more if you refrigerate your mangoes in a sealed container.

Few spoiled over-ripe yellow mangoes with patches of rot on round woven eco-napkin

What Color Is a Bad Mango?

Like other fruits, mangoes grow darker and darker, becoming sweeter. Eventually, mangos become brown and even black, indicating they’re no longer safe to eat.

In addition, mangoes sometimes develop internal rot that makes them inedible. When you cut open a mango, occasionally, you’ll see dark black circles close to the seed. If there is any rot in or around the seed, you should throw the entire piece of fruit away.

Is a mango bad if it’s brown inside? Not necessarily.

Brown certainly means you’ll get less of a sour taste, but it can be good for people who prefer sweet mangoes.

However, while some brown mangoes are ok to eat or put in smoothies, they can also be bad. To determine whether you should eat it, give it a smell to see if any foul odor is coming from the fruit. In addition, you can give a small piece a taste to see if the flavor is still pleasant.

Brown mangos are also typically soft because they’re very ripe. However, some people don’t like their mangoes to be mushy, so brown mangos are often best put in baking recipes or smoothies.


Why Does My Mango Taste Like Alcohol?

As mangoes ripen and decay, they’ll show signs they’re no longer safe to eat. One of the things you should look for is whether your mango tastes like alcohol. When the mango rots, it smells bitter and tastes like alcohol. This means the mango is past the point where you want to eat it.

Can You Get Food Poisoning from Mangoes?

You can get sick if you eat a rotten mango. Generally, you can fall ill from eating any bad or rotten food, including fruit.

Eating a bad mango probably isn’t as bad for you as something like rotten chicken or beef, but foul fruit can make you sick, nonetheless. In severe cases, it can send you to the hospital. Mild food poisoning could lead to nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and other unpleasant symptoms.

Rotten mango on white background


Give your mangoes the touch test, smell them, and finally taste them to see if they’re good before you eat or use them in smoothies and dishes. Avoid any mangoes with sour smells or with dark brown or black spots on the skin.

Once you know how to spot a bad mango, you can focus on getting the good ones and enjoying this unbelievably delicious fruit!