How to Tell If Carrots Are Bad? [Spoilage Signs+Storage Tips]

All the gardeners and carrot lovers, raise your hands!

Do you know that this innocent veggie can spoil like other vegetables? If yes, then hands down and read carefully.

 Generally, a fresh carrot is crunchy at the start, becomes rubbery with time, and finally becomes soft and slimy.

Whenever you harvest a lot of carrots from your garden, storage becomes a great issue. Similarly, after purchasing a bunch of carrots from the grocery store, you may be concerned about their storage as no one likes to waste food. Even if you have already stored carrots you might be wondering how long carrots can last?

If you are the one from the above-mentioned situation, this article is for you. Read it till the end, you will find all the information about storage, shelflife, and signs of spoilage in carrots.

Let’s explain how to tell if carrots are bad? Normally, bad carrots can be easily identified by their mushy, slimy look and a rotten smell. If you observe any of these signs, discarding this rotten veggie is the right option. However, if you observe a white moldy spot at only one point, you can eat that carrot after cutting the molded portion. You can also consume soft rubbery carrot after cooking but it may not taste good.

Interestingly, the birthplace of the carrot is Persia. Due to improvement in agricultural research, this veggie is now available in 5 different colors: yellow, white, red, purple, and orange. Consuming this crunchy veg on a daily basis is beneficial for your health. But you won’t be able to enjoy its nutritious value if you are storing it in the wrong way.

To know exactly what is the right way of storing carrots, go through this article!

How To Determine If Carrots Are Going Bad?

Let’s figure out how to know if carrots are going bad or spoiled? It is quite simple, your carrots are going bad If you observe  the signs mentioned below:

  • The appearance of dark spots.
  • Presence of white mold.
  • Mushy or slimy texture.
  • Rotten or pungent smell.

Normally, carrots may go bad, molded, rotten, if exposed to moisture, or stored improperly. You can observe a mushy or slimy look and rotten smell in the spoiled carrots. Usually, when this veg gets older, it develops dark skin and white molded spots.

However, If there is no slimy portion and only a small portion is affected by spots, you can still use it after cutting the affected part. But in case of a slimy look, throw the carrots straight away.

How Long Can You Store Carrots In Fridge/ Freezer/Pantry?

Have you any idea how long you can store carrots? In other words, what is the shelf life of carrots?

 Let’s answer it. Normally, carrots can be stored on the countertop, pantry, or at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. Whilst if kept refrigerated, these veggies can go well for 3 to 4 weeks. Refrigerated cooked carrots if placed in an airtight jar can be used for 1 week. However,  blanched frozen carrots, as well as cooked carrots, can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year.

However, this veggie may also go well past this estimated time. It depends on your way of storage and the time stored carrots are exposed to moisture or other factors responsible for spoilage. Obviously, in high temperatures, this veggie can go bad early.

Table for the storage life of carrots at room temperature, in the fridge and freezer.

Condition of carrotsAt room temperatureIn the RefrigeratorIn the freezer
Fresh Carrots3 to 5 days3 to 4 weeks1 year if blanched
Water submerged carrotsNot recommended1 monthNot recommended
Cooked carrots2 to 3 hours1 week1 year
Blanched carrots2 hours1 week1 year

After this period, carrots will go bad or develop the signs of spoilage.

Tips To Store Carrots

Whenever you buy carrots from the grocery store, you may prefer small amounts that are easy to store. However, if you harvest carrots, you have the bulk to store. Don’t worry dude, by following our tips you will be able to use the carrots of your garden for a longer time.

Tips for storing carrots at room temperature:

The amazing tips to store the carrots in your kitchen cabinet, or shelf are here, Let’s have a look:

  • Cut the green portion at the top as it will draw the moisture from the veg making it soft and shrink.
  • Don’t wash the carrots if you have a small number that will end within a week. Any moisture may cause early rotting.
  • Make sure to place unwashed carrots in a fruit basket at a well-ventilated place.
  • Freshly harvested carrots should be placed in the sun for a few hours, it will lock the moisture.
  •  Under normal temperatures, this veggie can go well on the kitchen top for 1 week.
  •  While placing in the cabinet, make sure you open it several times to allow passage of the fresh air.

Tips for storing carrots in the refrigerator:

  • Removing the green stubble of carrots is also necessary for refrigerator storage because it prevents moisture loss.
  • The cooked carrot should be placed in an airtight container while storing it in the refrigerator. It will go well for at least 1 week.
  • Refrigerating carrots is a good option, but it is recommended to place this veggie away from other fruits and vegetables. Use a plastic bag with holes in it to avoid any moisture collection.
  • If you are storing this crunchy veg in the fruit drawer of your fridge, make sure to place a paper towel at the bottom. Also, avoid placing them away from other fruits and veggies.
  • Keep on changing the wet paper towel placed in the fruit drawer of the refrigerator, you can reuse it after drying.
  • You can also place the carrots submerged in water in an airtight container. In this way, carrots will remain fresh for 4 weeks. But it has a drawback, as many nutrients in this veg are water-soluble, so this process will change the taste and nutritional value of the carrots.

Tips for storing carrots in the freezer:

  • Well, you can freeze the carrots but blanching is a must before storing. If you store this veggie without blanching, it may result in flavor, texture, and nutrient loss.
  • For freezing, it’s better to select fresh and tender baby carrots. You can also cut this veggie in a required length before blanching. Sliced or diced carrots should be blanched for 2 minutes. Using veggie chopper dicer will be convenient if you have a large number of carrots.
  • For blanching, you can use a blancher or simply a steel strainer that can fit in a pot of boiling water. Once the water starts boiling, put the carrots in it for 4 to 5 minutes( baby carrots require 2 to 3 minutes). After that put the carrots right away in ice-cold water. It will freeze the enzyme activity and maintain the color, flavor, and nutritional value of the frozen veggie.
  • Cool the carrots quickly and store in an airtight container or freezer bags with all the possible air removed.

  Do Carrots Go Bad In The Fridge?

Most people may think that carrots will go bad if stored in the fridge. Let’s solve this confusion. Normally, the lifespan of a carrot increases to four weeks as compared to room temperature storage. This root vegetable has a natural tendency of drying out. But it can go well for 4 weeks if stored properly in the fridge.

Your carrots may go bad in the refrigerator only if:

  • Placed with other ethylene gas producing fruits or vegetables.
  • Comes in contact with moisture for a long time.
  • Stored in a plastic bag with trapped moisture.
  • Stored without removing the green part.

How Long Do Baby Carrots Last?

Interestingly, long carrots last longer as compared to the baby carrots. The reason is that baby carrots don’t have a protective layer of skin as long carrots do. That’s why these small carrots go bad soon if not stored properly. Any moisture in the bag will cause this veg to rot soon. But these carrots may develop a white thin film after air exposure. This white film is not a sign of spoilage.

To get the full nutritional value of the baby carrots, eating them fresh should be preferred. However, you can freeze baby carrots to enjoy its nutritional benefits for a longer time. But before freezing, blanching is critical.

what happens if you eat bad carrots

What Happens If You Eat Bad Carrots?

Most of you may want to know if floppy carrots are safe to use? The answer is yes, you can use floppy carrots. Normally, carrots become soft and rubbery after losing moisture. These are safe to consume but may not taste so good. However, you can use them after cooking.

As mentioned earlier, carrots are only gone bad if they develop slimy texture or visible mold growth with a pungent smell. Such carrots should not be consumed and thrown in the garbage. Eating moldy veggies can be risky for your health.

Normally, carrots have no “best by date”. They will expire only if spoiled or rotten. However, due to lack of protective covering, baby carrots have a best by date. You should try to consume them before that date. If you store this crunchy veg carefully, and no bad signs are visible, you can even eat expired carrots.

Eating spoiled carrots can cause:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • If eaten in large quantities can cause food poisoning.

How To Tell If Frozen Carrots Are Bad?

If you freeze the carrots after blanching and store them in an air-sealed container, they will remain fresh for about 1 year. But, if the temperature of your freezer fluctuates making this veggie defrost, that will allow bacteria to grow and spoil the carrots.

The frozen carrots are spoiled if:

  • Taste stale
  • Smell moldy
  • Visible growing fungus

If you observe any of the above-mentioned signs, discard your frozen carrots because eating such veggies can be threatening to health. Plus, If you forgot and left the frozen carrots on the countertop for more than 6 hours, throw them in the garbage because pathogens can grow between 40 °F and 140 °F.

Related Articles: Are Lemon Seeds Toxic?

What is The Slime On Carrots?

Sometimes, when you buy peeled or packed sliced carrots(happens mostly to baby carrots),  a layer of white film appears on them. It is actually safe and forms due to dehydration. It mostly develops when carrots are exposed to air and the moisture inside them dries out. You can use such carrots by peeling.

On the other hand, carrots may also develop a slimy layer due to condensation inside the sealed plastic bag. If you don’t feel any pungent smell or mold, you can use such carrots after washing thoroughly. You can even boil the slimy carrots if there are no other signs of rotting. However, make sure to remove a thick peel before eating.

Spoiled carrots smell really bad. You can easily identify by smelling if this veggie has developed the slimy layer due to the bacterial growth or just by the condensation process.

Top 5 Effects Of Carrots You Should Be Aware Of

 Final Words

Finally, our topic for how to tell if carrots are bad comes to an end.

So, the final words are, if you observe any mushy, soft, and moldy texture with a pungent rotten smell, it is the indication of bad carrots.

But this veg has a tendency to dry out as it loses moisture with time becoming soft and rubbery. Such floppy carrots can be still consumed.

You can enhance the lifespan of carrots by following our mentioned storage tips. Remember, the world is facing the issues of food shortage. So, avoid any food wastage. Purchase only required quantity. However, if storage is needed, do it properly.

If you find this article helpful, share it with other fellows. For more such Infos, Stay connected.


Lisa Marshall

Hi, This is Lisa Marshall. Lisa has been working with farmers for over thirteen years. It is his passion, hobby and profession. To facilitate other gardeners from her experience, she has decided to start this website to share her gardening experience with her plant lovers.

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