How to Tell if Sweet Potatoes Are Bad: Simple Tricks!

The way to find out bad sweet potatoes are — it has either an unpleasant smell, sour taste, or feels moldy, soft, or may have wrinkles on the Surface, soft brown or dark spots on the peel, etc.

Sweet potatoes are indeed a starchy root crop that is commonly used in cooking and baking different food items or dishes.

They have quite a high-water content due to their dense, smooth appearance. Foods with high water absorption typically spoil quickly. The same can be said for sweet potatoes!

Let’s dig out from the content How to tell if sweet Potatoes are Bad.

Can sweet potatoes go bad?

Yes, sweet potatoes can now go bad, particularly if finished cooking and combined with other ingredients.

Fresh sweet potatoes have a much longer shelf life than mashed or fried sweet potatoes. How the goods were stored would also affect the average shelf life of sweet potatoes.

If you want to store uncooked sweet potatoes for a longer period, keep them in a cold, quiet spot away from intense sunlight.

Ways to Tell if sweet Potatoes are Bad?

Bad sweet potatoes

Proper sanitation and procedures for food safety can hopefully prevent foodborne disease.

While this isn’t a flawless measure, the most accurate instruments are your senses for deciding if the sweets have been rotten. As with corn, this is also easy to find out.

Discoloration and skin development are some typical characteristics of bad sweet potatoes.

It starts soft and damp (water leaks) and then becomes brown and/or black. If one of the sweet potatoes is bad, you should then throw the whole potato away as it affects the taste and flavor.

Certain health hazards are, of course, associated with rotten foods, so please start practicing food hygiene before food shelf-life expires!

Signs that sweet potatoes have gone bad:

1. Sour or Rotten Taste

If sweet potatoes have gone sour that is the primary sign of the bad ones. The taste will be very acrid and bitter.

If this happens, don’t eat anymore. Instead, throw them away. 

1. Rotten Smell

If it has a rotten smell, probably, it has gone bad. But sometimes, the smell is so strong, it can be hard to determine if it’s just a rotten sweet potato or your whole batch of them. 

In that case, you can do what I do and cut off a piece of the sweet potato and then put it in your mouth. If the taste is not unpleasant, then there is no need to worry.

Or, toss them in the garbage if they have produced an odor.

2. Lose the Original Skin Color

Examine the skin for unusual growths or the appearance of mold. 

The other easiest way to find out is by observing color. The rotten one will lose skin color. You can use this fact to help you distinguish between good and bad sweet potatoes.

However, it is tough to tell which color resembles the bad sweet potatoes. Because you can find different color sweet potatoes verities. 

Some are orange with light brown skin, some are yellow with orange or brown skin, and some are white or black or brown skin.

Hence, the point is it will lose the original peel color and turn into dark black. If it gets tender or mushy, they are past their prime. The same holds with sweet potatoes that have turned a rich brown to purple.

3. Softening

If they have gone bad, they will also start to soften. Just like an apple that has gone bad will soften. You can use this as another way to identify rotten sweet potatoes.

The outer layer will become mushy and start to separate from the flesh. This layer is called the peal. It’s like an onion on the inside. When it gets old, it starts to get softer. It’s the same with sweet potatoes.

As they get older, they will start to soften. And eventually, the peel will separate from the flesh. This is one of the first signs that your tubers are not edible anymore.

4. Wrinkles on the Surface

The sweet potatoes might look all nice and clean but, if you look closely, you will see some of them have wrinkles on their surface.

These wrinkles are caused by moisture. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of moisture.

Hence, they give off an odor when they start to rot. When this happens, the sweet potatoes will start to emit an odor.

4. Soft Brown or Dark Spots on the Skin

Another way to check out if your sweet potatoes are rotting is to examine the skin.

If you look carefully at the skin of a healthy sweet potato, you will not find any brown or dark spots.

However, if the sweet potatoes have gone bad, you will find many brown or dark spots on the skin.

These spots are caused by oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs in the presence of oxygen. This causes the pigments in the skin to break down.

5. Mold And Black Rot

On The Inside Next, we have mold and black rot. Both of these are fungal diseases. They cause the sweet potatoes to rot from the inside out.

As the potatoes get affected by these two diseases, they will start to emit an odor. This odor is similar to what you would get from rotten vegetables. 

However, there are a number of other signs as well. For example, you may observe some physical changes like shriveling, cracking, or sprouting.

How long Does Sweet Potatoes Last?

Naturally, if not adequately processed, all foods last for a shorter duration.

However, note that sweet potatoes can have a better date, or better before date, like many other vegetables, but not an expiration date.

Thanks to this distinction, even after the best date has elapsed, you can easily use sweet potatoes to complement your favorite dishes.

Sweet potatoes last in a pantry for about 3-5 weeks and in a freezer for about 2-3 months. Bear in mind that a combination of considerations.

That includes the most effective date, the preparation procedure, and how they’ve been processed, which significantly influence the shelf life of sweet potatoes.

The creamy sweet taste of sweet potatoes and yams is also rich in fiber and beta-carotene. They seem to be always on the Thanksgiving menu of any meal.

Let’s have a glimpse at the table to get a clear idea about the storage time of different types of sweet potatoes.

Types of potatoesPantryFridgeFreezer
Fresh sweet potatoes3 to 5 weeks2 to 3 months10 to 12 months
Canned Sweet Potatoes1 yearN/AN/A
Fried sweet potatoes6 to 12 Hours2 to 3 days4 to6 months
Frozen sweet potatoesN/A5 to 7 days6 to 8 months
Cooked Sweet potatoes6 to 12 Hours7 days4 to 6 months
Dry Instant sweet potatoes6 to 12 monthsN/AN/A
How long Does Sweet Potatoes Last?

How to Store Sweet Potatoes?

Uncooked and uncut sweet potatoes should be kept in the pantry. Place the item in a well-ventilated location.

Keep the sweet potatoes far from heat and moisture sources.

Raw or uncooked sweet potatoes can be kept in the pantry for 1 to 2 months, depending on the weather conditions and season.

Unopened containers of sweet potatoes can sometimes be kept in the pantry. They should be there for about a year.

Fried sweet potatoes should be stored in the refrigerator. For best outcomes, store the substance in a tightly sealed jar. They can last about a week.

How will Sweet Potatoes be Stored to Prolong their Lifetime?

You will help sweet potatoes fresh longer if they are stored for a marginally longer and better life in a refrigerator or dark dry pantry.

Pick sweet potatoes with firm tapered ends, since as you get older, they start to soften.

Sweet potatoes should indeed be processed after they are cooked in a tightly closed jar to prevent humidity and other chemicals.

Raw sweet potatoes are frozen and prepared for a fridge, however, they are flash-frozen with sweet potato fries.

Some of the advantages of proper food storage include saver food, cost reduction, and environmental support by wastage prevention.

Interesting facts about Sweet Potatoes:

  • October through January is mainly the sweet potato season.
  • In Asia, 80% of sweet potatoes worldwide are cultivated.

How to Store Extra Sweet Potatoes Before it goes Bad?

Like corn, you will need to process them before storing them.

Using the sweet potatoes through one approach before they go bad if you have too many:

  • Make fried sweet potatoes:  Peel and scatter all of these sweet potatoes and add one or all these: sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spices. And mix with just a little olive oil. Put into a hot 450°F oven for around 20 minutes on a lightly sprayed tray.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes cut them and cook until they are tender. Place 1/2C brown sugar, 1/4C coconut, 1/4C finely chopped pecans, 3T melted butter, and a cinnamon dash and layer over the crushed casserole potatoes. Bake for around 30 minutes at a temperature of 350°F.
  • Can sweet potatoes be frozen? Yes, both uncooked and cooked sweet potatoes can indeed be frozen to prolong their shelf life. Simply put the food in a freezer-safe jar and drop it in the freezer.
  • Sweet potatoes can keep in the freezer forever, and this will be an excellent freezing choice if you do not want to use up the stock in the immediate future.
  • Our recommendation is to divide the sweet potatoes into manageable parts so that thawing is far less of a burden for you.

Shelf-life Resources

Our material includes information from various resources, including the United States Food & Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture.  

Furthermore, we have examined the Web to obtain information on food protection, food preservation, and Sweet Potatoes’ shelf-life articles and reviews.


Final Thought

Sweet potatoes bring sweetness and nutrition to your everyday meals. Since these tubers are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, stocking up on them is often a good idea. Hopefully, you got a clear idea of how to tell if sweet potatoes are bad or not and how to store them properly.

Sweet Potatoes can go bad! Yes, they have the potential to go wrong at any stage. However, if you stock the food correctly, you won’t have to think about spoilage!

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