How to Tell if Carrots Are Bad

Carrots are among the healthiest vegetables in the world. They are not only delicious but very good for your eyes as well. They are also rich in vitamins and many other nutrients. However, eating bad carrots can have severe consequences for you including a disturbed stomach and food poisoning. But – how to tell if carrots are bad and no longer safe to eat?

You can store fresh carrots in the pantry for a few days. However, they don’t have any expiry date and you never know when they will start spoiling. Therefore, you must ensure you are eating perfectly edible carrots if they have been on the countertop for 3-5 days. On the other hand, refrigerating or freezing carrots can extend their life for months depending on the storage conditions.

Do Carrots Go Bad?

Carrots are not only tasty, but they are also great for eye health and overall well-being. To ensure that you get the most benefits from eating carrots, make sure to include them in your diet.

Fresh carrots don’t have an expiration date, but like all fresh produce, they can spoil over time if not stored properly. Eating spoiled carrots can be detrimental to your health as they lose their nutritional value and taste.

To keep your carrots fresh for longer, it’s important to store them correctly and preserve their flavor.

How to Tell if Carrots are Bad?

Some of the biggest indications of bad carrots are as follows.

Dried Leaves

Carrots from supermarkets and farmer shops come with their leaves and green parts. You have to remove the greens from the carrots as soon as possible. They extract most of the moisture in the carrots, making them dry and hard.

Try to boil carrots and peel them after they cool down. It keeps your carrot fresh and moist for a long time.

Foul Smell

All spoiled foods have a terrible smell and carrots are no exception. Fresh carrots, on the other hand, have no odor. The Foul smell is also an indication that bacteria have proliferated carrots and therefore, you should throw them away.


Mold is the biggest nemesis of every food including vegetables. Carrots may develop black spots on their surface. Some people cut the affected areas and cook the rest. However, it is a very dangerous practice and can be harmful to your health. You should throw away the carrots immediately if they have mold.

Change in Texture

The texture of spoiled carrots is also noticeably different from that of fresh carrots. For example, they may become bendable, gummy, and, loose. The peel also changes its appearance. You may find it hard to peel carrots using a knife. Just discard these carrots as they are useless.

White Spots

The lack of moisture can also result in the development of white spots. These are not expired carrots but you should eat them as soon as you can. They are not rotten but have no nutritional value to offer as well.

How to Tell if Bagged Carrots are Bad?

Some people also buy bagged carrots from markets. Unlike open carrots, bagged carrots do have an expiry date. However, it can be difficult to know if bagged carrots have truly gone bad or not. You need to keep a few things in mind to ensure you are always eating fresh carrots.

Check the Expiry Date

First of all, you need to check the expiry date both at the store and at home if they have been in your fridge for a while. Throw them away if they are passed their expiry date. Eating such carrots is not a good idea.

Inspect the Carrots

You can also see signs of spoilage through the bag. Throw away the carrots if they have a foul smell or seem saggy, loose, gummy, or slimy. They also have spoiled in case of discoloration and the appearance of black or white spots.

Check the Bag

You should not use carrots if the bag itself is punctured or damaged. Air and bacteria may already have made their way in and started spoiling the carrots. Just throw the carrots in the dustbin if the bag has any holes or tears.

How Long can Carrots Last?

The shelf life of carrots depends on the storage conditions. Proper storage can keep them fresh for several weeks, while improper storage can cause them to spoil within a day. For instance, storing them near fruits like bananas and apples, which release ethylene, can cause carrots to spoil faster.

The longevity of carrots can vary depending on the storage method, as shown in the chart below.

Types of Carrots Pantry Fridge Freezer
Baby carrots 3 to 5 days 3 to 4 weeks 6 to 9 months
Cooked carrots Unsafe 1 week 6 to 9 months
Dehydrated Up to a year Unsafe Not recommended
Sliced in water Unsafe 6 to 8 weeks Not recommended
Raw whole 3 to 5 days 4 to 5 weeks 6 to 9 months

As depicted in the chart, the shelf life of raw, cooked, and baby carrots varies depending on the storage conditions. Raw carrots can be stored on a kitchen counter or tabletop for up to 5 days without refrigeration, but they can stay fresh in the freezer for up to 9 months.

On the other hand, cooked carrots have a much shorter shelf life. They can only be stored in the freezer for a week and should not be kept at room temperature for more than a few hours as they are likely to spoil quickly.

How Long can Carrots Last in the Fridge?

You can refrigerate carrots but they will expire eventually. Therefore, you must know how long you can keep them in the fridge.

Raw Carrots

Raw carrots can last up to two to three weeks in the fridge if they are stored properly. To keep them fresh, it’s best to wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in a plastic bag. You can also store them in a container of water to help prolong their freshness.

Cooked Carrots

Cooked carrots, on the other hand, should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and consumed within three to five days. This is because cooked vegetables are more susceptible to spoilage due to their increased moisture content.

Baby carrots have a shorter shelf life compared to regular carrots and can last for up to five days in the fridge. To extend their shelf life, it’s best to store them in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do bad carrots taste like?

Bad carrots have a foul smell with a weird, soapy, and sour taste. Fresh carrots on the contrary are sweet, juicy, and crunchy. You must throw away bad carrots and should never eat them.

Are soft carrots OK to cook?

You can cook soft carrots if they don’t have any other signs of spoilage or mold. You can save them if they are soft but not slimy or gummy.

What happens when you eat a bad carrot?

Carrots don’t have an expiry date but they will spoil sooner or later. You can have different symptoms of food poisoning such as vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and nausea if you eat expired carrots.

Final Thoughts

So, you know how to tell if carrots are bad. Carrots are delicious food but they can also go bad. It is pretty easy to spot spoiled carrots as well. You should also throw bad carrots away because eating them can result in food poisoning and related symptoms.


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