How to Know if Strawberries Are Bad

The color of the strawberry can tell you if it's good or bad.
The color of the strawberry can tell you if it's good or bad. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Strawberries are a delicious red fruit consumed by approximately 94 percent of households in the United States, according to the London Strawberry Festival website. On the other hand, this highly-coveted fruit has a reputation for spoiling quickly. Even when kept cold in the refrigerator, it may change color, accumulate concerning growths and lose its potent flavor. These external signs are a clear indication that your strawberries have gone bad.

Look for fuzzy, white mold on your strawberries. This mold grows when a strawberry is considerably rotten and could be dangerous for human consumption.

Look for dark brown, mushy indentations. These browns spots indicate that your strawberry is rotting. Bacteria may grow here as they do in the white, fuzzy mold mentioned in Step 1.

Feel the strawberries to determine whether they are firm or soft. Where there is no visible rotting, as in the case of mold or brown spots, the texture can tell you whether the strawberry has gone or is going bad. Ripe strawberries will be firm from the outside and have a solid red color. Bad strawberries will squish between your fingers and may have begun to lose their color.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you like to buy strawberries in bulk, you can freeze them to preserve their shelf life. Defrost them about 18 hours before you would like to consume them, or use a quick defrost method by running cold water over your strawberries for about six to eight minutes in a colander.

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