Simple to grow and maintain without much need for chemical treatment, strawberries are honest food -- in more ways than one. You can tell a bad strawberry almost immediately, because they wear the signs of spoilage all over them; a quick test of their color, aroma and feel tells you all you need to know about their freshness. Buy strawberries from a local farmer for the freshest choices of the season. Fresh strawberries last two to three days in the refrigerator.
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Check for dark brown spots on the strawberries, which indicate bacterial growth and rotting.
Check the strawberries for white fuzz, a type of mold. Mold indicates a fungal infection or other bacterial growth.
Squeeze the strawberries and check their firmness. Fresh strawberries have a firmness that yields slightly to touch; turned strawberries squish easily.
Check for stickiness or moisture leaking from the strawberries, which indicates oxygen has enterd through a wound and started rotting the flesh.
Smell the strawberries for an alcoholic aroma. An alocoholic aroma indicates the strawberries have started fermenting.
Check the color for blemishes and light yellow spots. Strawberries' color starts to fade in spots as soon as they turn.