How To Tell If A Sweet Potato Is Bad? Completed Guide!

Whether you’re making a sweet potato pie, or fries or just roasting them in the oven to eat, it’s important to make sure you choose good potatoes. But how to tell if a sweet potato is bad? If your sweet potatoes are misshapen, have dark spots on the skin, or feel soft and spongy when squeezed gently – they need to be thrown away! But don’t worry; this blog post will cover all of the signs that point towards a sweet potato nearing its last days so that you can ensure you always pick out good ones for your meals. Keep reading for more information about how to tell if a sweet potato is bad!

What Is A Sweet Potato?

Sweet potato is a root vegetable with orange or purple flesh that has a sweeter taste than regular potatoes. They are usually long and tapered and can be eaten cooked or raw. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as dietary fiber, making them very nutritious.

Sweet Potatoes Near The Pot
Sweet Potatoes Near The Pot

How To Choose Good Sweet Potatoes?

When choosing sweet potatoes, make sure to pick out ones that are firm, with no bruises or soft spots. They should also have an even color and be in a good condition. If you can’t find any good sweet potatoes, try looking for yams instead – they’re similar and usually easier to find in grocery stores.

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?

Generally, sweet potatoes can last up to two weeks if stored in a dark, cool, and dry place. However, how long they will last depends on how well you store them. If your sweet potatoes go bad before this period of time passes, it’s likely due to improper storage or because they were already past their prime when you bought them.

Although it’s tempting, avoid refrigerating uncooked sweet potatoes as this could lead to hard centers with white spots plus undesirable texture and taste changes. Ideally, they should be consumed within 3-5 weeks of storing them in the pantry.

Sweet Potatoes With Grapes And Vegetable
Sweet Potatoes With Grapes And Vegetable

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last In The Fridge?

Sweet potatoes can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but how long they will last depends on how well you store them. To best preserve, their freshness, wrap each sweet potato individually in a paper towel or damp cloth and place them in an airtight container. This will keep them from drying out and going bad quickly.

Can Sweet Potatoes Go Bad?

Yes, sweet potatoes can go bad. They can become soft and spongy, or develop dark spots on the skin and an off-putting smell. If your sweet potato has any of these signs, discard it immediately to avoid foodborne illnesses.

How To Tell If A Sweet Potato Is Bad?

If you’re looking for a sweet potato to cook up in your favorite recipe, be sure to give it the once-over before adding it to the mix. There are simple signs that allow you to identify if one has gone bad – so don’t let yourself end up with an unappetizing dish! Take note of these tips when inspecting potatoes, helping keep them from impacting your health and enjoying better-tasting meals.


Take extra care to evaluate the color of your sweet potatoes! Typically, they express a vivid palette ranging from white and purple to red. Should you notice any dark brown or black on their exterior – it’s probably time for them to retire.

Sweet potatoes may have a wide range of colors, but black and brown spots are an unmistakable indication that the veggie has gone bad. If you spot such discoloration on your sweet potato, it’s time to toss it away for freshness’ sake!

Strange protrusions on your sweet potatoes? Don’t worry – while it’s a sure sign of spoilage, you may still be able to enjoy them! Look for other indicators to decide if consuming the tubers is safe.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are some of our favorite root vegetables, but they can quickly spoil if not stored properly. Keep an eye out for visible signs such as mold and black rot to determine freshness – small molds on the surface can usually be peeled away without issue; however, any sweet potato showing evidence of black rot should be discarded immediately. The problem is caused by fungi in the soil which makes the vegetable bitter and virtually tasteless.

Although sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious snack, they can quickly deteriorate if not stored properly. One tell-tale sign of spoilage is the lack of moisture – resulting in an unmistakable shriveling that should be addressed immediately by disposing of the tuberous vegetable to remain safe.

Color Of Flesh

If the hue of your sweet potato shifts from its natural color, it’s time to toss and replace – altered flesh is a sign that spoilage has begun.


Sweet potatoes that don’t smell just right could be a danger to your health. Mold growth and bacteria can cause unpleasant odors, so it’s best to use caution when confronted with an unfamiliar scent from these starchy treats – eating them may lead to poisoning!


Ensuring your sweet potatoes are in perfect condition is a crucial part of ensuring the best possible meal. To ensure you select only fresh produce, delicately feel with your hands for firmness – a soft or mushy texture can indicate rot and make it unsuitable for cooking.


Don’t throw away those sweet potatoes just yet; if you notice sprouts, inspect them closely and determine their size. Smaller growths mean the spuds are still edible – simply cut off any protrusions and cook promptly to enjoy your root veggies!

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the sweet potato as soon as possible. Eating a bad sweet potato can make you sick and should be avoided.

Watch this video to know how to tell if a sweet potato is bad.

What About Dark Spots On Sweet Potatoes?

Dark spots on sweet potatoes can be a sign that they are nearing the end of their life. If you notice any dark spots or discoloration on your sweet potatoes, it’s best to discard them as soon as possible. Dark spots can also indicate rot or fungus growth, which is why it’s important to inspect each potato carefully before using them.

What Is The White Stuff When You Cut Into A Sweet Potato?

The white stuff you may see when cutting into a sweet potato is known as sugar starch. This is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean the sweet potato has gone bad. If it’s discolored, however, this could be an indicator that the potato is rotting or has gone bad.

Can You Still Eat Sweet Potatoes That Have Sprouted?

Yes, you can still eat sweet potatoes that have sprouted. However, it’s best to remove the sprouts before cooking them as they are not very appetizing. Additionally, if the sprouts are extensive or discolored, this could be an indicator that your sweet potato has gone bad and should be discarded.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

What To Do With A Bad Sweet Potato?

If you determine that a sweet potato has gone bad, it’s best to discard it immediately. Do not try to salvage it by cutting off the bad parts – this can spread bacteria and make you sick. It’s also important to clean surfaces and utensils that have come into contact with the potato before using them again.

What Happens If You Eat A Bad Cooked Sweet Potato?

Eating a badly cooked sweet potato can cause food poisoning and other unpleasant symptoms. If you think you may have eaten a bad sweet potato, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever.

How To Store Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. They don’t need to be refrigerated but do benefit from being kept away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. It is also important to keep them away from humidity, as this can cause them to rot more quickly. Storing sweet potatoes correctly will help them last longer and ensure that they remain fresh.

A Basket Of Sweet Potatoes
A Basket Of Sweet Potatoes

To best preserve freshness, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container. This will help keep moisture out, prevent mold growth, and keep the sweet potatoes fresher for longer.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze sweet potatoes. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes or slices before freezing them. When storing in the freezer, place them in an airtight container or a sealed storage bag. To use, thaw the sweet potato overnight in the refrigerator; cooked frozen sweet potatoes should not be reheated more than once.

Read more: how long to bake potatoes at 375 in foil

How To Use Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They can be roasted, boiled, mashed, steamed or fried to create tasty dishes. In addition to being added to savory meals, sweet potatoes also make great desserts like pies and cakes. Additionally, they are an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients and are rich in antioxidants.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Conclusion: How To Tell If A Sweet Potato Is Bad?

Knowing how to tell if a sweet potato is bad is important for making sure your meals are always fresh and delicious. By following the tips outlined in this post, you’ll be able to easily pick out good sweet potatoes every time you shop. Thanks for reading at mollysmtview!

FAQ: A Sweet Potato Is Bad

How do you know when sweet potatoes have gone bad?

Have you ever looked in your kitchen pantry and found a sweet potato that has been tucked away for some time? You’ll know if it’s gone bad by checking for signs of mold, sour smells, or any changes to the texture. Before disposing of the spoiled spud, consider using it as fertilizer or composting it!

How long before sweet potato goes bad?

With proper storage, you can extend the life of your sweet potatoes! Stored on a counter or in an area mimicking a root cellar (cool, dark and dry), these versatile tubers should last up to two weeks – or even beyond one month. Keep them at an optimal temperature for maximum freshness and flavor.

Is it safe to eat sweet potatoes that are sprouting?

Sweet potatoes may still be enjoyed even after sprouting, provided you take the time to remove any visible stems before consuming. Doing so will ensure your spuds remain safe and scrumptious!

Can sweet potatoes last 3 months?

Sweet potatoes are one of hardier veggies and can last up to three months when stored properly. For an even longer shelf-life, place them in your refrigerator or freezer!

What happens if you eat bad potatoes?

Eating bad potatoes can result in solanine poisoning, which may cause an assortment of unpleasant symptoms. Nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps are just a few that may occur; more severe cases could include dizziness and headaches too. Thankfully this type of food-borne illness is usually only short-lived – however, it’s always wise to seek medical attention if you’re feeling unwell.

Can I eat a week-old cooked sweet potato?

While freshness won’t be compromised within 5 days, proper storage is key for keeping them tasty. After cooking, let the potatoes cool before placing them in airtight containers or plastic bags and storing them in your refrigerator – then you’ll get all of the delightful benefits without worry!

Are sweet potatoes bad if they have white inside?

Sweet potatoes can be a tasty treat, and the presence of white ooze inside them is no cause for alarm. In fact, according to experts this substance only indicates that your sweet potato may have an even sweeter taste! So next time you crack open a spud don’t fret – it’s just nature doing its thing!

What do spoiled potatoes look like?

Fresh potatoes have a smooth, firm texture and appealing aroma – however, spoiled ones may appear darkly spotted or feel mushy to the touch. Moreover, cooked spuds can be ruined with no visible changes occurring on the surface; if it’s been sitting in your fridge for too long, you may want to take a whiff before chowing down!

What does a mouldy sweet potato look like?

When the sweet potato isn’t fresh, the telltale signs become apparent. Its beautiful hues of yellow and orange can fade to brown or even black – an unmistakable sign that it is time for this tuber to be discarded.

What are the brown spots in sweet potatoes?

Sweet potato’s notorious brown spots may look off-putting, but the cause of them is actually quite harmless – namely “internal necrosis” or dead and dying cells. Even though researchers are still investigating why this phenomenon occurs in certain varieties of sweet potatoes, cutting off affected areas means you can enjoy the rest!

Do sweet potatoes last longer in the fridge?

Sweet potatoes can be a great addition to your pantry for the long haul! At room temperature, they last about two weeks up to one month. But if you want extended storage options and an even longer lifespan, pop them in the fridge; it’ll extend their shelf life substantially – from three months all the way up to freezing capabilities!

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