How to Tell If Strawberries Are Bad

It is quite easy to find berries piled high at roadside stands and grocery stores during the strawberry season. While you can use strawberries in so many ways and in so many recipes, you need to take special care when buying and storing strawberries because they do not keep well long after picking. It is therefore important to know the signs of fresh berries and consider them when making a purchase. It is also important to know ways to tell if strawberries are bad, so that you do not eat them or use in your recipes.

How to Tell If Strawberries Are Bad

You should not consume berries when they have gone bad. Not paying attention to signs that your berries are no longer usable can actually spoil your recipes. Here are the steps to follow to confirm if the strawberries are still good.

  • Look for a dull exterior or splotches. This indicates that strawberries are probably overripe and may have also been bruised. You will get an intense flavor when you use overripe strawberries in your recipes. You can still use them in recipes, but avoid eating them on their own.
  • Use your index finger to press on the strawberries. If it gives slightly to pressure, it usually means the berries are ripe. Know that the strawberries are not good and probably overripe if you can easily poke your finger into the flesh.
  • Smell the berries and look for a strong aroma. You are going to notice an earthy, bitter smell coming out of a less ripe strawberry. A perfectly ripe strawberry usually smells sweet. You should never consume strawberries with a rotten odor.
  • Look for any signs of mold. It usually is white in color in the beginning but turns light greenish gray with time. Under no circumstances should you be consuming strawberries with mold on them.

How Long Do Strawberries Last?

How to tell if strawberries are bad? Just pay attention to certain signs. But you also need to know some general guidelines about the expiration of strawberries.





Fresh whole strawberries last for

6-8 months

5-7 days

1-2 days

Fresh cut strawberries last for

3-4 months

1-3 days

1 day

Improper storage can significantly reduce the life of strawberries. The thing is that they do not come with a best before date or use by date, which is why you need to rely on the date purchased. You may find a date on the container that tells when the strawberries were packed into the container. You can use this date to determine the 'eat by' date.

How to Store Strawberries

You should store strawberries soon after buying but do not wash it. Be sure to use tightly sealed BPE-free plastic airtight containers for storage. Just rinse off the strawberries you want to use and leave the rest sealed.

Keep in mind that if you do not use a BPE-free plastic container, your strawberries will begin to taste like plastic after several days of storage. If that is the case, be sure to get new containers for storage. Just by storing strawberries and other food items properly, you can cut food costs, eat healthier, and help the environment by limiting waste.

How to Save Mushy Strawberries

You do not need to discard your mushy strawberries, but you need to pay special attention when storing them. Be sure to know how to tell if strawberries are bad and use those signs to ensure the berries are not already rotten. Here is how to save mushy strawberries:

1. Make a Sauce

You can get all those not-so-perfect strawberries and make a simple sauce. Simply put them in a blender to make a paste or try another recipe. For better flavor, place them in a heatproof bowl, add some sugar, cover with plastic wrap, and heat over a pan filled with simmering water.

Once you have the sauce ready, you can use it for pancakes, cakes, sundaes, and much more. You can get popsicles by freezing that sauce or make salad dressing by adding some vinegar and oil to your sauce.

2. Turn into a Pie

You can use your not-so-good strawberries to make a cobbler, pie, or crumble. No one would be able to tell if you have used less-than-perfect berries to make the pie. Alternatively, you can roast those strawberries sans piecrust. Be sure to serve with whipped cream.

3. Use the Blender

You can always put your mushy berries into the blender to get a smooth mixture. This works great because the mushiness of the berries helps them break down quickly. You can always use it for sauce or make your own smoothies by adding some yogurt or milk to the mix. Add some ice cream to make a milkshake or simply add some blended ice to make it taste perfect.

4. Muffins Meet Strawberries

You can take brown bananas and mash them into bread. It is possible to use your overripe strawberries in the same way. Chop them or mash them and then mix into muffin batter, sweet breads, or pancake mix.

5. Make Some Jam

You can always use strawberries to make jam. It is better to use perfect strawberries when making jam for canning, but you can always make a small batch by using blemished or bruised berries. 

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