Bad Sweet Potatoes: How to Tell When Your Sweet Potatoes Have Gone Off



Sweet potatoes are a versatile root vegetable that can be enjoyed in various ways, from baked to fried and mashed. However, if you've ever stored sweet potatoes for a while, you may have noticed they don't last forever. Eventually, they start to go bad like any other produce.

So how do you know when your sweet potato is no longer good? Is it safe to eat discolored or soft spots? Can bad sweet potatoes make you sick? These are all valid questions that deserve answers. In this article, we'll dive into the signs of spoilage in sweet potatoes and what steps you should take if your spuds have gone bad.

Keep reading to learn more about how to tell when a sweet potato is past its prime and what precautions you can take to prevent spoilage.

How Do You Know When a Sweet Potato is Bad?

Sweet potatoes are undoubtedly one of the most nutritious root vegetables available. They are delicious, versatile, and packed full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining good health. However, like any other produce, sweet potatoes can go bad if not stored or cooked properly.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to identify when a sweet potato has gone bad and what you should do with it.

Signs that Your Sweet Potato Has Gone Bad

To determine whether your sweet potato has gone bad or not requires using all five senses: sight, smell, taste touch and hearing. Here are some signs that indicate your sweet potato is no longer edible:


If the skin of the sweet potato looks wrinkled or shriveled up instead of smooth then it's an indication that it's going bad. Also if there appears to be mold on the surface then it’s time to throw away.


Another way to check if your sweet potatoes have gone off is by smelling them- If they have an unpleasant odor similar to rotting food then this indicates spoilage as well.


When cut open does it show discolouration? If yes then discard

Tips for Storing Sweets Potatoes

Proper storage can help extend their lifespan before they start showing signs of decay.
Here are some tips on storing them correctly:

  • Store in a cool dry place between 55–60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t store near onions as they release gases which cause ripening fruit & veges such as potatoes & tomatoes among others; thus accelerating decay rates.
  • Avoid stacking them too high so air can circulate around each individual tuber without causing moisture build-up.

Benefits Of Eating Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes offer numerous benefits including:

  1. Boosting immunity – containing beta carotene which increases Vitamin A production and immune function.
  2. Good for digestion – a good source of dietary fiber which helps maintain digestive health.
  3. Preventing Cancer- Sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins which have anti-cancer properties.


In conclusion, sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and tasty root veges that offer numerous health benefits when consumed fresh or cooked properly but they can go bad if not stored correctly or used within the given time frame. Be sure to inspect your sweet potato carefully before consuming it, always discard moldy ones immediately as consuming those may pose serious risks to one's health.
Proper storage methods will help extend their life span whilst preserving their nutritional value; keeping them well away from onions is key too!


How do you know when a sweet potato is bad?

When it comes to sweet potatoes, it's essential to keep in mind that they have a limited shelf life. If not stored correctly, they can spoil quickly and cause food poisoning when consumed. A decaying potato has an unpleasant smell and may develop molds or spots as indicators of spoilage.

To determine if your sweet potatoes are rotten, the first thing you should check for is their texture. If the flesh feels soft and mushy or slimy with visible bruises on the skin, then your potato has likely gone bad. Likewise, if there are any black spots appearing on its surface accompanied by an off-putting odor coming from within, this indicates that bacteria have started developing inside the vegetable.

One way to prolong their freshness is through proper storage in a dry place at room temperature where they can last for up to two weeks or more without losing quality.

Can I eat a moldy sweet potato?

While mold isn't necessarily toxic itself – some people would scrape off mildew from cheese – consuming such rotten produce might not be safe because it might contain mycotoxins harmful to human health. Therefore we advise against eating mold on potatoes since any fungus growing on them may pose serious health risks such as vomiting or diarrhea when ingested.

If only small sections of your spuds show signs of decay while leaving most parts intact – like cutting out one small portion – then chances are that those pieces remain edible after removing affected areas properly before cooking/eating them safely (or discard entirely).

What happens if I consume spoiled sweet potatoes?

Eating spoilt vegetables like rotting yams results in food poisoning symptoms ranging from mild stomach discomforts like nausea/diarrhea/vomiting/stomach cramps/bloating/headaches/fever/muscle pain/weakness/fatigue/lack appetite/general malaise/dehydration/the chills depending on how much of it you consume and your body's sensitivity.

To avoid such risks, always examine any vegetable before eating or cooking to ensure they are fresh and have no signs of spoilage. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and dispose rather than risk food poisoning symptoms.

How can I store sweet potatoes for long-term use?

Storing spuds is pretty simple but requires some care. First: choose a cool/dry spot where temperatures range from 50-60°F that doesn't experience moisture fluctuations (not refrigerated). Second: keep them in an open container like a basket/box with proper ventilation preventing rotting or sprouting while also keeping air circulation flowing around them at all times (cotton bags work well too).

Make sure to inspect your sweet potatoes regularly as some might start showing signs of decay over time depending on storage conditions. By doing so, you can remove any decaying tubers before contaminating other vegetables stored nearby.

Can I freeze sweet potatoes?

Yes, freezing spuds is possible by peeling/cutting/blanching/giving them an ice batch before packing into resealable freezer bags/containers while removing excess air inside for best results.
However – frozen yams don't hold up as well compared to their fresh counterparts due to changes in texture/flavor caused by thawing/freezing cycles affecting their quality after defrosting. Frozen yams might be better suited for purees/mashed dishes/soups/stews where texture isn't paramount when prepared correctly.

In conclusion, taking proper care when handling these root vegetables extends their shelf life while also ensuring they remain safe for consumption; Decaying produce presents significant health risks if consumed without caution.

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