How To Tell If Corn Is Bad? And How To Store It Properly

I always love making homemade popcorn for my family movie time. That’s why I’m used to choosing and storing fresh corn for long usage. So if you’re wondering,

How to tell if corn is bad?”Let me show you some tricks in my sleeve below.

How Long Is Corn Good For?

How Long Is Corn Good For

How Long Does Raw Corn Last

Corn is an amazing ingredient as a snack or as a side dish. A great bonus is they have a relatively longer shelf life than most vegetables. So, how long can you keep cooked corn on the cob?

Fresh corn can last for around 1-2 days if you leave it at room temperature. Within this time, they retain most of their natural sweetness and juiciness.

As you leave them out longer, the corn will dry out and eventually turn bad. This process is called “respiration,” where the corns’ moisture will slowly fade away along with its natural sweetness.

A trick to keep raw corn’s shelf life longer is maintaining the husks on the corn cob, which helps keep the freshness.

If you have already cut off the husks, you can wrap the uncooked corn in plastic foil or wrap to prevent exposure to external moisture that can dry out the corn.

Whichever trick you use, the most effective way to keep your corn longer is a proper storing method.

These uncovered and unshucked corn will stay edible for up to a week as long as they are properly stored.

How Long Can You Keep Cooked Corn On The Cob?

Steamed corn on the cob is a common way to enjoy corn as a quick breakfast. It is also an easy way to cook corn without many preparations. But how long can you keep cooked corn on the cob?

Cooked corn has a different shelf life from raw corn because they have been processed.

Like all cooked fruits and vegetables, they should be edible for around 4 – 5 days if they are stored in the right condition. After that, they will eventually turn bad.

How To Tell If Corn Is Bad?

Corn is generally a vegetable with a long shelf life, so does corn go bad? or can corn on the cob go bad?

Like with all food, corn can still turn bad and expire whether they are raw or cooked. But how do you know if corn on the cob is bad?

You can spot several signs of spoilage, which are change of appearance, brown in color, rancid smell, and a slimy texture. These signs are common in many fresh vegetables like green onions and green beans.

Before getting to know how to spot spoiled corn, we should know why they become spoiled to extend the life shelf. One of the most common causes of spoilage for corn is the moist environment.

When corns are exposed to a lot of moisture, they will be an easy target for bacteria, mold, and fungi to grow and populate. Those that are contaminated will have these features:

Corn Color And Appearance

The first sign of bad corn can be shown through the external appearance. Good and healthy corn will have a consistent white to golden yellow color with no damaged spots.

You can observe the corn’s appearance to find if there is a black spot on the corn or whether corn kernels turn brown when boiled. This is a sign of molded corn that you must discard right away to prevent food poisoning.

The change of appearance can also be spotted through the husk and silk colors. Normally, the husk will have a green color, and the silk is pale yellow.

Those with dark brown husks indicate the process of mold on corn on the cob.  

I also recommend you not to eat the disinfected- parts as they are possibly affected by the molds and fungi.

Corn smell

Another way to spot bad corn on the cob is the change of smell.

Sometimes it can be hard to spot the mold on corn husks as they can be tiny, so smelling it is a good way to notice changes in your corn. Infected corn will have a rancid and moldy smell.

As soon as you notice the smell changes, it is best to remove them from storage to prevent affecting other vegetables inside.

Corn texture

Lastly, you can spot a sign of spoilage by touching the ears of corn. Healthy corn would have a dry and hard texture of the bumps of the kernels with slight moisture from the husks.

That is the most important factor while making perfect popcorn.

However, if you find red mold on corn with a slimy texture, it means the corn is in the spoilage process. Furthermore, the corn tastes sour as well.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Corn

So, you know what rancid and rotten corn on the cob look like, but what would happen to you if you eat bad corn?

Spoiled food is not safe to eat as it can lead to food poisoning. Depending on how infected the food is, you can experience slight symptoms of food poisoning, like gastric distress.

Serious cases might even be vomiting, diarrhea, and constant stomach ache.

Therefore, it is necessary that you choose fresh corn to ensure your safety. Moreover, if you want to prolong corn usage, you need to store them properly to ensure food safety.

How To Store Corn Properly

Storing food is a necessary step to let you utilize the food as long as possible. So, how to store corn?

You can store corn with these two common methods: refrigerate it and freeze it. It is noted that the refrigerated method works best when you need to eat it soon.

If you have no plan of using it in the near future, it is better to freeze the corn.

How Do You Store Corn In The Refrigerator?

Firstly, you need to prepare the corn before storing them. To store them, you should not wash the corn as that can bring moisture to the corn, which increases the chance of the growth of mold and bacteria.

Therefore, it is best to keep them untouched and seal them in a freezer bag or an airtight container.

Then you can store them in the fridge for longer use. Let’s find out how long corn is good for in the fridge!

How Long Does Fresh Corn Last In The Fridge

If you have followed my instructions for corn preparation before storing, corn on the cob can stay fresh for around 3-5 days.

How Do You Store Corn In The Freezer?

If you don’t need to use the corn in the above time duration, you can freeze them until you need to cook them. Frozen corn can last up to 10 – 12 months.

However, one freezing trick is storing the corn kernels only. This will help you to maintain the color, taste, and texture of the natural corn.


How To Store Corn

What Goes With Corn?

Corn has a mild sweet flavor, making it a flexible ingredient to mix with any type of ingredients.

You can use corn as a side dish for baked chicken and sauteed vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli, or you can garnish a salad with some crunchy taste of cooked corn.

Other vegetables that also go with corn are avocado, peppers, cheese, lime, onions, etc.

How To Tell If Corn Is Cooked?

When corn is cooked, you can find an intense yellow color. The kernels are also plumper and more tender.


Corns are a healthy vegetable with a versatile taste that can be used as a main dish, side dish, or snack during movie time. When buying them, you need to know how to tell if corn is bad to prevent bad corn that affects your dish flavor.

It is also important to learn how to store corns properly so you can keep them fresh as long as possible for your tasty recipes.

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