How To Tell If Strawberries Are Bad? Cooking Tips 101

Strawberries are widely loved for their sweet and juicy flavor, along with their delicate and mild aroma. This fruit is also good for health, especially for skincare.

However, it doesn’t take long to make the strawberries gone bad with such watery and soft features. This is also one of the biggest problems you must consider before purchasing a large buck of strawberries.

So, how to tell if strawberries are bad? In this post, let’s dive deep into some signs for spoilage strawberries, as well as how long are strawberries good for with and without proper storage!

 No need to waste time; let’s start!

How To Tell If Strawberries Are Bad?


Even though subjective judgment cannot be 100% sure, it is still reliable to test whether the fruit is good and harmless enough to eat or not. In the end, you will eat that food, so if it cannot pass your subjective feeling and judgment, how could you eat it, right? There are three signs to help you test whether the berries are bad or not: texture, color, and mold.

Now, let’s get straight to the topic: how to know if strawberries are bad?



Typically, the strawberries have a delicate and juicy texture. When it is still green, the berries can be slightly rough and hard. You can even feel the juice flowing under by pressing it.

While the strawberries are ripe enough, the texture is tender and watery. With just slight pressure from your second finger, the juice inside starts extracting, and there is a slight aroma evaporating.

These are the signs of a fresh, edible strawberry. If your berries have these signs, then please throw them away:

  • Easy to poke your finger into the flesh
  • There is a weird odor arising
  • Splotches appear


fresh strawberries

The color of the fruit is also an important factor to consider. To be more specific, fresh strawberries always have a bright reddish scent when ripe. When it is still unripe, the fruit is green or yellow that slowly turns red.

So, the strawberries you are storing are edible if they have two colors: red, half-green, and half-red.

If you see the berries losing their colors and having a strong, weird smell, these fruits have likely gone bad. As every abnormal sign has a meaning, if the fruit is edible as normal, then why does it change, right?



Mold may be the first spoilage sign that you could detect. Sometimes, you can even find out the mold before feeling the weird odor and abnormal texture.

So, what is mold? In short, mold is fungi growing on fruit whenever the environment is just right to culture the spores. This case usually happens when the fruits are stored in an infectious, unhygienic, and moist environment that supports the multiplication of fungus.

Once mold appears on the surface of the food, you know that: the food is inedible. The microorganisms have been developed to the extent they breed on the layer of the fruit.

So, before eating a strawberry, check carefully for any signs of mold. If there is a white or light greenish-gray spot, it means that you are storing fuzzy strawberries, my friend! Please throw away that fruit immediately!

Lastly, if one strawberry is moldy are they all bad? – Yes, sadly it is!

How Long Do Strawberries Last?

There is no exact answer for strawberry shelf life since it depends on their real-time condition to determine. Is it fresh, is it raw? Have you cut the fruit yet? What is the temperature in the meantime? are some points we should consider.

First and foremost, let’s break down the fruit into two groups: whole and already cut. There is such a big longevity gap between the whole strawberries and the cut ones. After the cut, the fruit has been exposed to air and bacteria. Besides, the juice has evaporated, and there is not much nutrition residing inside the strawberries once you cut it off.

To be more specific, the fresh, whole strawberries can last for 1 – 2 days if stored in the pantry. When you put it in the refrigerator, the shelf life can last 5 – 7 days. While being frozen, the whole strawberries can remain fresh for up to 6 to 8 months.

Meanwhile, the cut strawberries can only last for one day if left in the pantry. You can use the fruit for 1 to 3 days if stored in the refrigerator. Finally, the fruit can be edible for up to 3 to 4 months if you freeze it.

It is obvious that the whole strawberries can last for longer than the cut ones. As mentioned, the cut strawberries are exposed to air and the microorganism, so it has a higher chance of being infected.

How To Store Strawberries?

As mentioned above, strawberries are quite hard to store. It is juicy, it is tender, but it can be exposed to bacteria and get infected easily. Here is a smart tip for you: A dry, clean, hygienic environment is the ideal storage condition for berries.

That being said, we suggest you not wash the berries immediately after buying. It would be better to store them in containers but don’t absorb them in water. Moreover, ensure to keep the fruit in BPA-free plastic airtight containers for better flavor maintenance. Only water the berries shortly before using it, guys!

Last but not least, you never want your food to have a “plastic” smell, right? So, the BPA-free container is the only suitable material you should choose. Other plastic types will leave a strong smell on strawberries.


How To Lengthen The Longevity Of The Strawberries?

There are various approaches to lengthen the longevity of the strawberries, but let us guide you to one of the simplest and most effective ways to do it – using vinegar.

Here is how to start:

  • First, prepare half a cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water. In a deep bowl, stir the water with vinegar.
  • Then, soak the berries in that mixture for a couple of minutes.
  • Take out the strawberries and dry them.
  • Put the berries back in the storage place, and you can ensure that your fruits can last longer. The strawberries can eliminate bacteria, mold, and microorganisms staying on the exterior layer with this approach.

Can I Eat Old Strawberries?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is safe to eat the old strawberries if they aren’t moldy and spoiled yet. The fruit you should avoid is the spoiled strawberries, not the old ones!

However, if we have more options to choose from, we suggest you not eat the old fruits because the taste and texture won’t be at the best status. You may not feel the sweetness or aroma when chewing fresh, soft strawberries. So, why do you have to?

Are overripe strawberries safe to eat? Yes, they are safe to eat if there is no more fruit left to select and only have the old ones in the pantry.


Through this article, you have learned how to tell if strawberries are bad and store them better. We also answer some rare questions regarding the taste of this fruit. In summary, you can detect a rotten strawberry by observing its texture, signs of mold, and color.

Strawberries are not easy to grow and store fruit. It is delicate, juicy but also easy to spoil. So, before buying it, keep in mind to learn how to retain it properly! We hope that this post is helpful enough for you!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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