Can You Eat Expired Carrots?

by Charlie

Carrot is a root vegetable that the eaten part is the taproot. The plant originated from Persia, where it was grown for its seeds and leaves. The carrot is usually orange in color, although other varieties are in red, purple, yellow, and black. 

The carrot root contains high alpha and beta-carotene quantities and provides a good source of vitamin K and B6. They also offer certain health benefits, such as improved eye health and encourages weight loss.

But, when stored for quite a while, carrots tend to go bad, which raises the question, can you eat expired carrots? You can still eat expired carrots but it is not recommended. Carrots lose moisture, making them slimy, flexible, and often wrinkly or moldy with visible rotten spots.

While in this state, you are advised not to eat the carrots to avoid possible health complications.

How Long Are Carrots Good After Expiration?

So how long are carrots good for after expiration? Depending on what type of carrot you have and how well your storage is, carrots expiration times can vary – whole carrots can last 3-4 weeks while baby carrots may only last 1-2 weeks.

Carrots come in different types. There are fresh whole carrots, baby carrots, and cooked carrots.

  • Whole carrots will last 4-5 weeks when refrigerated
  • Baby carrots last around three weeks refrigerated 
  • Cooked carrots will last a maximum of 1 week

After the best before date, your carrots maybe still edible as long as they have not changed color, but this state lasts only for a while. 

Whole, fresh carrots, when refrigerated, it is advisable not to peel off the skin. Instead, wash them thoroughly, store them in a zip-lock plastic bag, and put them in your refrigerator.

Baby carrots are smaller in size, and they tend to go bad faster than whole carrots.

Cooked carrots go bad quickly since bacteria is catalyzed, hence giving them a shorter shelf life. Therefore, you should store your carrots using the best preservation method possible. 

How to Tell if Carrots are Bad

Consumption of fresh and nutritious food is a lifestyle worth living to avoid and prevent food poisoning and any other foodborne related illnesses.

So, how will you tell if your carrots are rotten? It is easy to know if your carrots have gone bad by just looking or feeling them. They tend to turn color by having white dots on the surface, which is caused by loss of moisture on the carrot’s cut surface.

Moreover, carrots get wrinkly, which is a sign of drying out. This means means you should eat them soonest possible.

Large, whole carrots are easier to store for a more extended time. This is made possible by their protective skin, which keeps the moisture in and holds nutrients. Besides, baby carrots often have the skin removed. Thus they lack the protection needed, and therefore they tend to spoil faster and efficiently. 

As soon as they become slimy and mushy, it would be best if not eaten since they have an odor and poisonous.  

There are numerous issues related to food poisoning and the consumption of spoiled food. Therefore, you should practice food safety during handling, packaging, and preserving. Following these protocols, you will avoid health risks.

What are the Risks of Eating Expired Carrots?

Everything good tends to have its downside at some point. In this case, carrots are a favorite root vegetable for adults and children, making them a must-have in many households. 

However, you might have noticed your carrots changing from the state at which you bought them.

This will lead to you posing the question, what is the risk of eating expired carrots? A slimy carrot is bad for your health. When expired, carrots produce mold and tend to get too soft, which is a sign of bacteria or fungus. When ingested, it will cause bacterial infections with nausea, vomiting, and stomach aches.

Carrots come in a wide variety of shades and sizes, which brings on a concern. The root vegetable (carrot) family has several dangerous and poisonous plants. Two types of hemlock are stomach poisons when consumed.

Rubbery carrots are a sign of dehydration which, if not looked at, mold will grow and become mushy, which is an indication of rot. You can eat rubbery carrots, but the taste is not appealing.  

Therefore, make sure you store your carrots appropriately. For instance, do not store them at room temperature, which will catalyze the bacterial reaction. Instead, please keep it in a cold place such as a refrigerator or a freezer.

Also, ensure your carrots are whole and not cut for better and longer shelf life, which helps avoid such risks.

How to Store Carrots to Increase Shelf Life

You are probably wondering, how can I store carrots to increase shelf life? There are several ways to keep your carrots and use them after a long time without them going bad. They include: freezing the carrots and refrigerating.

1. Refrigerating

To increase your carrots’ shelf life, storing them in your fridge is an option you should consider. During this process, do not cut your carrots at all or peel the skin off. Instead, wash them thoroughly while whole, put them in an airtight plastic bag, and store them in your refrigerator. 

2. Freezing

For more long-lasting options, freezing your carrots is the best way to go. Before freezing your carrots, you should blanch them first and put them in safe freezer containers. 

Blanching is a heat treatment where you put your carrots in boiling water or steam to destroy the enzymes before freezing.

Small whole carrots are blanched around 5 minutes, diced, and you should blanch sliced carrots around 2 minutes.

Final Thoughts

  • Carrots take different periods to go bad after expiration, depending on their size and state. For instance, whole carrots take longer to go bad compared with baby carrots or cooked carrots taking a shorter time. 
  • You are more likely to tell if your carrots are rotten through seeing, feeling, or smelling. Bad carrots have a slimy feel, coated with mold and black spots, and produce a smelly odor.
  • Food poisoning is a risk you can be exposed to while handling carrots. Expired carrots can cause food poisoning that results in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • It is advisable to reduce wastage of food, hence storing your food using methods to increase shelf life. Some of these methods are freezing and refrigeration.

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