Potatoes can pose a health risk if a person consumes them after improperly storing them. But if a person properly stores potatoes, they can safely store them for a long time.
Potatoes are starchy tubers that grow below the surface of the soil.
These vegetables are a good source of some important vitamins and minerals.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, half a cup of raw diced potatoes contains 42.8 milligrams (mg) of phosphorus, 319 mg of potassium, and 14.8 mg of vitamin C.
As with any other vegetable, potatoes only last a certain amount of time before going off.
This article looks at the shelf life of potatoes and detailed signs of spoilage. It also examines the health risks of eating potatoes and provides some tips for storing potatoes.
The shelf life of potatoes can vary depending on several factors, e.g. B. on the temperature at which they are stored or whether you have previously cooked the potatoes.
In general, a raw potato can last a few weeks to several months, depending on the temperature at which a person is storing it.
Boiled potatoes can keep for several days in the refrigerator. It can take up to a year in the freezer.
The table below gives a more detailed breakdown of potatoes’ shelf life based on whether or not they are raw and the temperature at which someone is storing them.
The cooking technique does not affect the shelf life of cooked potatoes.
It should be noted that a meal containing potatoes may not always keep as long as the potato itself if it contains ingredients with a shorter shelf life.
There are several ways to determine if a potato is unsuitable for consumption.
A raw, whole potato should feel firm. If a potato is mushy or soft, a person should throw it away.
While it is normal for raw potatoes to have some blemishes, a foul odor that is associated with blemishes also indicates that the potato is not safe to eat. Eating moldy potatoes is also unsafe.
Even if a raw potato is firm, odorless, and flawless, it may not be suitable for consumption.
For example, it is best not to eat a potato that has been sprouting for a long time.
A person can still eat a recently sprouted potato, but only after removing the sprouts.
It is unsafe to eat boiled potatoes if they have visible mold or have a foul odor.
There are two major health risks associated with potatoes. The first is food poisoning from eating spoiled potatoes. The second is that potato sprouts can be toxic to humans.
Food poisoning describes when someone becomes infected with foodborne viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi.
Although symptoms of food poisoning can vary depending on the type of infection, one study listed the following common symptoms of food poisoning:
People can also feel uncomfortable eating pristine potato sprouts.
One study found that potato sprouts contain high levels of solanine, a toxic chemical. The same applies to potatoes that have been sprouting for a long time.
Symptoms of solanine poisoning are similar to the main symptoms of food poisoning:
- stomach pain
- a headache
- slow pulse or breathing
Anyone with these symptoms should contact a doctor.
The most important point to remember is that someone should store raw and cooked potatoes differently.
The best way to store raw potatoes is to put them in a cool, dark, and relatively dry environment. This will prevent them from sprouting for as long as possible and will slow down mold growth.
It is best not to store raw potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer. This can cause the potatoes to brown, soften, and increase the sugar content.
A person can safely store boiled leftover potatoes in the refrigerator for a few days. Alternatively, someone can freeze boiled potatoes for several months.
It is worth noting that freezing some cooked potato products can affect their quality.
For example, the results of an older study from 2005 suggest that cooked mashed potatoes lose quality after being frozen.
All over the world, people eat potatoes as a nutritious and versatile staple food.
There are some risks associated with eating potatoes.
Individuals can usually avoid these risks by exercising caution when storing and eating potatoes.