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How To Tell If Broccoli Is Bad

How To Tell If Broccoli Is Bad

Broccoli is a staple in every household when it comes to crunchy green vegetables; after all, it is packed with antioxidants, Vitamins C and K, and lots of minerals, too.

However, more often than not, we all tend to unintentionally leave behind a head or two of broccoli in our refrigerator, making you skeptical about whether it is still good to be used

To tell if broccoli is bad, you should look to see if it has any spots that are discolored. If any part of the broccoli head has white or black spots especially, it’s time to throw it out.

But there is more to this than meets the eye, so here is our comprehensive guide on when broccoli goes bad and the best methods to preserve it for a long period of time. 

Can You Eat Broccoli If It’s Gone Bad?

The first step in determining whether your broccoli is still safe to consume is checking the color of its florets. There are two things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Yellow or brown colored spots mean broccoli has started to spoil but is not rotten yet. 

2. Black or white fuzzy spots indicate the formation of mould and tells you that it is no longer edible.

So if the color of the broccoli’s florets has turned only a bit yellow or brown, it is thankfully still edible. While it has not started to decay yet, the taste will not be as great as it is fresh and crisp. 

After turning brown, the broccoli will taste mushy and almost tasteless, not giving you the satisfaction of having good crispiness in your food.

You can chop off the brown areas, but keep in mind that broccoli turning yellow or brown is a sign of it going bad, so it is best to use it before it rots completely. 

Male eating broccoli

What Happens If I Eat Bad Broccoli?

Broccoli gets spoiled once patches either black or white start to appear on its stems or florets.

Once the taste becomes inedible, you need to throw it away due to the health risks it poses if consumed in large amounts.

This can present itself as stomach aches, mild cramps, and vomiting. 

How Long Does Broccoli Last In The Fridge?

Storing broccoli the right way is the first step in allowing it to last longer. It can conveniently be stored either cut into small florets or as a whole.

Both cooked and raw broccoli can last for 3-5 days maximum. However, you can expect raw broccoli to last up to 1 to 2 weeks if it is stored in the refrigerator. 

Nevertheless, if you plan to store your broccoli for months, the best way is by keeping them blanched. This way it can be stored for 11-12 months in the refrigerator and for 4 months in the fridge. 

However, it is best to consume within 6 months for better taste. 

How Long Does It Take For Fresh Broccoli To Go Bad?

As mentioned above, cooked and raw broccoli can last up to 3-5 days in the fridge. However, if it is kept on the counter, it can only last up to 2 days.

Allowing your broccoli to sit at room temperature means your vegetable will turn yellow soon.

How To Properly Store Broccoli

To fully enjoy the bright green earthy flavor, as well as the nutrients and the soft texture, it is important to preserve your broccoli the right way.

Broccolis can stay fresh with healthy moisture. You can give them their required moisture by spritzing them with water. 

After spraying, loosely wrap them with a paper towel to allow air circulation. Next, store them in the fridge. 

Another great way to keep broccoli fresh is by placing the whole broccoli head in half an inch of water. Either use a small vase or a cylindrical container making sure only the stems are submerged, not the florets.

Cover it with a loose plastic sheet to allow a healthy and breathable environment for your broccoli.  Change the water every day and store it in the fridge for a week. 

Also, as previously mentioned, the best method to preserve the taste and freshness of your broccoli is freezing them blanched.

This not only elongates its longevity but also maintains the same taste. 

This requires you to first boil your small cut florets at a high temperature for 3 minutes. Then nicely drain the hot water out and give them an ice bath. Stir them for around for 3 minutes, pat them dry, and place them in the freezer. These blanched broccolis can be enjoyed for 12 months.

Final Words on How To Tell If Broccoli Has Gone Bad

Broccoli is a very flavorful vegetable that can be enjoyed in various salads and foods.

While it does not expire that quickly, it is best to be consumed as early as possible to get the most out of its fresh and earthy flavor.

And in case you do forget your dear broccoli head, hopefully our guide above can be the much-needed rescue!

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.