How to Tell if Mushrooms are Bad – Look for these signs

Mushrooms are the favorite of so many people, and they are full of health-related benefits. When you add them to your meal, they give a unique flavor to your food.

The unique flavor and the texture of the mushroom go well with a lot of dishes. There are some people who hesitate in trying them because some of the species of mushrooms are inedible and can be poisonous also.

You might be thinking that if you buy fresh mushrooms from the stores and if they go bad, then you will get very sick. So you are looking the ways to tell if mushrooms are bad.

In this article, we are going to discuss the signs that you should be looking for in your mushroom to check whether they have gone bad and to answer the question, of how to tell if mushrooms are bad.

Key Takeaway:

Here’s how to determine if mushrooms are bad. Firstly, the smell of the mushrooms – fresh mushrooms should have a subtle earthy aroma, while bad mushrooms may have a sour or musty odor. Secondly, examine the mushrooms visually for any signs of decay, including discoloration, mold, or sliminess. Fresh mushrooms should be firm to the touch, so if they feel slimy or mushy, they are likely past their prime.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check the expiration date on the package or the date you purchased them to ensure its freshness.

How to tell if mushrooms are bad – Signs to look for to tell whether they have gone bad or not

1. It looks slimy

It is one of the main signs which indicates that the mushrooms have gone bad. If you find out that the mushroom you have bought is slimy, then there are no longer suitable to be consumed. You should know that the sliminess of the mushroom happens when they are kept in the fridge for a long time period.

However, these mushrooms are not very dangerous in such a situation, but it is good for you to avoid rotten food.

2. It has wrinkles

You might not be aware of the fact that sometimes the old mushrooms don’t appear too slimy. Instead, they start drying up, and they get wrinkles all over their skin.

The thing is that it is pretty okay to dry the mushrooms a little, but if it appears to be too wrinkly, then it is not suitable for consumption. If you still want to consume them, then it will be safer for you to toss them first and then eat them as it will reduce their bad effects.

3. Discoloration

The most obvious sign to tell if mushrooms have gone bad is discoloration. Dark patches or wrinkles will indicate that they are rotten. The mushrooms will lose their flavor if they are shriveled or discolored. If they have a slimy or sticky covering, they may be rotten, too. In order to prevent spoiled mushrooms, keep them refrigerated and cook them in an area free from bacteria.

If you notice slimy patches or discoloration, this means they have been left out in the refrigerator for too long and have started to oxidize.

If you notice any of these marks or if you find a slimy film on the mushroom, it’s probably time to throw it out. It’s also possible that the mushrooms have started to develop mold, which is highly toxic to your body.

When mushrooms turn brown, they’re unhealthy and dangerous. They contain tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for browning.

This enzyme forms before mushrooms go bad, and it reacts with oxygen to turn the mushrooms brown. As a rule, the more time tyrosinase has to react with oxygen, the darker the mushrooms are. If this occurs, throw away the mushrooms.

Sliced mushrooms can also develop wrinkles and shrivel up when they’re spoiled. They can also smell bad, so it’s vital to remove them before they spoil.

4. It has dark spots

If you see that the sliced mushroom has some dark spots on it, then it indicates that your fungi are starting to become bad. Well, the one thing that you can do to prevent this from happening is by keeping an eye on the mushrooms all the time when they are in the fridge.

If you see that they are starting to get dark spots, then it is time you should use them. But if you see that it becomes way darker, then it is good that you should throw them in the dustbin. This is one of the easiest ways to tell if mushrooms have gone bad or not.

5. It emits odor

The one thing that you should know is that the mushrooms really don’t have any kind of noticeable odor. If you notice that the mushroom which you have bought has a smell, then it is quite a good indication that mushrooms have gone bad.

There is no denying the fact that if you smell the mushrooms by placing them closer to your nose, then you will notice the minimal scent of mushrooms, but it is very subtle.

The best way to tell if your mushrooms are bad is to touch and smell them carefully before cooking them. Mushrooms that have a pungent smell are definitely not safe for consumption. If they smell earthy or mild, they are probably fresh.

If they smell sour, they are probably bad. You can substitute a different mushroom for the bad one and eat it later. A pungent smell may indicate that the mushroom is past its prime.

But on the other hand, if you pick a bag of mushrooms, open it, and the smell is unbearable then your mushrooms have gone bad. It would be best for you to get rid of them as soon as possible.

6. Moisture

If you’ve ever cooked mushrooms before, you know how important it is to remove any excess moisture before cooking them.

Mushrooms need to breathe, and if they’re too wet, they’ll start to lose moisture and become slimy. This is an early sign of bad mushrooms, and it’s easy to spot these by smell alone. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to discard them!

  • The first clue that your mushrooms may be rotten is their appearance. If they’re brownish or viscous, it’s time to throw them away.
  • The smell of rotten mushrooms will be off-putting – they’ll also lose moisture and develop wrinkles. Fortunately, there are several ways to tell if your mushrooms are bad- just use your common sense!

7. They are older than two weeks or more

It is essential for you to know that all the mushrooms last around for two weeks when you store them in the fridge.

You can use your common sense to check out if the mushrooms are bad or not. If there is no smell, they look fine in appearance; then they are safe for eating.

But if you see any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms of getting, it is safe for you to avoid eating the rotten mushrooms. Bad mushrooms can affect your health.

How long do mushrooms last?

We have a detailed post on how long do mushrooms last, you may want to check.

According to some experts and chefs, if you store mushrooms properly, they can last for up to two weeks in your refrigerator without getting bad.

However, mushrooms come in various species, and some the species of mushrooms might last longer, and the others might get bad very quickly. Some of the other factors which can affect the freshness and shell life of mushrooms are the temperature of your fridge and moisture level.

Can you freeze fresh mushrooms?

Yes, you can freeze fresh mushrooms for up to 2 weeks. Freezing them will preserve their texture and flavor. They can be cooked frozen or used in recipes that call for cooked mushrooms.

Freezing fresh mushrooms is a very important process in order to preserve their freshness and flavor.

Mushrooms are best when they are fresh, so freezing them is the best way to store them. If you want to know how to freeze mushrooms, then you should read this article.

How to keep mushrooms fresh?

To keep your mushrooms fresh, you can place them in a container or plastic bag. If they’re not packaged, it’s best to use plastic wrap and store mushrooms in the refrigerator, but don’t keep them in the fridge for long!

Alternatively, you can use a paper towel to wrap the mushrooms and put them in a zip-top plastic bag.

If you’re unsure of the moisture content, leave the top open so that air can circulate. Remember that fresh mushrooms should be eaten within a week after purchase, so check the moisture content of different varieties.


The above mentioned are some of the good signs and symptoms you should look for in your mushroom to tell if mushrooms are bad or not. They will help you a lot, and spotting these signs is not a difficult task, especially when your health is involved in it.

I'm a coffee lover, foodie, and blogger - passionate about coffee and all the things that go with it. I write about coffee, and news, learn about new coffees from across the world, do some home roasting, and share my thoughts on various other topics.

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