Here’s how long potatoes last if you store them correctly. Plus, how to tell if they’ve gone bad.
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Unlike other produce, potatoes can last a relatively long time before showing signs of spoilage. But unfortunately, they're still perishable. And there are a lot of questions surrounding when you should toss them.

Should you throw away potatoes that have sprouted? Can you still eat potatoes if you cut the sprouts off? We'll answer all of these questions and more.

Learn how to store potatoes, and how long they last so you can cook all your favorite potato dishes while they're still fresh.

How Long Do Potatoes Last at Room Temperature?

When stored in a cool, dark place, (warmer than the fridge but colder than the average temperature of your kitchen) whole, uncooked potatoes can last up to two months. At room temperature, on the counter, for example, potatoes will last up to two weeks.

Undoubtedly, the best way to store whole, uncooked potatoes is outside of the fridge. Storing potatoes in the fridge will cause the starch to turn to sugar, giving them a sweet flavor that you don't want from your potatoes. More on that in a moment.

How to Store Potatoes at Room Temperature

If you have an unheated basement, a cool pantry, or a garage that doesn't fluctuate too greatly between hot and cold, that's an ideal home for your spuds — ranging from 45 to 55 degrees F (7 to 13 degrees C). Otherwise, you're probably going to have to stick with regular ol' room temperature.

To best store, keep them loosely covered in a paper bag, mesh bag, or cardboard box to provide good air circulation. Be sure to keep them away from your onions, which may be stored nearby, as the moisture from potatoes will cause the onions to spoil faster.

How Long Do Potatoes Last in the Refrigerator?

While we already established that the fridge is not the best place to store potatoes, sometimes you have no other option. Lack of pantry space or hot or humid conditions are all reasons you might want to store your potatoes in the refrigerator.

If you do choose to refrigerate your potatoes for whatever reason, the potatoes will last for three to four weeks, but as mentioned, they may develop a sweeter taste when cooked.

How to Keep Prepped Potatoes in the Refrigerator

A helpful shortcut in some cases, potatoes can be peeled and/or cut ahead of time. Raw potatoes that have been cut should be stored in a bowl of cold water and refrigerated. They'll be good for the next 24 hours.

And finally, cooked potatoes will last three to four days in the fridge, as is the case with most leftovers.

How Long Do Potatoes Last in the Freezer?

While cooked potatoes do well in the freezer, raw potatoes do not, so it's best to cook them before freezing. When stored in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container, cooked potatoes will last 10 to 12 months in the freezer. Frozen mashed potatoes are best to use within a month or two.

How to Store Cooked Potatoes in the Freezer

Whether you are planning ahead, or just putting away extras for a rainy day, cooked potatoes usually fare nicely in the freezer. Especially potatoes that are lower in starch, such as red potatoes and Yukon Golds. You can freeze higher-starch potatoes like russets or baking potatoes as well, but they can become grainy when you thaw and reheat them. Let the prepped potatoes cool, then freeze them in single or group servings. Refer to our guide on how to freeze and reheat mashed potatoes for more tips.

How to Tell if a Potato Is Bad or Spoiled

You'll be able to tell if a potato has gone bad if it becomes soft or shrivels up. You may also notice a sour or musty smell, which indicates spoilage.

Green sprouts are not a sign of spoilage. However, they do indicate that nutrients are leaving the potato. This means their quality is beginning to deteriorate, but you don't necessarily have to throw them out just yet. They may just need a trim.

Should You Throw Away Potatoes That Are Green or Sprouted?

It depends on who you ask. Many argue that potatoes are still safe to eat even after they've sprouted, so long as they don't show any signs of spoilage as described above. Simply remove any sprouts or green spots before cooking them.

However, the National Capital Poison Center suggests tossing potatoes that have turned green or grown sprouts, to protect against any risk of potential toxicity. This is because potatoes contain what are called glycoalkaloids. These are natural toxins, the lowest concentration of which is found in the white body of the potato. The green skin, sprouts, and "eyes" contain the highest concentration of glycoalkaloids. If eaten, you may experience symptoms of vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and confusion.

Most would say peeling potatoes and removing the sprouts should protect against this. And you can take comfort in the fact that the bitter taste that comes with high levels of glycoalkaloids will give your taste buds a warning of the toxins. Whether or not you choose to toss them, always use caution when dealing with potatoes that have sprouted or turned green.

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