And learn how to tell if they've gone bad.

By Melanie Fincher
Updated May 05, 2021

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 with your potatoes while they're still good.

How Long Do Potatoes Last at Room Temperature?

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.

How to Store Potatoes at Room Temperature

When stored in a cool, dark place, (warmer than the fridge but colder than room temperature) whole, uncooked potatoes can last up to two months. But unless you have an unheated basement, you're probably going to have to stick with room temperature. To store, keep them loosely covered in a paper bag, mesh bag, or cardboard box to provide good air circulation. At room temperature, potatoes will last up to two weeks.

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, 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 they'll develop a sweet taste when cooked.

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 all 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. 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. More on that below.

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. However, 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.