Mushrooms are a mixed bag, literally speaking. If you’re foraging for mushrooms, you have to know the difference between the edible mushrooms and the poisonous ones.
However, that’s not the only problem with mushrooms. Like bananas, they have a short window when it comes to freshness.
Do mushrooms go bad? Mushrooms go bad after 7 to 10 days even if you keep them in the refrigerator. Once they have a slimy film, it’s a good sign that the mushrooms are no longer edible. Mold gives the mushrooms a dark color, and then the texture gets mushy. You shouldn’t eat mushrooms with any of these mold signs.
Whether you forage your mushrooms or buy them at the supermarket, you should always eat them fresh. Read more to find out how to tell when mushrooms have gone bad.
Guide To Mushroom Freshness
Although mushrooms are a type of fungus, the edible ones fall prey to other fungi such as mold. Just as you can’t eat moldy bread or rotten tomatoes, when mushrooms go bad, they should be thrown out.
Look out for a slimy film on the top or brown or black spots that indicate that the mushrooms are no longer edible.
How Long Do Fresh Mushrooms Last?
In ideal conditions and assuming you bought fresh mushrooms that have been gathered that same day, you have between 7 and 10 days to consume them.
Not all the mushrooms in the supermarket are fresh. Some have been gathered and stored for a while. So when you buy them, they might go bad in less than a week.
Tip: Hold off washing the mushrooms until right before you’re going to serve them raw or cook them.
How Long Do Dried Mushrooms Last?
Dried mushrooms have a longer shelf life than fresh ones. As long as the dried mushrooms are kept in a sealed and air-tight container, they will not go bad.
Keep them in a dry and dark place until you need them. However, once you open the air-tight sealed bag, the mushrooms will go bad faster than fresh ones.
How Long Do Sliced Mushrooms Last?
Sliced mushrooms go bad faster than both whole fresh mushrooms and dried ones.
If you buy sliced mushrooms, you have between 3 and 5 days to consume them before mold takes over and ruins the mushrooms.
The storage conditions both at the supermarket and at home will determine how long the sliced mushrooms last.
How Long Can Cooked Mushrooms Last in the Fridge?
If the mushrooms are cooked alone, they can last for up to 10 days after cooking. You’ll need to keep them in an air-tight container and store it in the fridge.
If you’re cooking the mushrooms along with other veggies that spoil quickly, the cooked mushrooms won’t last that long.
Can Mushrooms Be Frozen?
If you forage a lot of fresh mushrooms that you can’t possibly consume within 7 to 10 days, then put them in a Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer.
Frozen mushrooms can last for up to 12 months. To keep the mushrooms that long, separate them into small piles and keep each pile in its own bag.
When you need some frozen mushrooms, take out one bag. That will keep the rest fresh.
What Does a Bad Mushroom Look Like?
Mushrooms go bad in various stages. The first symptom is when the mushrooms are covered with a slimy film. That tells you that mold has taken root.
Next, the color of the mushrooms turns dark. If the mushrooms were white when you bought them, they’ll turn yellow. Fresh yellow mushrooms turn brown. Mold growth may be visible.
Finally, the texture of the mushrooms becomes mushy as they disintegrate.
Can You Eat Slimy Mushrooms?
For the sake of your health, you shouldn’t eat slimy mushrooms.
Even if you cook them to kill the mold, there’s a good chance that the toxins the mold had produced will be released into the food due to the heat, which puts you and everyone who consumes the food at risk.
Mushroom Turned Black Inside
If the mushrooms have turned black inside, you should throw them out. They have gone bad and are no longer edible.
A good rule of thumb when preparing mushrooms is to slice them in half to make sure that they’re still good. If they’re dark inside, that means that the mold is eating the mushrooms from the inside out.
Can I Eat Mushrooms With Brown Spots?
Brown spots on mushrooms are a sign that the mushrooms are starting to go bad. You could cook the mushrooms right away if they don’t have many spots.
Sometimes the brown spots are a symptom of rot. Cut the mushroom open with a knife. If the inside is dark, it’s no longer edible.
What Happens if You Eat Spoiled Mushrooms?
Spoiled mushrooms are quite toxic and can lead to botulism. This is a fatal disease.
Symptoms of spoiled mushroom poisoning include nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, coma, paralysis, and death. You should seek medical help immediately if you eat spoiled mushrooms.
How To Store Mushrooms for Maximum Freshness
If your mushrooms get soggy or moldy quickly even if you keep them in the fridge, this has to do with the way you store them. Moisture is the number one enemy of mushrooms.
Keep the fresh and unwashed mushrooms in a paper bag, seal the top of the bag, and keep it in the fridge. The bag absorbs moisture and prevents mold buildup.
Don’t use a Ziploc bag since it will trap moisture and accelerate the decay of the mushrooms.
How To Keep Mushrooms Fresh Without Fridge
Without a fridge, mushrooms will either dry up or go soggy. Too much moisture will cause mold, and not enough moisture will cause the mushrooms to go dry.
Place the fresh mushrooms in a paper bag, and place a moist paper towel on top of them.
When the towel dries, sprinkle little water over it and place it back inside the bag. This will keep the mushrooms fresh for a few days longer.
How To Store Mushrooms Long Term
If you have foraged a large number of mushrooms and want to store them long term, wash the mushrooms, and place them in an airtight container.
Cover the mushrooms with oil so that no part of the mushroom pops up above the surface. Close the lid and store the container in the fridge.
The mushrooms would stay fresh for up to a year. You can use as much as you want and store the rest in oil.
Can I Freeze Cooked Mushrooms?
You can freeze cooked mushrooms to keep them fresh. If you cook large amounts, divide them into small airtight containers, and when they’re cool, place them in the freezer.
Label each container with the date you stored it. If you keep all the mushrooms in one container, they will go bad when you take them out of the freezer to thaw and put them back again.
Can Mushrooms Be Composted?
Absolutely. Mushrooms are easy to compost. They break down quickly and enrich the compost pile with nitrogen.
Additionally, the mushrooms speed up the composting of other food scraps you add to the compost bin. The next time your mushrooms go bad, don’t throw them away. Put them in the compost.
Mushrooms are notorious for going bad rather quickly. If you see a slimy film or dark spots on the mushrooms, they’re no longer edible.
You can store mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. For long-term storage, keep the mushrooms covered in oil in an airtight container.