Cauliflower & broccoli

How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 24, 2021
How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad

Broccoli is a great vegetable to eat as it has high doses of vitamins and minerals. However, like any other fresh fruit or vegetable, it can go bad in just a couple of days. So, how can you tell if broccoli has gone bad?

In this oneHOWTO article we're going to explain how to know when broccoli has gone bad. We'll also explain the different shelf lives, depending on the state of the broccoli and where you store it. Keep reading to learn more!

You may also be interested in: How to Freeze Broccoli Properly

How to know if broccoli has gone bad

The first sign that will help you to know if broccoli has gone bad refers to its color. The normal color of broccoli is green; if you see that the florets have become a yellowish hue it is because the vegetable is spoiled. When broccoli is good and fit for consumption its color is dark green.

Another aspect that will help to determine if broccoli has gone bad is to look for the presence of mold in any part of its body. Mold can cause the color of the vegetable to look more yellow or it may have irregular formations in its appearance. If you see that broccoli is affected by mold throw it away immediately and avoid eating it it.

The texture of broccoli can also be a factor that will indicate if the it has gone bad. If you see that the broccoli has gone white or has a slimy texture it means it is in the process of putrefaction, therefore avoid eating it and throw it away.

The odor can also be a sign to help you tell whether broccoli has gone bad: if you perceive that the aroma of this plant is bitter and smells a little harder than normal, do not consume it. Broccoli should smell fresh, if the smell is bitter or bad odor is evident it means it has gone off.

You can also tell whether broccoli has gone bad if you notice that the stem is soft. Normally fresh vegetables have hard stems or trunks which; if the trunk of the broccoli is soft it has started to go off and you should not eat it.

To summarise, broccoli has gone bad if:

  • It has turned yellow or brown
  • It smells bitter or sour
  • Its texture is now soft or slimy

If the broccoli demonstrates any of the issues mentioned above, it's best to stay away from it. To ensure your broccoli is fresh, we recommend you wash it thoroughly and store it safely in the fridge. Keep its shelf life in mind. If you won't be having it any time soon, it's best to leave it in the freezer as it'll have a shelf life of about one year.

How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad - How to know if broccoli has gone bad

Shelf life of broccoli

It's also very useful to remember the shelf life of broccoli in order to store it properly and be able to enjoy it fresh. Here are the different shelf lives of broccoli, depending on its state and where you store it:

Raw broccoli

  • Raw broccoli left on the counter: 1-2 days
  • Raw broccoli left in the fridge: 4-5 days
  • Raw broccoli left in freezer: about 1 year

Cooked broccoli

  • Cooked broccoli on the counter: couple of hours
  • Cooked broccoli in the fridge: 4-5 days
  • Cooked broccoli in the freezer: about 1 year

Learn how to properly freeze broccoli in order for it to be able to last longer and stay fresh by reading our article about freezing broccoli.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Diana Wilson
My brocolli is turning a bluish color. Is it bad?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Diana,

It may be on the turn, Any color change means its going off, but it may not have gone off enough to be inedible.
My impression is that this article is only about raw broccoli. What about cooked broccoli? As an example, when my cooked broccoli starts to get slimy, I rinse it (shazam, no more slime) and eat it all. If it feels mushy and slimy after the rinse, I deep six it.

Also, what are the consequences of eating "bad" broccoli. People live out of garbage bins and, I suspect, eat a lot of bad food. Do you know some particular diseases that come specifically from eating "bad broccoli?"

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How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad