Although mushrooms often last longer than the best before end date (BBE) or sell-by date, it is only recommended to eat them when they are still visibly okay to eat.
If the mushrooms have started to change in terms of colour, texture, or moisture, it is probably best to throw them on the compost pile or in the bin. Spoiled mushrooms can make you quite sick.
What Happens When Mushrooms Turn Bad?
Mushrooms will change colour, will feel different, and will behave differently when they start to go out of date.
They often become slimy and quite unpleasant to touch. They will also turn mushy to the touch, and cutting them will prove difficult if you don’t have a sharp knife. Instead, the metal just dents and bends the rubbery mushroom.
Mushrooms that are not safe to eat can also turn very wrinkled, will shrink in size, can start to smell unpleasant (or experience a subtle change in smell), and turn a lot darker.
When they have started to turn mushy and wet, mushrooms have turned bad. There is a chance that mould is growing on the food item that you can’t yet see. At this stage, it is recommended to dispose of the mushrooms appropriately.
Some species of mushroom are known to absorb moisture faster than others, so the type of mushroom you buy will have an impact on how long they last both in and out of the fridge. You can make them last longer by properly storing them.
What Will Happen if You Eat Out of Date Mushrooms?
Eating spoiled or out of date mushrooms could leave you feeling quite unwell. It could result in vomiting, diarrhoea, pain in the abdomen, a fever, aches and pains, and more. These are typical symptoms of food poisoning, or eating food that isn’t safe enough to eat.
Mushrooms that have turned bad could cause E. coli or salmonella poisoning, and some medical experts believe that eating out of date mushrooms can cause a life-threatening but rare condition called botulism.
How Long Do Raw Mushrooms Last in the Fridge?
When kept properly stored and refrigerated, raw mushrooms can last for somewhere between five to seven days.
The better they are stored, the longer they will last. An appropriate container for raw mushrooms includes Tupperware tubs, other airtight containers, and Ziplock or freezer bags that can be properly sealed.
Mushrooms stored in the fridge without an appropriate container will likely start turning bad in three to four days.
You can also take a look at the sell-by or eat-by/ best before dates on the packaging. These dates are often safe estimates. Mushrooms will usually last for a few days longer than what it says on the packaging, but check for signs they have gone bad before eating them.
How Long Do Cooked Mushrooms Last in the Fridge?
You can actually cook mushrooms and then keep them in the fridge, pulling them out to use later on in dishes such as omelettes, lasagne etc.
Already cooked mushrooms, when properly stored, can last for up to seven days in the fridge. Cooking them before refrigerating them can help to make soon out-of-date mushrooms last a little longer.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Yes, you can freeze mushrooms, and it is a great way to reduce the amount of food you waste.
It is best to cook them before freezing them, to ensure the nutritional value is kept high. Freezing them raw can cause a loss in some of the vitamins and minerals that mushrooms are known for. Either way, you will want an airtight container or freezer bag to store them in.
Most mushroom types can be frozen for up to three months. It is advisable to write the date you froze them on the bag, so you can keep up with when they need to be eaten.
Mushrooms can be sauteed before freezing, or you can steam-blanche them.
You will want to remove as much moisture from the mushrooms before you freeze them. Kitchen roll can help to soak up some of it, and you should avoid submerging them in water when you wash them.
When it’s time to cook the frozen mushrooms, it is best to throw them in the dish still frozen. Thawing them beforehand can lead to them becoming soggy and unpleasant, because they soap up all of the moisture from the thawing ice.
Kim is a writer with more than a decade of experience, and a food enthusiast. When she’s not spending her time writing about her favourite dishes, you can find her in the cake aisle of her local supermarket, or making a mess in the kitchen.