How to Tell When Fresh Mushrooms Go Bad

Updated April 17, 2017

Consuming mushrooms provides several health benefits. According to the Mushroom-Appreciation website, "Most mushrooms provide around 20 to 30 per cent of high protein content by dry weight." Mushrooms also are rich in fibre, Vitamin D and other essential supplements. Like all foods, mushrooms can go bad. Consuming spoiled mushrooms can make individuals very ill, so it's imperative to learn the signs that mushrooms that are no longer fit for eating.

Read the expiration date on the packaging, if applicable. Flip over the container or package if you cannot find an expiration date on the top.

Look over the mushrooms for spots. Patches begin to emerge in shades of dark brown and black when mushrooms are no longer fit for consumption.

Feel the mushrooms for a slimy coating. The top part, also known as the head of the mushroom, is predominately where symptoms of slimy spoilage occur.

Inspect the gills underneath the head of mushrooms for darkening. If your mushrooms have darkened considerably since purchase, toss them out.

Observe if your mushrooms appear dry or wrinkly. Feel the stems and heads for folds found on the mushrooms. Wrinkles indicate that the mushrooms are not edible.

Smell the mushrooms for an ammonia-like odour that indicates spoilage. If mushrooms smell differently than an earthy, natural aroma, throw them away.


Avoid keeping mushrooms in a vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. The vegetable drawer is designed to hold in humidity. Mushrooms will spoil more quickly in humid conditions. Place mushrooms in a brown paper bag and store them between 0.00 and 2.22 degrees C

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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Jayme Lee has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles have appeared for various online publishers and through private clients. She dual-majored in social studies education and business administration with a minor in history at the University of Pittsburgh and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.