How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad

Written by maggie mccormick
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How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad
Fresh broccoli should have a bright green colour. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium. Whether you like it steamed, raw or roasted, it's a healthy addition to your diet. Broccoli is typically good for several days to a week after you purchase it from the store, but there are times when you're not quite sure whether it's gone bad or not. Pay attention to all of the signs, as you may still be able to use it.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Place the broccoli near your nose and inhale deeply. You might be able to smell "broccoli smell," but the odour shouldn't be too pungent. If the broccoli's gone bad, you might even be able to smell something off when you open your refrigerator.

  2. 2

    Squeeze the stalk of the broccoli. Fresh broccoli should be firm to the touch and not have a lot of give. If the stem is limp, it may be past its prime.

  3. 3

    Look at the colour. Fresh broccoli should have a dark green colour. If it's starting to turn yellow, it's definitely gone bad.

Tips and warnings

  • You may be able to save broccoli that's limp, but not showing any of the other signs that it's gone bad. Cut a bit off the stem and soak it in water for an hour. This should make the stalk firm again.

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