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How to Tell if Broccoli Has Gone Bad

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

  4. Tip

    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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About the Author

Maggie McCormick

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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