Mushrooms are a tricky subject. Even though they take more time to go wrong, compared to, let’s say, milk and meat, we’re all scared of eating a bad mushroom because we connect them all to the poisonous properties of some specific types. But, with just a little information, you’ll learn how to tell if mushrooms are wrong and stop being scared of getting sick once for all.
And after all, it is true, even though the risk is shallow when consuming store-bought, bad mushrooms can make you sick. Eating mushrooms that have gone bad can cause gastrointestinal pains and even food poisoning. To avoid this, below is everything you need to know never to risk eating bad mushrooms again.
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How long do mushrooms last?
Unlike yogurt or milk or almost everything else that you usually buy in a supermarket, fungi like mushrooms do not have a clearly stated shelf-life; they have no sell-by date, no use-by date, or best before date, this means that in most cases, you’ll have to follow the date of purchase. That said, always make sure you buy your mushrooms from a market/farm that you trust.
So, keeping the date of purchase in mind and properly storing your mushrooms, you should be aware that fresh whole mushrooms last for 7-10 days, fresh sliced mushrooms last for 5-7 days, and cooked mushrooms last for 7-10 days.
Tips on selecting mushrooms
Because the date of the purchase is significant, you should make sure that mushrooms are as fresh as they can be when buying to recognize if mushrooms are a fresh and good look for firm and evenly colored ones. Always select the mushrooms by hand, one by one, and stay away from the ones that have been broken, damaged in any way, mushrooms that have some soft spots, or the ones that smell and look strange.
If you plan on cooking the mushrooms, always insist on choosing ones that are similar or equal in size – this way, they will take equal amounts to prepare, and you’ll make sure they’re all well cooked.
How to make sure mushrooms last longer
One way to make sure that mushrooms stay fresh for longer (or as long as they initially should stay fresh) is to store them properly. This means you shouldn’t keep them with the rest of the vegetables in the vegetable box of your fridge.
The reason for this is that these drawers are designed in such a way to conserve the moisture in vegetables, something that’s good for broccoli but not good for mushrooms.
Also, try to remember that whole mushrooms will always stay fresh for longer times than the sliced ones, and they will do so if they’re kept in their original packaging. Another good idea of making your mushrooms last longer is by using some of the various internet techniques to preserve them.
How to tell if mushrooms are bad
But maybe you forgot the date you bought the mushrooms, or maybe even though you do remember it, you want to be sure that the mushrooms are still good. Here are some tips on checking and telling if your mushrooms are still fresh or have gone wrong.
#1. Look for stains
The very first thing to do if you’re in doubt whether the mushrooms are still fresh is to observe them for stains. Check if the mushrooms have darker areas than the rest because this might be a sign that it is spoiled and shouldn’t be consumed.
#2. Smell them
Step number two in deciding if the mushrooms are already alarming should be – smelling the mushrooms. If a mushroom has a sour-y smell, let’s say similar to the one of ammonia, throw it away. It’s rotten and not suitable for eating anymore. When mushrooms are fresh, they smell like soil, very natural and fresh. If they smell like anything but that, don’t risk it.
#3. Check if they are dry and wrinkled
One other way to make sure if mushrooms are still good for eating is to check if they had dried or gotten more wrinkles than when you purchased them. To tell if a mushroom is dry, search the body for folds. If the mushrooms have wrinkles, don’t eat them.
#4. Check the bottom of the cap
Look at the bottom of the cap; in the mushroom gills, is the area dark or getting darker? If it did start getting dark, it means that it started getting spoiled. Again, it’s not worth it – don’t risk it and don’t eat it. Throw it out.
#5. Check the cap of the mushroom
After checking the bottom of the cap, go on and check the very top of the fungus, the cap. When mushrooms start rotting, they also start forming a soft, dense layer on top of the cap that Who can easily spot. This means that if you see any viscous layer starting to form – throw it out.