Carrots are my favourite vegetable for more than one reason. They make the perfect salad and are the best addition to recipes. And don’t get me started on carrot cakes!
With so many benefits it offers, I tend to go overboard when buying carrots. And with so many carrots, I have no room in my fridge for other vegetables.
So, this often gets me thinking – How long do carrots last in the fridge?
Raw carrots stay fresh for around 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge. Cut, sliced, or chopped carrots can last 2-3 weeks. Cooked carrots or leftovers will only stay fresh for 2-4 days when in the fridge.
This article will discuss everything there is about carrots. From its shelf-life to how to store them correctly. We got it all covered. Read further to know everything there is about carrots.
Do Carrots Go Bad?
Yes. Although carrots don’t come with an expiry date, they can go bad. Commonly, these veggies go bad when they are not stored properly. If the required conditions for storing them are not met, they rot. You can see the veggie deteriorate over time and become inedible. Even though you can’t store them forever, you can extend their shelf life. Therefore, you must know how to store them properly.
How to Store Carrots Properly?
Carrots can be stored for a long time if you know the correct way. Remove the green on top to ensure the carrots last long. If your carrots are dirty with mud, wash them before storing them.
Vegetables or fruits like watermelon, pears and bananas produce ethylene. This can degrade the quality of carrots a lot faster. One thing to remember before storing your carrots- store them separately.
Now that you know the basic requirement to store carrots, let us know the “how.”
1. Storing Carrots in the Pantry
The pantry will work fine if you use the carrots in a couple of days. Don’t have a pantry? Don’t worry. A kitchen cabinet or a countertop will work to keep the carrots fresh. Storing carrots at room temperature is not an ideal place. However, the carrots can stay fresh for 2-4 days at room temperature. When storing carrots at room temperature, make sure the place is dry. The carrots must be placed away from heat sources and in a cool place.
2. Storing Carrots in the Fridge
Want to store carrots for over a week? To refrigerate the veggie, put them in a plastic bag or cover them with moist paper. Leave the plastic bag open for the veggie to breathe. Refrigerating will make the carrots last for a week or two.
Want the carrots to last over a month? Submerge the carrots in a bowl of water and refrigerate them. Ensure you change the water after every 3-4 days. You must also change the water if it turns cloudy or dirty.
Also Read: Does Coconut Oil Go Bad?
Can We Freeze Carrots?
Yes. Freezing carrots is a feasible option for storing them for a long time. However, freezing unsliced, raw veggies is not an excellent idea. This is because low temperatures can cause the raw carrots to crack. This damages their structure and makes them soft and mushy.
To freeze the carrots correctly, peel, chop, and blanch them. This will prevent them from being soft and mushy after defrosting. Once you have blanched the slices, dry them with a paper towel. Put the slices in a zip lock bag and remove any excess air. Place the bag in the freezer, and voila, Carrots are good for 6-9 months.
Transfer the zip lock bag to the refrigerator to use the frozen slices. Allow the slices to defrost slowly and naturally. This will ensure the carrots remain fresh and flavorful after defrosting.
The Risk Of Consuming Expired Carrots
Carrots and other veggies don’t go bad in a single day. Instead, they go bad slowly before becoming inedible. So, it is unlikely to consume rotten carrots. But what would happen if you consumed rotten carrots?
If you consume rotten carrots, you might experience mild digestive problems. In severe cases, you can get food poisoning from consuming rotten carrots. Common symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps.
Even if the carrots are not bad, excess consumption can cause carotenemia. In this disease, there is an intense change in the skin’s pigmentation. Due to the beta carotene excess, the skin gets a yellow/orange color.
So, whether the veggie is rotten or fresh, take precautions. If the veggies are bad, throw them away. If they are fresh, consume them in limited amounts.
How to Tell If Carrots Are Bad?
Carrots can last for weeks if stored correctly. However, it does not prevent them from going bad. So, if you see signs of spoilage in your carrots, discard them. To look for rot, look for the following signs:
1. Spots, signs of mold or rot
Mold can easily be spotted due to the carrot’s bright color. If the carrot has blue/green spots, throw it away. If the rot is beginning, cut away the infected area. Do not consume moldy carrots, as they can make you ill.
2. They’re super soft or slimy
A fresh carrot is firm and crunchy. So, if the carrot appears soft, bendy, or rubbery, it goes old. Consume it before it becomes infested with mold. Once the carrot begins to wither, it starts to become slimy. If you see a carrot having holes and turning slimy, discard it
3. Shredded/cooked carrot sitting in the fridge for days
Cooked or shredded carrots can only last for 3-4 days. So, storing them any longer will only make them go bad. Throw away shredded/cooked carrots if they sit for more than 4 days.
4. They smell off
Before rotting completely, carrots begin to give off a rotten smell. A bad smell is a clear sign that the carrot has gone bad. So, if your carrots smell rotten or pungent, discard them.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q1. How do you know when carrots have gone bad?
Ans. Carrots show signs of spoilage when they are near their rotting stage. To identify a bad carrot, look for the presence of mold. Molds indicate that the carrots have become inedible. Another sign to look out for is the rotten smell and slimy holes in the carrot.
Q2. How do you store carrots in the fridge for a long time?
Ans. The best way to refrigerate carrots is by wrapping them in a paper towel. Then, place them in an airtight container and put the container in the fridge. Do not store the carrots near apples, bananas, or pears, as they produce ethylene. Placing carrots near them will make the carrots rot faster.
Q3. Are old carrots safe to eat?
Ans. Sure, carrots go bad after a certain period. But they can last for 1-2 weeks if stored properly. So, before eating an old carrot, look for signs of spoilage.
Q4. How long do carrots last out of the fridge?
Ans. Carrots can last up to 5-7 days at room temperature before they rot. However, if they are in warm surroundings, carrots can lose their texture and flavor before going all bad.
Q5. Can carrots last 2 months in fridge?
Ans. Carrots can last for a good 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. However, it depends on how you store them in the fridge. Raw carrots in the fridge can stay fresh for around 2-4 weeks. But freezing is the way to go if you want to store them any longer.
The Bottom Line
Carrots are an incredible source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Which means it is a powerhouse of all things healthy and delicious. However, if not stored properly, this energy-packed veggie can go bad. Keep them in the pantry to prolong their shelf-life for a few days. You can also refrigerate carrots to extend their shelf life to 2 weeks.
Do not consume cooked/shredded carrots that have been sitting for more than 4 days. To check the freshness of the veggie, take a quick whiff or look for molds. If the carrots show spoilage, discard them and buy fresh ones.