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How Can You Tell If Broccoli Is Bad?

Broccoli is a delicious and reliable vegetable that can be added to a range of different dishes. This glorious green vegetable is packed with nutrients, namely folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and potassium.

How Can You Tell If Broccoli Is Bad?

Like all vegetables, broccoli will eventually go bad. Let’s face it, it can be extremely easy to accidentally forget about the broccoli that you have in your fridge.

You may be wondering if this forgotten broccoli is suitable to use. The good news is that there are a few signs that will indicate whether or not broccoli is good to eat.

For instance, you should inspect its color and texture. Continue reading to find out more!

How Can You Tell If Broccoli Is Bad?

As mentioned, it can be hard to determine whether or not broccoli has gone off. Yet, here are some of the factors that you should check before consuming this broccoli:

The Color

Broccoli is known for its vivid green hue. If this color is different, this could be a bad sign. Specifically, the florists will be a dark green while the broccoli trunk will be a lighter green shade.

If any of the florists have started to brown or turn yellow, this indicates that they are no longer fresh. Moreover, white or black patches are a symbol that it has spoiled.

The Texture

The texture is perhaps the most important factor to consider when looking into the freshness of a piece of broccoli. The trunk of the broccoli should always be firm and hard. As the broccoli begins to spoil, its texture will become increasingly soft.

Plus, the stalk should not be dry. Fortunately, you can cut off any dry stalks and eat the remainder of the broccoli. 


The presence of mold is always a big warning sign for food unless you’re eating moldy blue cheese.

Therefore, we advise looking for signs of mold on this brilliant vegetable. Mold will appear like black or white spores on the broccoli. White spots will occur on the florets, while the trunk will start to blacken.

Usually, if the mold is minimal, you can cut off these moldy parts and consume the remainder of the vegetable. However, if the mold is substantial, it is best to avoid eating the broccoli. 

This is because eating mold can make you sick. Mold can lead to respiratory issues. It can also trigger an allergic reaction. Not to mention, moldy food is not pleasant to eat, as it often has an unusual taste and texture.

The Scent

Broccoli has a mild smell, so it’s not good when this vegetable has a strong aroma. These vegetables should smell fantastically fresh. If you are picking up sulfuric aromas, this suggests that the broccoli has turned rotten.

How Long Does Broccoli Last?

When correctly stored in the fridge, broccoli will last for roughly 3 to 5 days. If you are lucky, this vegetable can even last up to 7 days. This includes both entire broccolis and individual florets.

How Should You Store Broccoli?

How Can You Tell If Broccoli Is Bad?

To extend the shelf life of your broccoli, you should store it in the fridge. The cool temperature will slow down the decay of this vegetable. 

If you store the broccoli in at room temperature, it will likely only last for approximately 2 days. Therefore, it’s best to keep the broccoli in the fridge.

On the flip side, you can lengthen the use-by-date of the broccoli by freezing it. If you want to do this, you should first boil the broccoli for just a few minutes.

This is known as blanching. Then place the broccoli in ice water to cool it down. Finally, put the vegetable in a freezer bag. 

The maximum amount of time that you can keep broccoli in the freezer is between 6 and 12 months.

You can cook the broccoli from frozen, so you won’t need to defrost it beforehand. Just bear in mind that frozen broccoli will take slightly longer to cook than raw broccoli.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Cooked Broccoli Last?

If you’ve already cooked the broccoli, it can last in the fridge for between 3 to 5 days. 

Can You Eat Yellow Broccoli?

Yes, you can eat broccoli that has turned yellow. Just bear in mind that its taste and texture are unlikely to be enjoyable. The broccoli will have a rather acidic taste that is far from pleasurable.

How Can You Keep Broccoli Fresh?

You can extend the freshness of this vegetable by storing it in the fridge, specifically in a loose bag. Tight bags will limit air circulation.

Final Thoughts

It can be easy to forget about the contents of your vegetable crisper.

If you’ve found a long-forgotten broccoli in your fridge, having a good inspection will enable you to decide whether or not it is safe to eat. If it is, tuck into your beautiful broccoli.

Justin Roberts