Are soft potatoes bad? Results surprised you

Have potatoes ever been a little mushy when you take them out of the bag? Can you eat these potatoes? We all know that while utilizing potatoes that aren’t at their finest, we should use caution.
If soft potatoes are a little past their peak but still appear and smell OK, they may be safe to consume. While they may not have the same texture or flavour as fresh potatoes, they are still suitable for a variety of recipes, particularly soups and mashed potatoes where texture isn’t as crucial.

How come my potatoes are getting softer?

It is an issue to not know why potatoes get soft. However, there is a chance that we will be able to take action if we can figure out why that occurs.


First, age in years. Potatoes have an expiration date, just like the bread in your cabinet or the apples in your fruit bowl. They naturally lose stiffness over time and begin to soften.

Not Enough Storage

Now, let’s discuss storage. Potatoes have a very particular palate. They dislike conditions that are too moist, bright, hot, or cold. They favour environments that are dry, dark, and cold. When kept in too warm, bright, or humid environments, they will begin to sprout and soften.

Illness or Injury

In some cases, disease or injury causes potatoes to become mushy. Similar to a bruise or cold, except with potatoes instead of people. It is recommended to discard the potato if you observe any indications of damage or illness, such as black patches or a mouldy odour.

How to Identifying Which Potatoes Are Soft

The sensitivity

Potatoes that are considered soft have wrinkled skin and a slightly mushy texture. It is crucial to evaluate the potato’s state before consumption, even though a small amount of softness is harmless. In general, a whole potato should feel solid to the touch. Your potato may be past its peak even if it may still be okay to eat if it feels malleable and soft under your fingers.


There are several types of discolouration in potatoes. A sweet potato’s colour can fluctuate, going from dark brown to black. Regular potatoes, on the other hand, can become green if they are left in the light for a long time. The presence of strange hues could mean that the potato is spoilt or about to go rotten.

The Green Spots

Exposure to light causes the toxin solanine to be produced more readily, which is why potatoes develop green patches. Before cooking the entire potato, remove any green areas as solanine might cause gastrointestinal distress. On the other hand, it’s best to throw away a completely green potato.

Mold Spots

Spots of mould are an obvious indicator of spoiling. It is recommended not to eat potatoes if you discover mould growth on them. Deeper mould penetration may result in health problems if the potato is eaten.

Dark Spots

Bruising or damage sustained during storage or transit is typically indicated by black patches on potatoes. Usually, the black spots can be removed and the potato can still be used. Still, it’s best to throw the potato away if it has too many black patches.


Frequently, hard handling or storage circumstances result in bruises on potatoes. You might still be able to eat the potato after cutting away the bruised portion, depending on how much of it there is.


Developing sprouts on potatoes can result in a decrease in texture and flavour as they start to produce new tubers. Small sprouts on a potato can be cut off and the potato can still be used.


A powerful, disagreeable smell coming from the potato could be a symptom of spoiling. A bad stench in a potato should be avoided since it may be a sign of bacterial growth and even food illness.
You may evaluate the quality and safety of your potatoes for eating by looking at their softness, discolouration, green spots, mould spots, black spots, bruising, sprouts, and odour.

What are the potential issues and suggested uses

ConditionPotential IssuesSuggested Uses
Soft/Mushy TextureOvercooking or improper storageMash for mashed potatoes, soups, stews, etc.
SproutingCut off mouldy parts, use unaffected areasRemove sprouts, use in regular recipes
Green SkinThe natural ageing process is not harmfulPeel the green skin, use in moderation
Wrinkled/ShrivelledDehydration or prolonged storageCut off affected areas, use in stews
Moldy SpotsSpoilage due to moisture or improper storageCut off moldy parts, use unaffected areas

What would happen if you ate soft potatoes?

Soft potatoes are generally OK to eat as long as they aren’t spoilt. You can usually safely consume a potato that is just a little soft from ageing without any other indications of spoiling. It won’t harm you even if it might not taste as fresh and has a rather mediocre texture compared to your usual experiences.
On the other hand, things change dramatically if a potato is squishy because it is beginning to rot.
A sour scent, a mushy texture, green peel, or sprouts are the first indications of a rotting potato.

Is It Better to Refrigerate Potatoes?

It is reasonable that you might wonder if you should store your potatoes in the refrigerator since many vegetables that we eat daily stay fresher for longer when kept there.
There is no doubt that potatoes should not be kept in the refrigerator. You can increase the sweetness of your potatoes by refrigerating them, as this process turns the starches into sugar.
As beneficial as this may seem, once cooked, it destroys the potato’s flavour and can make it brown.
Several fruits and vegetables that are not suitable for refrigeration are as follows:
Onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes
Although this might seem like a good thing, it destroys the flavour and can make the cooked potato turn brown.

The following are some other fruits and vegetables that should not be refrigerated:

  • potato sweet
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh tomatoes should not be refrigerated since this will cause the tomatoes to become mushy and lose their flavour.
  • Squashes, Winter Cucumbers
  • Refrigerating bananas can affect their texture and cause the peel to prematurely turn brown.

How to store potatoes longer so they stay fresher

Your tubers will keep for several weeks or perhaps months if stored correctly. Here are some essential tips:
Look for potatoes at the spotless grocery store, that have smooth skin, no blemishes, and shallow eyes those tiny divots on the skin.
To allow the potatoes to breathe, move them to a basket if they were packaged in a plastic retail bag.
Washing the potatoes should wait until you’re ready to boil them. The presence of dirt keeps potatoes from rotting too soon, and keeping wet potatoes might result in mould growth.
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, but not frigid, environment; 45° to 55°F is excellent. The taste and texture will be impacted if you store them in your refrigerator or another cold place where the starches may convert to sugar. Over 55°F will hasten the dehydration process.
Store potatoes somewhere cold and dark (like a cellar) as too much sunlight will cause them to turn green.
Potatoes and onions shouldn’t stored together. Potatoes will rot more quickly because onions release a gas.

The Bottom Line

Is it safe to eat soft potatoes then? It all depends on how mushy they are and the reasons behind it. Yes, it’s usually safe to consume if it’s a little bit old but still looks and smells nice.
On the other hand, the potato is not safe to consume if it is mushy due to rotting. Mould and hazardous germs can be present in rotten potatoes and cause illness. Proceed to savour your potatoes, regardless of their texture—firm and crisp or somewhat mushy. Just keep in mind that food safety should always come first. Cheers to boiling potatoes!

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