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How Long Do Russet Potatoes Last?

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First Of All What Are Russet Potatoes?

The russet potatoes are the common potatoes that look like a cartoon rendition of any normal potato. Potatoes are a staple in our diets, no matter where we live or what we eat.

Potatoes make their way into our daily foods in multiple ways. Want to know how long do russet potatoes last? Keep reading.

These russet potatoes should be consumed before a certain time expires to prevent any kind of side effects that may occur from consuming them.

How Long Do Russet Potatoes Last
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Russet potatoes are the common potatoes that I and you and everyone else use commonly. To get more specific about identifying the russet potatoes they can be divided into three types:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Red potatoes
  • Golden or yellow potatoes (the shiny ones)
How Long Do Russet Potatoes Last 2

If you are into cooking then you can identify the russet potatoes with the help of its dry flesh and little dull brown skin. We commonly use this for our daily staples.

Side Effects? Really?

Actually, yeah, really. If we consume bad or stale potatoes, then it can cause serious side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. And we all hate diarrhea, no doubt about that.

Why Would the Potatoes Go Bad?

I, you and everyone have refrigerators, so you might ask why the potatoes would go bad. Frankly, the answer is in the question itself. The very refrigerator we use for preserving the potatoes becomes a catalyst for making it go bad.

I’m not exaggerating at all. All the refrigerators use harmful chemicals to induce artificial cooling, no matter what the companies say. While this kind of cooling does preserve the freshness of the potatoes it also decreases the shelf life of the same.

Good potatoes or bad potatoes, how we preserve it matters the most.

Why Russet Potatoes Going Bad Is A Serious Problem?

It’s a very common practice for any household to buy their groceries a month or a week in advance. While commonly we get the groceries a week in advance, there are many households which due to their busy schedule often get the groceries a month in advance at the minimum.

While for us who just get the groceries for a week, the problem of potatoes going bad is not that much of an issue, but it’s a serious problem for those who have brought a month’s grocery in advance.

Why Russet Potatoes Going Bad Is A Serious Problem
via Pixabay

Let alone households, you might also be running a small restaurant or let’s get a little low scale and consider that you are running a humble diner.

Getting just a week’s worth of groceries is not going to cut it for you, especially potatoes since they are the most common ingredient used in a majority of the dishes.

So in this condition, the potatoes going bad is not only a serious health hazard but also economically inefficient.

How to Know If Your Beloved Russet Potatoes Have Gone Bad?

We have taken a look at the aspects of having bad potatoes, but the question now arises, how you would know if the russet potatoes you bought have started going bad.

Before we get into the tips for identifying the bad potatoes, we need to be clear about one thing. Nowadays, many groceries are being sold by organic companies who sell their produce after stringent checking of the quality. These packaged potatoes often come with a selling date for the retailers.

How to Know If Your Beloved Russet Potatoes Have Gone Bad
via Pxhere

Now, we must be clear about the difference. The selling date essentially refers to the date before which the sellers have to sell the potatoes and it’s not the expiry date for the potatoes going bad.

So if you purchase any potatoes well after the selling date, you do not have any reason to worry and can safely consume them without any side effects.

So, now let’s have a look at the symptoms that can help you check if your beloved potatoes have started going bad before you eat them or feed them to someone else.

The signs for identifying bad potatoes are as follows:

1. Inspect the Skin of The Potatoes

One of the basic pointers for identifying the quality of a potato is the skin of the potato. Because the skin of a potato is similar to that of human skin and shows signs of aging and staleness in its skin itself.

To check for the quality of the potatoes, inspect the skin of the potatoes for any kind of wrinkling or sagging. To be fair, the wrinkled or saggy potatoes are not completely inedible, but they should be separated from other potatoes before it makes the others go bad.

The wrinkling and sagginess ultimately lead to the potatoes getting soft and mushy and becomes completely inedible.

2.Check the Odor

This is kind of an obvious point. Always check the smell of the potatoes at regular intervals for ensuring their quality for edibility.

The key is to identify if the potatoes still have the earthy smell that distinguishes them as healthy. Sometimes a potato might appear perfectly fine from its skin outside, but from the inside, they might be completely inedible and will smell a little moldy and stale.

3. Look for Abnormal Spots

As we read earlier that the skin of the potato carries the major signs of going bad, this is also one of the major indicators. Regularly check the skin of the potatoes for any kind of abnormal green spots that indicate the future growth of any kind of sprouts or molds.

If a potato has any kind of green spots on the skin, then they might contain a mild toxin in them that is very harmful for consumption.

While small spots can be always cut off from the potatoes, it’s always suggested that you completely discard the potatoes with large green spots because they can be harmful to your body.

The green spots are usually associated with the increase in the level of a substance known as solanine.

4. Check If the Potatoes Are Becoming Moldy

This step can be considered as the by-product of the previous checking factor. When green spots appear on the skin of the potatoes they are an indicator for growing molds on the potatoes. The general cause of the growth of molds is improper storage.

Well, if a potato is moldy it cannot be treated as completely inedible because you can always cut out the moldy part and consume the other portion without any kind of adverse effects.

However, it is suggested that if the major portion of the potato has been infested with molds, then it is advisable to discard it completely.

5. Check for Softness

Your potato may look perfect from the outside and does not have any molds or sprouts coming out and even smell nice. So how to be sure in such conditions about the edibility of the potatoes?

Well, it’s perfectly simple. Just feel their softness.

As long as your potatoes have a firmness about themselves, you don’t have any reason to worry about it. The problem arises when the potatoes start feeling soft and ultimately become mushy. It’s a clear indicator of the potatoes going bad.

Now, there is a question that, is it safe to consume a sprouting potato?

To answer the question, you must check the softness of the potato if you want to consume a sprouting one. So, you can safely consume a sprouting potato as long as they don’t feel soft and mushy.

Be cautious about not consuming the discarded sprouts as they are very rich in solanine concentration and can cause serious health hazards.

Exactly How Harmful Is Consuming A Bad Potato?

Still, thinking that the potato is an innocent crop? Think again.

You must know that the potato, like carrots, is a root crop. So, when the potato starts developing spouts, it’s an indicator that the spud is growing into a plant.

Exactly How Harmful Is Consuming A Bad Potato

Now, contrary to popular belief, the potato plant (not the root) is toxic. It is very rich in a particular neurotoxin that we have been discussing so far that is ‘solanine’.

So, to answer the question, when we consume a bad potato, we are consuming a strong dose of this neurotoxin and it may cause severe health problems. Some of the common ill-effects of consuming a bad potato are:

  • Problems in breathing
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Hallucinations
  • Toxic shocks
  • Diarrhea

How Long Do Russet Potatoes Last?

The shelf life of not only potatoes, but for other vegetables also largely depends on how they are stored. The average shelf life of russet potatoes under different storage conditions are stated below:

  • Stored in pantry – 3 to 5 weeks
  • Stored in the fridge – 3 to 4 weeks
  • Any dish of russet potatoes stored in a fridge – 1 week at the maximum
  • Same dish stored in the freezer – 6 to 8 months at the average

How to Increase the Shelf Life of Russet Potatoes or How to Preserve Them More Efficiently?

The preserving conditions for not only russet potatoes, but for other vegetables also largely depend on the climatic conditions of the country. But I have listed some basic pointers that can be used for preserving the potatoes more efficiently irrespective of where you live.

How to Increase the Shelf Life of Russet Potatoes or How to Preserve Them More Efficiently

The basic tips for increasing the shelf life of the potatoes are:

Pick the Freshest Potatoes

This is a basic point and we all know that the freshest potatoes have the longest shelf life. So try to pick out the freshest potatoes and that will help in preserving the potatoes for a long time. It’s not always possible, but we can hope for the best.

Ensure the Place of Preserving Is Cool, Dark and Dry

This is a basic point and we all know that the freshest potatoes have the longest shelf life. So try to pick out the freshest potatoes and that will help in preserving the potatoes for a long time. It’s not always possible, but we can hope for the best.

Keep Out of The Reach of Sunlight

This is an extension of the previous point. Potatoes should be kept away from the sunlight as it encourages the formation of solanine that might cause the formation and growth of molds and sprouts on the potatoes and render it inedible.

Allow for The Circulation of Air in The Place of Storage

This is very important. The potatoes and other vegetables should be stored in open containers that provide ample space for the circulation of air. But plastics should be avoided as they do not allow circulation of air and shorten the shelf life of the potatoes.

Refrigerators Can Be Harmful

Refrigerators do increase the shelf life of the potatoes but they also turn the starch in the potatoes into sugar. This might make the potatoes taste sweeter but will also cause them to darken faster.

Always Keep the Eyes Under Check

This one might sound scary, but it isn’t. The eyes are small pores that might form on the skin of the potatoes and generally, they are the indications of the growth of sprouts. They can be removed to prevent the growth of sprouts so it’s important to keep a check regularly.

Keep the Distance from Onions

This is very important as both onions and potatoes release similar chemicals and when they are in proximity they encourage each other to ripen faster. So at any cost potatoes and onions should not be stored together.

Regularly Inspect for Any Bad Potatoes

It’s important to keep a check on the bad potatoes as they might affect the good ones. So they should be checked regularly and separated to increase the shelf life of the potatoes.


Russet potatoes are an important part of our daily diet so extreme care is needed to ensure that they do not go bad or else it might have adverse effects on our health.

We have covered all the basic grounds regarding the shelf life of the russet potatoes and ways to increase them. So, I hope the article was helpful for everyone having some potato problems.