How to Tell If a Sweet Potato is Bad

Sometimes when peeling sweet potatoes you may discover dark spots caused by oxidation; these do not alter their taste in any way.

Identify any sweet potatoes exhibiting any signs of spoilage; these might include an unpleasant rotting smell, soft or mushy texture, deep brown to black hues, or strange skin growths as indicators for discard.

Brown or Black Spots

Sweet potatoes typically begin to spoil when their surface begins to darken due to oxidation; however, this won’t interfere with its flavor or compromise its nutritional value. If large areas of brown or black spots appear on its skin however, discard it immediately as these likely contain sections which have already begun rotting away.

Signs that indicate a bad sweet potato include bruised surface areas. While this doesn’t indicate directly that the vegetable has gone bad, bruised areas could indicate it was handled incorrectly during storage or handling processes.

Black spots on sweet potatoes is another telltale sign they’ve gone bad, often caused by “bruising”, whereby potatoes often sit close together for long periods of time and rub against each other. Furthermore, those covered in black rot should not be consumed as these fruits could contain harmful fungi that cause food poisoning.

As well as visually inspecting a sweet potato for signs of decay, it’s also wise to touch and feel it to determine its freshness. If the sweet potato feels slimy and soft when touched with your hands, that could be an indicator that it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately.

Additionally, when infected with mold or rot, sweet potatoes often emit an offensive sour scent and may have the texture of a peach, rendering it unappetizing to consume.

Sweet potatoes should also be stored away from sunlight to preserve their quality, since sunlight’s UV rays can penetrate its cells and hasten their spoilage. Furthermore, due to being high in water content they absorb a great deal of moisture from their environment causing rapid rotting compared to other food items. For this reason it’s essential that sweet potatoes be stored in a cool dark location with plenty of ventilation if possible.


Sweet potatoes have a soft, smooth texture, and over time their skins may develop wrinkles that indicate when they have gone bad and should be discarded. Wrinkles indicate moisture absorption that could eventually cause spoilage and an unpleasant odor; any remaining portion should also be thrown away as eating an unwholesome sweet potato can result in stomach discomfort, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting as a result of its consumption.

An additional way to identify whether a sweet potato has gone bad is to look out for sprouts on its skin. These sprouts absorb both water and nutrients from the sweet potato, diminishing its quality significantly. In addition, their presence may signal other indicators of spoilage such as dark spots or musty or sour aromas; whether the sprouts are long or short they indicate that this sweet potato is no longer edible.

Sweet potatoes with bruises may also indicate they’re going bad, usually appearing near their stem end and signalling improper handling or storage conditions. Furthermore, any visible black or brown spots indicate oxidation that should be discarded immediately.

An old sweet potato will have a dry interior and quickly turn mushy, as well as discolorations due to factors like too much exposure to sunlight or being stored too long in direct sunlight.

Seeing these signs on a sweet potato should be enough reason for you to dispose of it immediately, rather than risk the possibility of experiencing stomach ache, digestive issues or sickness such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever from eating spoiled sweet potatoes. If this has already happened to you then seek medical advice immediately as a doctor may prescribe antibiotics as treatment to address whatever ails you.


Sweet potatoes are a versatile food source that can be used in an assortment of recipes. A source of vitamins A, C and E as well as fiber, they should be consumed when fresh but should be discarded once their appearance changes: foul smell or dark spots on skin may indicate spoilage; these signs could indicate bacteria contamination that could result in food poisoning for example.

To avoid this situation, it is crucial that sweet potatoes be carefully examined prior to purchasing them. When shopping for sweet potatoes, look for ones with vibrant orange or yellow flesh and smooth, unblemished skin; additionally make sure the sweet potatoes feel firm when touched and are of consistent texture throughout. Also avoid buying ones with brown or black spots indicating spoilage as these could indicate that the fruit has gone bad.

However, sweet potatoes will deteriorate more quickly when exposed to light and moisture, so it is crucial that they be stored in a cool and dark location out of direct sunlight.

Refrigeration extends their shelf life up to two weeks or more; alternatively they may be stored in a cool and dark location like a root cellar for even longer.

As sweet potatoes age, they become soft and mushy to the touch, and may develop an unpleasant aroma or become soft and soggy – both indicators that they have gone bad and should be discarded immediately.

Signs that sweet potatoes have gone bad include their skin turning black or brown due to rot, mold or fungal growth – and is also an indicator that the sweet potatoes have passed their expiration date.

If the sweet potatoes have sprouted, this is another telltale sign they have begun rotting or spoiling quickly. While sprouts may not pose any immediate health hazards to consume, it is wise to discard them quickly for optimal performance.


Sweet potatoes are an enjoyable vegetable to consume raw or cooked in various forms. Their brightly colored skin and firm texture makes them delicious when fresh; however, when stored improperly they can quickly spoil and go bad quickly; to prevent this happening it is essential that you know the signs indicating when a sweet potato has gone bad so that you can stay safe when eating it later.

Spoilage on sweet potatoes is easy to recognize, and should be immediately disposed of; holes or discoloration in its skin or spots is an indicator that it has started going bad and should be thrown away immediately due to possible contamination by mold or bacteria.

Signs of spoilage on potatoes include an exuding white liquid. This oozes from their surface much like milky sap found on other vegetables like squash or chayote; it is composed of sugars and starches released as temperature and moisture fluctuations cause their surface to be exposed during growth.

Liquid from your sweet potatoes may not be harmful, and should not alter their flavor, but it is important to be aware that this could be an indicator that it has gone bad. One way to detect whether your sweet potato has gone off track is by sniffing it and looking out for other signs of decay such as mold growth or smelliness.

Rotten sweet potatoes often emit an offensive odor and may even have sprouts growing from their surface, which indicate excess moisture within their flesh, drawing vital nutrients away and rendering them inedible for consumption.

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