How Long Do Potatoes Last?

Potatoes will last a long time if you store them correctly. Here's what you need to know.

Is there anything as comforting as homemade mashed potatoes? It's a basic dish with just a handful of ingredients, which is why each element needs to shine. Old, green potatoes just won't make the cut. If you know how long potatoes last, you can use them in their prime so your delicious potato side dishes will do you proud every time. You'll also be able to determine if your potatoes are still safe to eat after they've sprouted or turned green. Here's everything you need to know about how long potatoes last.

Leftover Baked Potato

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Potatoes last longer if you don't store them in the refrigerator.

Learning how to store potatoes the right way will help them last longer. Unlike many other vegetables, potatoes shouldn't be stored in the refrigerator. At anything less than 50 degrees, the starches in potatoes turn to sugar, resulting in discoloration and alterations in flavor.

Potatoes last longer if you store them someplace cool, dark, and dry.

Store potatoes in a dry place to avoid spoilage. Additionally, if you expose them to light, they'll produce chlorophyll and glycoalkaloids and turn green and bitter. Therefore, the best place to store potatoes is someplace cool, dark, and dry like a drawer or pantry. Avoid storing them too close to the oven since exposure to heat promotes sprouting.

Potatoes last longer if they're well-ventilated.

Have you ever noticed that there are little holes in the plastic bags of potatoes in the grocery store? This is because potatoes release carbon dioxide and if it has nowhere to go, it will cause moisture and rotting. Leave potatoes in their original bag, or transfer them somewhere else they can breathe, like a paper bag or cardboard box.

Potatoes last longer if they're stored away from fruit.

It's recommended that you keep fruit far away from potatoes, says Jerlyn Jones, registered dietitian nutritionist based in Atlanta. Fruit produces ethylene, a gas that causes potatoes to sprout prematurely.

How long will potatoes last if you store them the right way?

So now that you've moved your potatoes to a cardboard box at the bottom of your pantry, you're probably wondering how long they'll last. It depends on a number of factors, including the temperature and humidity in your house, but most experts agree that when stored properly, potatoes will last two or three months or more.

Can you eat green potatoes or sprouted potatoes?

So, what if, despite all your best efforts, you've got some potatoes on your hands which sprouted or turned green? Sprouted potatoes aren't a problem as long as they haven't shriveled and grown soft. Just cut off and dispose of the eyes, or sprouts, and prepare them as usual. Green potatoes are another matter. As discussed above, potatoes exposed to too much light turn green and bitter. This not only affects your potato's flavor, but it can even make you sick. To play it safe, it's best to eat your potatoes before they turn green.

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