Does Broccoli Go Bad?


Raw broccoli goes bad after about five days to ten days, and cooked broccoli goes bad within five days. You should eat your raw broccoli within a week of storing it in your refrigerator, and you should finish your cooked broccoli within a 2 days. Properly stored raw broccoli could stay fresh for longer than two weeks, but it will begin to grow mold and show other signs of decay.

The rest of this article will cover in greater detail how to tell if your broccoli has gone bad, how to properly store and care for your broccoli, and how to salvage broccoli that has entered its twilight days.


How can I tell if broccoli is bad?

There are several ways to tell if broccoli is bad:

  • The trunk is no longer firm.
  • The broccoli develops a yellowish tint.
  • Mold grows on the trunk or the head.
  • Florets blacken or shrivel
  • The broccoli gains a bitter smell.

What does broccoli mold look like?

Broccoli mold on the trunk shows as black spots. Mold on the florets will show as fuzzy white spots. If you suspect that your broccoli has mold, make sure you look over the whole vegetable.

Can I still use broccoli with mold on it?

If the broccoli has only a few spots of mold, you can cut off the moldy areas and still cook it. If mold has taken over most of the broccoli, you should throw it out. You will enjoy a fresh piece of broccoli more than a stomachache.

What will happen if I eat bad broccoli?

Broccoli gains a nasty taste after it goes bad, so you will likely not eat more than one bite. However, if you power through that initial warning, you will have cramping, aches, vomiting, and diarrhea until it leaves your system.

How can I make my broccoli last the full one to two weeks?

Pick out high quality raw broccoli from the store or market. You should immediately store raw broccoli in the refrigerator. Cut broccoli will expire quicker than an uncut head.

How long will cooked broccoli last in the refrigerator?

Cooked broccoli will last up to five days. However, if you want to be safe, eat your leftover cooked broccoli within a couple days. If you want to save it longer, put it in the freezer.

See also: Does hummus expire?

How do I store cooked broccoli?

Use an airtight container to store your broccoli in the refrigerator. Make sure that the food has cooled before you put it in the refrigerator. Additionally, note that your cooked broccoli will last in the refrigerator for five days, but other ingredients in the meal may spoil sooner.

How do I choose fresh broccoli?

Do not trust the dates on any packaging. Look at the broccoli itself. Look for a firm bright green trunk, dark green florets, and a weight that is heavy for its size. Check for fuzzy white mold on the florets or black mold spots on the trunk.

Should I choose precut and packaged broccoli or loose crowns?

You will find that either type of broccoli will age at a similar rate. However, due to possible nutritional, sustainability, and disease outbreak reasons, you might want to stick to the loose crowns. If you do not mind these factors, you will enjoy the convenience of packaged broccoli.

Does organic or conventional broccoli spoil quicker?

According to a study by food scientist Dr. Karie Allen, organic broccoli contains more of the bacteria that causes food to spoil. As such, your conventional broccoli will last longer in your refrigerator.

Can I leave broccoli at room temperature?

Yes, but not longer than a day. If you plan on cooking broccoli later the same day you buy it, you can leave it out. If you leave the broccoli out longer than a day, you will begin to see the yellowing and softening characteristic of broccoli going bad.

Should I wash broccoli before storing it?

No, washing fruits and vegetables before you store them causes them to spoil quicker. Wash broccoli right before you plan to prepare it.

Related: Does chocolate expire?

What is the best way to store broccoli in a refrigerator?

First, dampen a paper towel. Then, gently and loosely wrap the broccoli in a paper towel before storing it in the refrigerator. Toss the plastic bag; it was great at carrying your broccoli around the store and then home, but it will suffocate the florets and cause quicker decomposition.

Can I freeze broccoli?

Yes, but you should not freeze raw broccoli. After you cook broccoli, you can store it in the freezer. If you would rather not cook the broccoli first, you can blanche it to prepare it to freeze.

How do I blanche broccoli?

According to, the easiest way to blanche broccoli is to bring a large pot of water to a boil, insert cut 1 ½ inch broccoli florets with sliced stems, boil for three minutes, then immediately put the broccoli in ice water for 3 more minutes. Consider adding salt to the boiling water for best results.

How do I store blanched broccoli in the freezer?

Put your blanched broccoli florets onto a cookie sheet with none of the florets touching each other into the freezer. After they pre-freeze awhile, transfer them to individual freezer bags. Consider separating them based on how you will use them in future meals.

How long will broccoli last in the freezer?

Broccoli will last about nine months to a year in the freezer. After this period, you will enjoy the taste and safety of a new batch of broccoli. Make sure that you store them in a sealed freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

What are some longer-lasting alternatives to broccoli?

Broccoli has a short shelf life. Consider some of the following alternatives:

  • Cauliflower provides similar nutrients and lasts one to three weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Brussel sprouts can stay fresh from two to three weeks if left on the step.
  • Asparagus, if kept in a jar with water, will last ten to fourteen days.


Now you should be well equipped the next time you look at your broccoli and have to ask does broccoli expire. The answer to any fresh vegetables is going to be yes. It wouldn’t be natural for a vegetable to not have a shelf life. It is safer to throw out your broccoli if you see signs it doesn’t look fresh or also has passed the 5-10 day mark.

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