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If One Potato Has Mold Are They All Bad

If One Potato Has Mold, Are They All Bad? Resolved (2023)

Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Shari Mason

When you open your pantry to find moldy potatoes, it can be an alarming experience. Not only can mold be unsightly, but it can also cause food to become inedible and dangerous. 

If you have discovered one potato in your pantry with mold, it’s common to wonder if the rest of your potatoes have also gone bad. 

So if one potato has mold, are they all bad? Keep reading to find out.

Are Potatoes All Bad If One Has Mold?

hand full of potatoes

If one potato [1] has mold, it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the potatoes in the bag are bad. The mold on one potato can be isolated to that one potato and may not have spread to the others. 

To determine the safety of the rest of the potatoes, you should inspect each one for signs of mold or soft spots. If you find that all potatoes have mold, they should all be discarded. 

If some potatoes in the bag appear to be good, then they can still be consumed. However, it is important to cook them properly to ensure they are safe to eat. 

Make sure to scrub the potatoes thoroughly before cooking and discard any that have soft spots or are discolored.

Additionally, cook the potatoes until they are well done, and avoid storing any cooked potatoes for more than four days. 

What Causes Mold In Potatoes?

Mold in potatoes is caused by a combination of warm temperatures and high humidity, which encourages the growth of spores from fungi. 

This can be exacerbated by improper storage of potatoes, such as storing them in a damp area, not allowing them to dry properly after harvesting, or not keeping them cool enough. 

These conditions can create a hospitable environment for mold growth on potatoes.

How To Prevent Molds

close up shot of a molds

The best way to prevent molds from growing in potatoes is to store them in a cool, dry place. Potatoes should be stored in a dark, well-ventilated area, as exposure to light can cause them to turn green and develop a bitter taste. 

Potatoes should be stored in a container that is not airtight, as this can cause them to become too moist and encourage mold growth. 

Additionally, potatoes should be checked regularly for any signs of spoilage, such as discoloration or soft spots, and discarded if they show any signs of mold growth. 

“My wife is a terrific Southern cook. My favorite of all the great things she cooks is ‘trash potatoes.’ That’s mashed potatoes with sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese, and horseradish. It’s a total gut bomb. “

– Mike Vogel, American Actor

It is important to keep potatoes away from other fruits and vegetables, as these can produce ethylene that can cause potatoes to spoil faster.

Potatoes should also be kept away from strong odors, such as onions and garlic, as these can absorb the smell and become unappetizing. 

Potatoes should be stored in a single layer and not layered on each other, as this can cause them to become too moist and encourage mold growth [2]. 

Potatoes should be stored in a cool place, as warm temperatures can cause them to sprout and become unappetizing.

Tips On How To Store Your Potatoes

  1. Keep potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of ventilation. 
  2. Store potatoes in a paper bag or a perforated plastic bag. This will help them breathe and keep them from going bad too quickly. 
  3. Avoid storing potatoes near onions, as they can spoil each other faster. 
  4. Check potatoes periodically for signs of spoilage, such as soft spots, mold, or a strong smell. 
  5. Don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator—the cold temperature will cause them to become sweet and spoil faster. 
  6. Don’t store potatoes in direct sunlight, as this can cause them to turn green and become toxic. 
  7. If you have a lot of potatoes, sort them by size and store the smaller ones first, as they tend to spoil faster.

FAQs

What is the white fuzzy mold on potatoes?

The white fuzzy mold on potatoes is a type of fungus called Penicillium. It is usually a harmless mold but can cause spoilage in potatoes if not removed.

What does mold on potatoes look like?

Mold on potatoes can vary in color and appearance, but it often appears as white, gray, green, or black spots.

It may also appear as a fuzzy growth or a slimy, slippery texture on the surface of the potato.

What happens if you eat mold on potatoes?

Eating mold on potatoes can cause health problems such as nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea. It can also cause allergic reactions in some people. 

In rare cases, it can even cause more serious health problems, such as breathing problems, neurological disorders, and even death. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating moldy potatoes.

Key Takeaways

It is important to inspect all potatoes for mold before consuming them. If one potato has mold, the others may not have been affected, but you should still inspect them.  

The potatoes should not be consumed and disposed of if mold is found. Additionally, it is important to ensure that potatoes are stored in a cool, dry place to avoid mold growth.

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/plant/potato
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Shari Mason

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