What Happens If You Eat Bad Sweet Potato

What Happens If You Eat Bad Sweet Potato? Health Impacts

Last Updated on July 18, 2024 by Shari Mason

At the Thanksgiving gathering last year, my cousin recounted an unpleasant experience with a rancid sweet potato. This prompted me to wonder: what are the consequences of consuming a decayed sweet potato?

Your health and well-being come first, and being informed about food safety is a valuable skill for every kitchen adventurer. Let’s dive into the details.

7 Signs That You Ate Bad Sweet Potato

1. Food Poisoning

Man Having a Discomfort

Consuming spoiled sweet potatoes can result in food poisoning [1], which can bring a range of uncomfortable and sometimes severe symptoms.

Food poisoning from bad sweet potatoes may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

“I’m really into food; it’s one of my favourite things – everything from potato waffles to lobster.”

– Paloma Faith, Singer & Actress

These symptoms often occur within hours after consumption and can last a few days. Food poisoning is caused by harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, or toxins produced by mold or bacteria. 

It’s essential to stay hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen, as food poisoning can lead to dehydration and other complications if not properly managed.


2. Digestive Distress

Digestive distress is a common outcome of consuming bad sweet potatoes. Spoiled sweet potatoes can upset the delicate balance of your digestive system, leading to discomfort. 

Symptoms of digestive distress often include bloating, excessive gas, and cramping. These issues can make you feel uneasy and disrupt your day. 

While the discomfort is usually temporary, it’s a reminder of the importance of food safety and ensuring that the sweet potatoes you eat are fresh and in good condition to avoid these unwelcome digestive problems.

3. Upset Stomach

An upset stomach is a common consequence of consuming spoiled sweet potatoes. The discomfort can manifest as general sickness, nausea, and lingering unease in the abdominal area. 

This unsettling sensation can make you feel unpleasant and often accompanies other symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting. 

While an upset stomach due to bad sweet potatoes is usually not severe, it’s a reminder of the importance of food safety and the need to be vigilant about the quality of the produce you consume to avoid these stomach troubles.

4. Diarrhea

Man Going to Toilet

Diarrhea is a common outcome of consuming spoiled sweet potatoes. When bad sweet potatoes are ingested, they can disrupt the digestive process and lead to loose, watery stools. 

This frequent urge to visit the restroom can be uncomfortable and potentially dehydrating if not appropriately managed.

It’s crucial to stay hydrated and consider rehydrating solutions if diarrhea persists, as this symptom can lead to fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances. 

To avoid this unpleasant digestive issue, it’s best to exercise caution and inspect sweet potatoes for freshness before consumption.

5. Vomiting 

Vomiting is another potential consequence of consuming bad sweet potatoes. When your body detects harmful substances or toxins from spoiled sweet potatoes, it may react by expelling them through vomiting. 

This can be an unpleasant experience, often accompanied by nausea and general discomfort. While vomiting can help rid your body of harmful substances, staying hydrated and resting if it occurs is essential. 

In severe cases, or if vomiting persists, seeking medical attention is advisable to address any potential dehydration or complications resulting from consuming spoiled food.

6. Fever

Individuals may develop a fever in more severe cases of food poisoning caused by bad sweet potatoes. A fever is the body’s natural response to an infection or the presence of harmful bacteria or toxins. 

When sweet potatoes have gone bad and contain dangerous pathogens, ingesting them can lead to an elevated body temperature, chills, and overall discomfort. 

While a fever is not the primary issue, it’s a sign that your body is actively fighting off the toxins. Suppose you experience a fever after consuming spoiled sweet potatoes. 

In that case, it’s essential to rest, stay hydrated, and seek medical attention if the fever is high or persists, as it can indicate a more severe infection.

7. Dehydration

Dehydration [2] is a potential consequence of consuming bad sweet potatoes, especially when accompanied by symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Both these digestive issues can lead to a significant loss of bodily fluids and electrolytes. 

“Eating a bad sweet potato can turn a delightful meal into a digestive dilemma, reminding us that food safety is our best recipe for good health.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Dehydration can manifest as excessive thirst, dry mouth, dark urine, dizziness, and even confusion in severe cases. It’s essential to address dehydration promptly by replenishing fluids through water, rehydration solutions, or clear broths. 

Severe dehydration can be life-threatening, so if you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention to receive appropriate care and fluid replacement therapy.


u003cstrongu003eIs it OK to eat old sweet potatoes?u003c/strongu003e

Eating slightly older sweet potatoes is generally OK if they haven’t spoiled or developed signs of spoilage such as mold, softness, or an off odor. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, the taste and texture may be better for fresher sweet potatoes and may require longer cooking times to soften. Always inspect them for any warning signs of spoilage before use.

u003cstrongu003eHow do you know if sweet potatoes are bad after cooking?u003c/strongu003e

If sweet potatoes are bad after cooking, they may have an unusual smell, an off taste, or a slimy texture. These are spoilage indicators; discarding them to avoid potential health risks is best.

Final Thoughts

Consuming bad sweet potatoes can have undesirable consequences, including food poisoning, digestive distress, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and dehydration. 

These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe health issues, emphasizing the importance of proper food handling and vigilance in inspecting sweet potatoes for freshness. 

Prioritizing food safety is essential to prevent the unpleasant effects of consuming spoiled sweet potatoes and to safeguard your health and well-being.


Shari Mason

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