Strawberries are a popular fruit due to their versatile use and their delicious taste. Unfortunately, this fruit is only available during the summer months. For those who enjoy eating strawberries year-round, they will need to be properly stored. Like other fruits, strawberries tend to not last very long once it’s harvested.
Do strawberries go bad? Strawberries will start to go bad naturally due to the process of ripening or unnaturally, which could be from pests, diseases, and bruising. To keep them from going bad too quickly, they will need to be stored in a cool area and properly stored to prevent pests and damages to them.
Can Strawberries Go Bad?
This fruit is highly perishable which means it will continue to ripen once it’s harvested. Strawberries will ripen even quicker if the air temperature is hot. To keep them from going bad too quickly, you’ll need to store them away from direct sunlight and in a cool and dry place. This means the refrigerator will be the best place to store them until you’re ready to eat or use them.
Another way strawberries can go bad is from pests and disease. This fruit has high water content and high sugar content as well. This makes them attractive for bugs, flies, slugs, and other pests. Not harvesting the strawberries in time or letting them sit at room temperature for too long will cause pests to infest the fruit.
The last thing that could make strawberries go bad is bruising on the skin of the fruit. Since strawberries are very delicate and soft, their outer skin can be damaged easily. For riped strawberries, the fruit will naturally become soft and will be easily damaged if handled too rough.
Therefore, when it comes to handling strawberries, instead of picking them in a bunch, pick each one at a time. This will reduce the chances of them getting bruised.
As for storing the fruit, try to limit the number of strawberries stored in a container or basket. The more strawberries that are stored together, the more likely those at the bottom will get bruised. This will cause the fruit to go bad.
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At room temperature, strawberries will last for about a day. This fruit is very perishable once it’s harvested. If it’s exposed to hot air temperature, it will start to deteriorate quickly. Therefore, it’s best to keep strawberries in a cool place like the fridge. If you need to store them at room temperature, keep them away from direct sunlight and other heat sources.
In the refrigerator, strawberries last for about 1 week. This is if it’s stored properly in an airtight container or a plastic bag. If it’s going to be stored without any covering, it will last no longer than a few days due to the cool temperature of the fridge.
In the freezer, strawberries will last for up to 8 months. You can either freeze them as a whole, sliced, or as a puree. Whole and sliced strawberries should use the method of flash freezing before being stored in the freezer. This will keep prevent them from sticking to each other while it’s frozen.
How To Tell When Strawberries Go Bad
Like any other fruit, when strawberries go bad, they will start to display some signs. With this fruit, they usually go bad slowly until it reaches its prime and has to be thrown away. Therefore, if you know what to look for, you can salvage the strawberries before it has to be thrown away.
Appearance – If the strawberries have blemishes, dark spots, or blemishes on them, the fruit is starting to go bad. Also, check to see if they are soft and mushy. These signs mean the fruit hasn’t passed its prime yet and could be saved.
Mold – If the strawberries have mold on the outer skin or on the inside, it’s best to throw them out. The mold will usually appear when the strawberries become soft and mushy.
Color – Fresh strawberries will have a bright red color and lush green leaves. As they start to go bad, the color will be darker and if there are leaves on the fruit, it will be dried and wilted. You can still eat or use the strawberries as long as there is no mold on or in the fruit.
Smell – Strawberries should have that “fresh” smell to them. If the smells seem sour or acidity, it’s best to throw them out.
How To Store Strawberries
At room temperature, storing strawberries isn’t a good idea unless you’re planning to eat them in a day. This fruit is highly perishable and will start to deteriorate in quality once it’s harvested.
When storing strawberries at room temperature, keep them in a container or bowl. Also, make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight and other heat sources. The heat could make them become soft and turn watery.
If you’re not going to eat them or use them within a day, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator.
In the refrigerator, strawberries can be stored on the shelves or in the crisper drawer. However, it’s best to keep them in the crisper drawer so they’ll have a longer shelf life.
If you’ve bought the strawberries from the grocery stores, throw away the original plastic bag as they are too flimsy. Place the strawberries into a plastic container or sealable plastic bag. In the container or bag, place paper towels at the bottom to absorb moisture.
Also, when storing them in the refrigerator, avoid washing the fruit. Moisture that is left on the strawberries will cause them to become soft when it’s stored in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Strawberries?
Strawberries are great for freezing and they will stay fresh for a long time. Depending on what you’ll be using them for, they can be frozen as a whole, cut, or freeze as strawberry juice.
Strawberries are a very versatile fruit and can be used for many things. Whole and cut strawberries are great for making desserts, adding to fruit salad, or eating them fresh. Strawberry puree is great for making smoothies, making dipping sauces, and used to make desserts.
For the longest shelf life in the freezer, you’ll need to prep the strawberries first. The best method to prepare strawberries for the freezer is to flash freeze them.
Flash freezing is simply a method where you freeze each strawberry individually first. After it’s frozen, you can place them all in the same container or freezer bag.
Fash freezing strawberries first will prevent the fruit from sticking to each other while it’s frozen. You can take as much as you need and put the rest back in the freezer.
If you don’t flash freeze them first, as the strawberries start to freeze, they will stick to each other. This will make it difficult when thawing them or you need just a few strawberries.
How To Keep Strawberries Fresh Longer
When it comes to how long strawberries will stay fresh, it depends on the quality of them when it’s bought. Again, strawberries are highly perishable and should be consumed right away after it’s harvested for best taste.
At the grocery stores, strawberries will need to be harvested, packaged, and shipped to the stores to be sold. From when it was harvested to the time it’s placed on the shelves of the stores, it could be a day to even a week. This large gap could make a difference in the quality of the strawberries.
Unfortunately, fresh strawberries don’t come with an expiration date on the package. Therefore, it’s best to inspect the quality of the fruit before buying it. Fresh strawberries will be bright red and have no blemishes or dark spots on them.
Also, make sure the strawberries don’t have soft spots or are mushy. These indicate the strawberries are starting to go bad and should not be bought.
For the best quality, you should buy fresh strawberries from the farmer’s market. The fruits at these markets are usually sold fresh. The strawberries are harvested a day or even on the same day it’s sold. Buying the fruits at the farmer’s market is similar if you’re going to harvest the strawberries yourself.
Strawberries sold at the grocery stores or the farmer’s market will usually be sold in a container or basket. At home, make sure to not remove them from the container until you’re ready to eat them. Moving them around could cause them to bruise. Strawberries that are bruised will easily go bad.
Are overripe strawberries safe to eat?
Overripe strawberries should always be avoided. When the fruit is over ripped, it will usually have mold on them, which could make you sick. Signs of strawberries that are overripe are mushy, leaking juice, and shriveling.
Is it OK to eat bruised strawberries?
The bruising of the strawberries could be from many things. Placing them together too tightly, they are overripe, or they are damaged. The area that is bruising will usually be soft and may have mold growing on them. If there’s mold growing, the fruit should be discarded. On the other hand, if it’s just bruising without any mold, it’s safe to eat it.