When To Stop Eating Potatoes

Can you eat potatoes when they are already sprouting? Can I store potatoes in the fridge or are they no longer edible? We explain the seven warning signs. If you spot them on potatoes, you’d better discard them.

Potatoes are almost 80 percent water. The rest of the potato shines with vitamins (e.g. vitamin C, B1, B2, B6) and minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron). Reason enough to eat them – but RIGHT! Because there are a few circumstances where we should rather stay away from them. We show you seven pointers to watch out for.

If they have been stored in the refrigerator

The UK Food Standards Agency warns against storing potatoes in the fridge. Because in the refrigerator, the starch contained in potatoes turns into sugar. If the potatoes are baked or fried, this sugar combines with the amino acid acrylamide. This increases the risk of developing cancer, as tests with rodents have shown. So ideally we should store potatoes in a dark, dry, cool (preferably 4-6 degrees) place instead of in the fridge.

Tip: It is best to store the potatoes in linen, jute or mesh bags! In foil bags, on the other hand, they rot very quickly.

If they have long sprouts or have green spots

Sprouted potatoes do not taste good and have already lost many of their nutrients. If the germs are green, it is a sign of a high level of solanine – a toxic chemical compound that can lead to nausea, drowsiness, kidney inflammation and cardiac arrhythmias, among other things (lethal dose: from 400 mg). At temperatures between seven and ten degrees Celsius, the quality of the potatoes is maintained – there is no germination. Potatoes only begin to sprout from around 12 to 14 degrees.

Tip: If the sprout is only about one centimeter long, the solanine content of the tuber changes only slightly (last chance to eat the potatoes! But first cut off the parts because they taste bitter). If the germs are more than 10 centimeters long, they are no longer suitable for consumption. The same goes for green tubers that have been exposed to too much light.

When they are unpeeled

The Federal Institute for Potato Research recommends not eating potato skins. The reason: with longer storage, the solanine content (see above) in the shell is increased. And: Potatoes are often sprayed with pesticides to keep pests away.

Tip: If you don’t want to do without the potato peel, you should make sure that the potatoes come from organic farmers and are freshly harvested. Washed very thoroughly before preparation, you can also enjoy them with their skins on.

If they smell unappetizing

Spoiled potatoes smell sweet and musty. Good tubers, on the other hand, can be recognized by their pleasant, earthy smell.

If they have wet spots

If the potatoes are wet in places, it is a sign that they are infested with fungi and bacteria (e.g. Erwina caratovora) – and thus a case for the garbage can!

Tip: When storing, make sure that potatoes do not come into contact with salt, as this attracts water vapour. The moisture can migrate to the potato and encourage wet rot.

If they don’t have ‘(inner) beauty’

If the tubers are spotted, they are covered with scab. The brown, cork-like spots are cracked and coat the potato. black spotting (caused by pressure; the potato turns gray at the affected area, then turns blue and then black) and “internal” defects (e.g. hollowness – brown-rimmed cavities inside the tuber -, iron spotting – rust-brown spots caused by virus infection and growth disturbance -, Glassiness – the inside of the potato is very light and has a watery, glassy consistency, caused by disturbances in the starch balance) are only visible when they are cut.

When there are raw onions in the potato salad

Onions are never sterile. Because of this, they can contain lactobacilli, yeast or mold, which can multiply well on the moist surface of a finely chopped onion – especially if the lettuce is kept at temperatures above 7 degrees.

Tip: If you don’t want to do without raw onions in potato salad, you should only mix them in and add lemon juice or vinegar immediately before eating! This ensures an acidic pH value that inhibits germ growth.

Avatar photo

Written by Danielle Moore

So you landed on my profile. Come on in! I am an award-winning chef, recipe developer, and content creator, with a degree in social media management and personal nutrition. My passion is creating original content, including cookbooks, recipes, food styling, campaigns, and creative bits to help brands and entrepreneurs find their unique voice and visual style. My background in the food industry allows me to be able to create original and innovative recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Too Much Sugar: 12 Warning Signs Your Body Has

Can You Eat Green Fennel?