Do Carrots Go Bad?

Do carrots go bad or not? Can you freeze carrots to extend their shelf life and how should carrots be stored for best results? Here's a simple guide.

Carrots make a great snack, and many fitness enthusiasts eat them frequently for their numerous health benefits.

Carrots are high in vitamin K and calcium, which is excellent for bone health. There are other vital nutrients that protect your eyes, decrease inflammation, and more.

Carrots are like most vegetables you buy at the grocery store. Although they can last a good while, if they are not taken care of properly once you buy them, they can go bad pretty quickly.

Maybe you came upon a good deal on a bunch of carrots at the grocery, or you found yourself with too many carrots on hand. What can you do? Is there anything you can do to extend the freshness of these carrots? Do carrots go bad?

Here, we will discuss how you can store carrots properly, how long you should expect carrots to last, and how to know if carrots have gone bad and shouldn’t be used.

How To Store Carrots

fruits and vegetables in a fridge

When you buy fresh carrots, you first need to clean them and remove any leaves and stems. This is commonplace with most fresh root vegetables you buy.

The refrigerator is the best place to store them, preferably in a produce drawer. If you don’t have enough space in the refrigerator and plan on using them in a few days, you can keep them in a cool, dry place, like a kitchen cabinet. While this isn’t the best place to keep them, it will buy you some time before you can transfer them to the refrigerator.

If you are looking to use them within a 4-5 day window, make room in the refrigerator for them. To ensure longevity, you can wrap the carrots in a wet paper towel and put them in a produce bag in the produce drawer.

While you should use carrots as soon as possible, you can store them in the refrigerator for a month or more by putting them in a container of water. Keep an eye on the container occasionally, and change the water once it gets cloudy.

Like most fruits and vegetables, once you cut carrots(or even cook them), keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic container.

Freezing Carrots

freezing carrots

Freezing raw carrots is not the best option, but it can be done. Raw carrots will lose their color and quality once they are thawed out, so scrap that idea.

The best way to freeze carrots is to do so after cooking or blanching them.

To blanch carrots, first peel and cut them up into pieces, either smaller sticks or circular slices. Transfer the pieces to boiling water and let them boil for about 3 minutes. Once that is done, put the boiled carrots in ice water for 3 minutes. After that is finished, make sure the carrots are patted down dry and put them in the freezer using freezer bags.

How Long Do Carrots Last?

  • Carrots will last 4-5 days if left out in the open or in a pantry, away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Carrots will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator on their own.
  • Carrots will last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator if wrapped in a wet paper towel and stored in a produce bag in a drawer.
  • Carrots will last up to 1 month in the refrigerator if kept in a container or jar of water.
  • Carrots will last much longer in the freezer if they are frozen correctly.

Do Carrots Go Bad?

freeze carrots
Image credit: The Spruce Eats

Carrots can absolutely go bad, and here’s how you can tell.

Carrots are like most fruits and vegetables in that they will lose their firmness and texture as they start to go bad. If you notice that your carrots have softened a bit and you aren’t sure if they are still good, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw them out.

Throw the carrots out if you notice any of the following:

  • Any mold growing
  • Black or darkened spots
  • Foul or funny odor

Now that you know how to properly store and take care of your carrots, you can enjoy that salad, dinner, or carrot cake you plan to make in the future.

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Michelle Olsen

Michelle loves writing about food and helping others make better food. She cooks and prepares food daily for her little girl and spends some of her free time researching the best food storage practices.