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How to Tell if Blueberries Are Bad [Top 4 Signs]

A bad blueberry is easy to spot by its mushy texture, discoloration, bruising, or mold. Mushy or bruised blueberries can be salvaged by using them to make preserves or jam. However, moldy or discolored blueberries are rotten and are a health risk to consume. Throw away moldy or discolored blueberries at once. Take care to never consume bad berries. Only eat fresh berries when possible. 

How to tell if blueberries are bad

4 Ways to Tell if Blueberries are Bad

There are four common traits that give away bad or rotting blueberries. If you spot any of these, you should not consume your berries raw.

Mushiness

Overripe blueberries are mushy to the touch and have a sour flavor. Sour blueberries are safe to eat but aren’t as pleasant as fresh blueberries. However, these berries can be salvaged by using them to create jams or preserves. Blueberry jam will be just as good whether you use perfectly ripe blueberries or overripe berries.

Discoloration

If your blueberry skin loses its blue color, that is usually a sign that it is going bad. You may not quite have rotten berries yet but consuming discolored berries is risky. Blueberries that do not have a blue or purple color should not be eaten. Throw away any blueberries that do not have a healthy appearance.

Bruising

Wrinkly blueberries or berries with visible blemishes may be near the end of their life. Sometimes the bruising is due to being mushy and overly delicate. However, these berries can often be salvaged into jams or preserves. A bruised berry is still good to eat. Consider adding them to blueberry pancakes or muffins.

Mold

Fruit with mold is unsafe for human consumption no matter what you do to it. If you spot any mold growth on the outer skin, you should throw out your blueberries immediately. Moldy berries may cause life-threatening allergic reactions. 

Can You Get Sick from Eating Old Blueberries?

You can get sick from eating old blueberries if they are past their prime. Generally, fresh blueberries are safest to eat. The older the berry, the riskier it is to eat. The exception to this rule is if you have frozen blueberries. It’s worth learning how to freeze blueberries since frozen fruit stays safe to eat longer than non-frozen foods.

  • Eating old berries can make you sick.
  • Blueberries that have begun to rot or form mold can harbor bacteria that cause sickness or allergic reactions.
  • Throw away rotten or moldy berries immediately.
  • Freeze berries to keep them safe to eat longer.

Frozen blueberries sealed in airtight containers can keep for up to 3 months. They are very simple to make as long as you have a freezer and a rimmed baking sheet. Just be sure to follow freezing instructions carefully to avoid freezer burn and ice crystals bursting your berries. 

What Should You Do With Bad Blueberries?

You should throw away moldy blueberries at once. There is no health benefit to eating mold and the mold can easily spread to fresh fruit. Spoiled fruit can cause serious health risks so never consume rotting fruit.

  • Discard discolored or moldy blueberries for safety.
  • Turn mushy or bruised blueberries into jam.

Mushy or bruised blueberries may be made into jam. The easiest way to make jam is to mix 4 cups of fresh berries with 1 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cook the entire mixture in a saucepan over medium heat for 30 minutes. This recipe also works with older berries and frozen berries. Unsealed jars of jam last for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Properly sealed jars of jam can last for up to a year unopened.

How Can You Tell if Blueberries Are Still Good?

The easiest way to tell if you have rotten blueberries or fresh fruit is to look at them and touch them. If your blueberries are too soft or have any visible marks, you have bad blueberries. Let’s dive into the key facts you should know about bad blueberries:

  • Moldy or discolored blueberries should be discarded immediately.
  • Mushy or bruised blueberries should not be consumed as is but can be used for jams or other recipes.
  • You can get sick from eating old blueberries that have developed mold or rot.
  • Make jams or preserves to use older blueberries that aren’t completely spoiled.

Remember that keeping blueberries in a crisper drawer can keep them fresher longer. You may also want to add a paper towel to your blueberry container to wick excess moisture. This can extend the life of your berries so you can enjoy fresh fruit longer.

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