How to Tell if Raspberries are Bad [4 Top Signs]

Bad berries can be identified by mushiness, discoloration, mold, and funky odors. Raspberries have a very short shelf life and go bad extremely quickly. Even in a refrigerator, fresh berries rarely last more than 2–3 days. Thus, it’s extremely important to be able to spot bad raspberries quickly. Be sure to toss out raspberries that have gone bad as soon as possible. 

How to tell if raspberries are bad

4 Ways to Tell if Raspberries are Bad

Raspberries have a few telltale signs of going bad to keep an eye out for. It’s important to identify bad raspberries to avoid eating a berry that may make you sick. Let’s dive into the main ways to tell bad raspberries from fresh raspberries.


If a raspberry is mushy to the touch, it is in the process of going bad. In the worst case, berries may practically melt when you touch them. Once berries begin to become too mushy, they will start to rot or attract mold. If your raspberries are very mushy but have no mold, it’s time to use them immediately in a recipe or to make jam.


Discolored raspberries may no longer be safe to eat. Discoloration is different from woody skin which is safe to eat but unsightly. Woody skin manifests as brown scaling on the individual bulbs of raspberries. This woody skin is perfectly fine. However, white, dark, or otherwise discolored berry skin signals mold or rot. A discolored berry should be thrown in the trash.

Bad Smell

Bad odors are a strong warning sign of rotting berries. As soon as berries lose their fresh smell, you should presume they have gone bad even if they look fine from the outside. Bad smells can be evidence of mold or other fungal diseases like botrytis cinerea.


A moldy berry is unsafe to eat under any circumstances. Signs of mold spores often include discoloration and bad odors. Common mold is unsafe to eat under any circumstances so do not take chances with fruit with mold. Some strains of mold can cause allergic reactions or extreme sickness.

What Happens if You Eat Bad Raspberries?

Bad or moldy foods can be a source of food poisoning. Food poisoning is dangerous and can result in hospitalization or even death in the worst cases. Food poisoning from bad raspberries are capable of causing diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, and fever. 

  • Bad berries can cause food poisoning.
  • Common food poisoning symptoms include upset stomach and vomiting.
  • Avoid eating bad berries to keep yourself healthy.

While food poisoning is relatively rare and unlikely from a speck of mold, it’s not worth the risk. To be safe, make sure to toss out any berries that show signs of mold

How Long Can Raspberries Last in the Fridge?

Ripe raspberries only last a couple of days in the refrigerator. 1–2 days is the most common shelf life but in rare circumstances, they can last up to 3 days. Be sure to seal fresh raspberries in an airtight container with a dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture. This will keep your berries fresh as long as possible.

  • Refrigerated raspberries stay fresh for 1–2 days.
  • Learn to make frozen raspberries to increase their lifespan. 

It’s also worth learning to make frozen raspberries to increase their lifespan. Rinse off raspberries with cold water then dry them with a clean towel. Place the washed berries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the berries for 4–6 hours. Then, remove them from the baking tray and place your frozen berries in a freezer-safe container. Place the container in the freezer again. Frozen raspberries will stay good for 12–18 months.

What Do Bad Raspberries Look Like?

Rotting raspberries have a few distinct signs you need to memorize. So long as you can remember discoloration, foul odor, mushiness, and mold, you can easily recognize a bad berry. Here are some key tips to remember when it comes to identifying raspberries that have gone bad. 

  • Signs of bad berries include mold, odor, discoloration, and mushiness.
  • Eating bad berries can cause food poisoning issues.
  • Raspberries only last for 1–2 days in the fridge.
  • Frozen raspberries can last up to 18 months in the freezer.

By keeping these signs of spoilage in mind, you’ll be sure to catch bad berries before they cause real issues. Be sure to always toss spoiled berries to keep your healthy berries safe as long as possible.

Bowl of fresh raspberries after being washed.

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