How Long Do Mushrooms Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Approximately 7 Days

Mushrooms offer a nutritious and versatile alternative to meat. They are a delicious addition to any meal. Because of their relative variety, flavor, presence of various vitamins and minerals, mushrooms are a popular vegetable choice that also contains protein.

Fresh mushrooms go bad and their quality deteriorates quite fast. Thus, it is important to know approximately how long can mushrooms last.

Poor hygiene and exposure to moisture can cause the mushrooms to spoil within a short time. Although refrigerators can extend the shelf life, bacteria can start to grow on them if stored in the fridge for a longer duration than recommended. Of course, all foods last for a shorter period if they are not stored properly and mushrooms are no exception to this.

How Long Do Mushrooms Last?

Mushrooms have a pretty short lifespan of about a week. The high water content in them makes them more prone to mold, sliminess, and wilting. The storage method used also has a huge impact on how long will the mushroom last.

Whole and fresh mushrooms can last for up to a week in the refrigerator before they start showing the signs of spoilage. Cooking and freezing the mushrooms can help in keeping them fresh for a few days longer. However, cooked mushrooms must be consumed as soon as possible to experience their maximum flavor. Dried mushrooms have the longest shelf life when stored properly.

Due to the presence of high water content, mushrooms must be kept carefully to make them last longer. On especially hot and humid days, they might only stay fresh at room temperature for around 12 hours.

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ConditionDuration
Fresh Whole Mushrooms7 – 10 days
Fresh Sliced Mushrooms5 – 7 days
Cooked MushroomsApprox. 7 days
Dried Mushrooms2 – 3 years

Why Do Mushrooms Last This Long?

If one keeps fresh mushrooms correctly, they can stay good for up to 10 days. It is also best to keep them in a zip-lock bag before placing them in the fridge as this can prevent them from getting slimy and going bad.

The duration of freshness also depends on the type of mushroom. To reduce the risks of any illness, one must ensure to clean the mushrooms thoroughly before consuming them and always storing them in the fridge.

Large whole mushrooms last slightly longer because they have a less exposed surface. One can easily understand when the mushroom has gone bad by seeing its color getting darker and a sticky, slimy surface developing on it. Once the mushroom has gone bad, they should not be eaten as they will probably be developing mold.

Room temperature is not a good way to store fresh mushrooms since these temperatures can make the mushrooms susceptible to developing bacteria making them unsafe for consumption.

Mushrooms are very porous and thus easily absorb smells and tastes from other things around them. So if possible, they must not be kept right next to things like fish or onions which have a strong smell as it can affect mushroom’s quality.

A brown paper bag is the best way to store fresh mushrooms as the bag will absorb the moisture from the mushroom and will prevent them from spoiling too quickly. However, one must ensure to keep the bag open and not stuff it up with too many mushrooms.

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Alternatively, one can also store them in the packaging they come in from the store as they are usually designed in a way to allow an adequate supply of air while keeping excessive moisture at bay.

Conclusion

Mushrooms are a rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Whole mushrooms usually stay fresher for a longer duration than sliced ones. Thus, one can always opt for whole mushrooms and slice them only when they are ready to be cooked.

To extend their shelf life, it is best to store mushrooms whole and un-peeled in a sealed bag in the fridge. Fresh mushrooms remain the best when stored in the refrigerator as lower temperatures help prevent bacteria build-up and thereby slowing up their decay.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09637480500146564
  2. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmicro/2015/376387/
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