Mushrooms are a great addition to many meals and even a great main course, so they’re great to have on hand. But how long do mushrooms last after you’ve purchased them? The short answer is not very long. Mushrooms are very moist and an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Keep reading to learn what you can do to help prolong the shelf-life of your mushrooms and how long they last under different conditions.
Different mushrooms can vary slightly, but generally speaking, mushrooms last 5 to 10 days when refrigerated. The following is a reasonable estimate for how long you can expect mushrooms to stay fresh and edible under the most common circumstances:
Packaged mushrooms can last for 5 to 7 days after being bought if you keep them in their packaging.
If you have unopened mushrooms in their original packaging, they can last in the fridge for between 5 and 10 days if they are kept whole.
It is actually not recommended that you wash your mushrooms. Since mushrooms are very moist, to begin with, you run the risk of waterlogging your mushrooms and negatively impacting the flavor.
Furthermore, mushrooms have very delicate skins, and the act of washing them can damage your caps and flavor profile.
Finally, cleaning your mushrooms can cause discoloration, which can be a bit offputting.
If you are concerned about there being “dirt” on the mushrooms, rest assured that what you are seeing is peet, and it is perfectly fine to eat. If you want to clean your mushrooms, giving them a few quick swipes with a dry cloth is the best way to do it.
That being said, mushrooms do not last long after washing them. In fact, you should use them immediately after.
Raw mushrooms that have been freshly-picked should be consumed within a 12 to 24 hour time period if left at room temperature.
Before eating, check your mushrooms for any slimy spots or brown areas to ensure that you are not consuming mushrooms that have spoiled.
If you want to keep fresh mushrooms, then refrigerating them is the best way to go.
Otherwise, if your mushrooms get to between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, they become a breeding ground for bacteria. This is primarily because of the moist nature of mushrooms.
Slicing your mushrooms will cut their refrigerator life considerably. While whole mushrooms can last 10 days in the refrigerator, store-bought sliced mushrooms typically only last 7 days. If you slice your mushrooms at home, you can only expect them to stay fresh for 3 days or so. Only slice your mushrooms if you intend to use them quickly to ensure freshness.
Cooked mushrooms usually will last 7 to 10 days when refrigerated. If you have fresh mushrooms that have been in your fridge for a few days, you may want to go ahead and cook them to extend their shelf-life.
Mushrooms that have been dried have a much longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms. Generally speaking, they can last 2-3 years in your pantry.
Mushrooms don’t have a long shelf life, but there are a few ways you can make them last longer. First, you can dry them. Dried mushrooms last 2 to 3 years in your cabinet and can be used across different seasons and in other recipes. Freezing your mushrooms on parchment paper and then transferring them to a paper bag is an excellent way to keep them for up to a year.
Keeping your mushrooms intact without cutting them will help them last longer, up to 5 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
When choosing how to store your mushrooms, it is best to keep some important information about mushrooms in mind.
Mushrooms need to remain moist but also be able to breathe. You don’t want them to dry out but you also don’t want to saturate them with water either.
The best way to store mushrooms is to just keep the mushrooms sealed in whatever packaging and container they arrive in until you are ready to cook with them. That will ensure that the mushrooms stay fresh as long as possible.
If you’ve already removed them from their packaging, or they came to you unpackaged, either place them in a paper bag or wrap them in a paper towel. Next place the paper bag or wrapped mushrooms in a plastic bag. Don’t seal the mushrooms in a zip-lock style plastic bag though. They need to be able to breathe.
The paper, whether from the paper bag or paper towel, will help the mushrooms not get saturated with moisture. The plastic bag will help keep moisture in. This combination will help manage a proper level of moisture to maximize the shelf-life of the mushrooms.
Mushrooms should be stored at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit to get the best results. Any lower than that, and your mushrooms risk being damaged from the cold. Any higher, and it won’t be cold enough to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.
Keeping mushrooms in the fridge can significantly increase the shelf life, from approximately 12 to 24 hours at room temperature to 5 to 10 days whole and refrigerated. It is recommended that mushrooms that aren’t eaten right away are refrigerated.
Freezing mushrooms is a great way to make sure they last for a lot longer than they otherwise would. If you freeze your mushrooms fresh, they will last between 2 and 12 months in the freezer. If you choose to freeze canned mushrooms that have been opened, they last from 1 to 2 months in the freezer.
Mushrooms do retain a lot of water, so when freezing, make sure that you freeze them on parchment paper, then later transfer them to an airtight bag after pressing out as much air as possible.
As for avoiding getting sick because of eating mushrooms, you should be aware of how to determine a bad, rotten, or spoiled mushroom. Signs of spoilage include slimy mushrooms with darker or dark spots, wrinkled or dried out, and emitting an odor.
The smell of ammonia, or any strong smell, is another telltale sign of your mushrooms having gone bad.
If you run into any of those above, your mushrooms are spoiled already and should be disposed of immediately.
You should throw mushrooms out as soon as you start to see discoloration or sliminess. This signifies that bacteria has gotten a foothold and is beginning to flourish by breaking down the mushroom.
While dried mushrooms do have a much longer shelf life, up to 2 years, it is still possible for them to go bad, so if you are going to eat some dried mushrooms, make sure to check the date that they were dried.
It is possible to get food poisoning if the mushrooms have been contaminated with bacteria such as botulism before cooking. Additionally, if you eat cooked mushrooms that have passed the 3 to 5 day period refrigeration period, it is possible to get sick.
Mushrooms have a short shelf life, and as such, you shouldn’t cook mushrooms that have become discolored with dark spots, have become slimy, or have dried up and shriveled unless they have gone through a formal drying process.
White fuzz on mushrooms is usually just mycelium. Mycelium is the result of the mushroom releasing spores to begin growing a new mushroom colony. You can brush off the mycelium and safely eat the mushrooms.
Slimy mushrooms are not safe to eat and should be disposed of when encountered.
It is possible to get sick from eating mushrooms that have passed their prime. As they get old, they will likely attract bacteria that will only upset your stomach and cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Old mushrooms are good for pan-seared dishes. Another way to use them is to turn them into creamy mushroom soup.
Bad mushrooms can develop an ammonia-like smell that lets you know right away that they have gone bad.
Cooking spoiled mushrooms is not recommended as it can make you sick and cause food poisoning. It is best to throw out spoiled mushrooms right away.
Surprisingly, if you see any white fuzz on your mushrooms they’re probably fine. If you don’t notice any foul odors or sliminess, the white fuzz is just mycelium which is essentially just new growth from spores the mushroom has released. Just brush it away and they will be perfectly edible.
Meet The Mushrooms – Mushroom Mountain
Mushroom 101: How To Select And Store Mushrooms – The Mushroom Council
It’s best not to buy mushrooms unless you have a specific need. Unfortunately, mushrooms don’t last very long, even under the most ideal storage conditions.
To maximize their storage time, be sure to either leave them in their original packaging or wrap them in a paper towel and then place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag and keep them refrigerated. You’re not likely to get much more than a week of storage time out of fresh mushrooms when refrigerated.
Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of mushrooms from days to months. If you’re not going to be able to use them quickly, this is a good idea.
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