Do Carrots Go Bad Fast or Are They Just Not Stored Properly?

Carrots, who doesn’t use them? Whether added to foods, garnished on salads, or just eaten as a healthy snack, you will find carrots in a fully stocked kitchen. So do carrots go bad?

Yes, they do. Carrots go bad faster than you think. They have a short life span if not preserved properly. Nevertheless, you can keep your carrot for as long as you like.

Read more on how to preserve a carrot, if it goes bad faster than you think, and how to know a carrot has gone bad.

What is a carrot?

Carrot is a root vegetable used in meals and salads. The bright orange vegetable stands out in the Apiaceae family because of its high nutritional value and versatility.

A carrot contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and C. It also contains dietary fiber, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron to strengthen the body.

The antioxidant-rich vegetable is one of a kind, which gets its approval as a basic ingredient in a kitchen.

A carrot can be eaten raw, cooked, chopped, or pickled to eat later. It is usually present in most vegetable salads or stir-fries. Moreover, it makes a healthy booster a healthy juice.

You can also snack on a carrot or its pieces in your idle time or make a whole meal with it. How you consume your carrot is endless, which makes it an essential vegetable that always sells.

Do carrots go bad?

Yes, they do. Carrots are vegetables that go bad when they lose their moisture after being exposed to air or external moisture.

Moreover, a carrot, like any other type of vegetable, also produces ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening and rotting process of vegetables.

Unpreserved, you find your carrot going bad faster within a week. It’s actually what makes it a perishable food you need to keep watch on. It is susceptible to mold growths and bacterial infections that cause the carrot to rot.

Do carrots go bad if left out?

Yes, unfortunately, they would. Leaving your carrot stack out in the open, even in the pantry or root cellar, would make it go bad.

How you store carrots affects the rate at which they go bad. If you keep your carrot out in the open, it is more likely to go bad faster than keeping it in a cool place.

Note: keeping the carrot stack in a dry place does not mean it wouldn’t go bad faster. It also applies to keeping it in water for too long. It loses its taste and becomes inedible at most.

Do carrots go bad after being cooked?

Yes, cooked carrots go bad like all foods. If stored in a refrigerator, cooked carrot sticks are good for 3-5 days, then for about two weeks in a refrigerator.

Do baby carrots go bad?

Yes, they do. Packaged baby carrots are shredded or chopped clean carrots stocked in a jar or packaged as a snack. Therefore, they have gone through a cleaning process that can expose the carrot to bacteria or mold.

Consequently, once you have packaged your baby carrots, you need to eat them within a week or two – if kept in a fridge – or within the day if chopped for eating.  

Do canned carrots go bad?

Canned carrots are of good quality until their expiration dates. A can of carrot sticks or chops can last up to 5 years without going bad.

However, you should eat opened canned carrots within the week of unsealing. The carrots have been exposed. Therefore, eating them is the best form of preservation.

Do pickled carrots go bad?

Pickled carrots do go bad, but they last longer than you think. While it’s rare you see pickled carrots, they are still useful in the kitchen. For your pickled carrot sticks, you can keep them for up to 6 months without going bad.

This also includes putting them in the fridge or leaving them in their jar in the kitchen cabinet.

Additionally, you won’t know if a carrot is bad except for the sour smell of vinegar gone bad. Therefore, check your pickled vegetables often if you don’t use them regularly.  

Do carrots go bad in heat?

Yes, they do. Carrot sticks go bad faster in the heat than in cooler conditions. Heat increases the growth of mold and bacteria in carrots. As a result, the cells begin to decompose and start rot.

Avoid putting your carrot sticks meant for immediate use in hot places, even for a few hours; store carrots in a cool, dry place.

Do carrots go bad in the fridge?

Carrots in the fridge can keep for up to 3 weeks before they begin to shrink (a sign of spoilage). Cooked carrots spoil faster than raw carrots in the fridge.

Ensure you use refrigerated carrots before this 3 weeks window is over.

Do carrots go bad in the freezer?

Carrots cannot go bad or rotten in a freezer. However, the longer they are kept in a freezer, the more their cells break down, changing the texture of the carrot.

They also become rubbery after thawing, and sometimes, unusable.

Does carrot juice go bad?

Homemade carrot juice will go bad fast after some hours or days, even in the fridge. Without preservatives, your carrot juice will last for two days. Consequently, you need to consume your juice within the week of making it.

On the other hand, carrot juices that contain preservatives (store-bought) are as good as the best-by-date. However, opened juices should be consumed within the week of opening, even while being kept in the freezer.

How long do carrots last?

Raw carrots, whether from the fresh market, packaged, or in your garden, have a shelf life of 3-5 days before they start showing signs of rottenness.

If left in the open, your carrot sticks remain in moderate to good conditions. However, from the fourth or fifth day, it begins to show signs.

Unopened canned carrots are good until their best-by-before dates. Meanwhile, opened canned must be consumed within the week. On the other hand, cooked carrots can keep for up to about five days.

Can bad carrots make you sick?

Yes, they can. Eating bad a carrot, raw or canned, can lead to food poisoning.

This manifests with symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, stomachache, and diarrhea. Therefore, once you notice the carrot has gone bad, it is best to discard it than eat or cook with it.

How to tell if a carrot is bad

1. It becomes slimy

One of the first signs your carrot has gone bad is the slimy texture it gets. The rotten state of carrot sticks make has a slimy feel when touched.

2. The texture changes

Another way to tell your carrot sticks are going bad is the texture change. They become drier and whitish lines appear on the skin. This is caused by a loss of moisture.

3. Molds appear

A carrot can grow molds if left in a place where it rots easily. For instance, if you put a set of carrots in a closed spot where air does not get into, it begins to grow molds.

Furthermore, the molds grow over time when carrots are exposed to bacteria or viruses.

4. Smell

Carrot sticks emit a strange smell when it begins to go bad. It’s not sour, but rotten. This smell comes from within and mostly happens when the vegetables are exposed to viruses and bacteria.

How to preserve carrots

1. Freeze them

Yes, you can freeze carrots to preserve them for longer. However, you need to blanch them first.

  • Peel the carrot and remove the top.
  • Cut in different sizes or shapes you desire.
  • Put the carrot pieces in boiling water. Do not boil for more than two minutes.
  • Bring out the carrot pieces and leave them out to dry.
  • Store the carrots in a sealable container and keep them in the freezer.

2. Soak them in water

You can also cut carrot pieces and soak them in water. This is an easy measure that uses moisture to maintain the freshness of the carrot.

All you have to do is cut your carrot into pieces and soak them in water. Keep them in a refrigerator and only change the water regularly.

3. Store in a fridge

Store carrot pieces or sticks in the fridge with a plastic bag or container to retain the moisture. All you have to do is clean the carrots, place them in a container or plastic bag, then store them in the fridge.

4. Store in a pantry

Your food pantry is a place where you can store your carrots. All you have to do is place them in a cool, dry place where the air gets to sufficiently. This method, however, is for short-term carrots. You have to use the carrots within a week.


Can you eat partly rotten carrots?

Do not eat a rotten carrot, fully or partially rotten. And while you can carve the bad or rotten part of the carrot and eat the good part, it is best to throw it away.

A rotten carrot may be contaminated with bacteria which can cause food poisoning.

How many days should you keep your carrot in the pantry?

At most five days. Your carrot will remain fresh, albeit dehydrated, for about five days before it begins to show signs of spoilage.

Can you eat bad canned carrots?

No, you shouldn’t. Discard canned carrots when they are past their best-by-date.

Although canned carrot remains edible months after the best-by-date, it is best to avoid eating them. And if you must, throw them out once you notice the carrot pieces are slimy.


Yes, carrots do go bad. They are root vegetables with a short life span- and a shorter one if not properly preserved.

The best way to keep your carrot vegetables is to preserve them in a freezer or a refrigerator. You can also can or keep them in the pantry for a few days.

Nonetheless, you shouldn’t keep carrot until it goes bad, so you should eat them while and when you can.

Thanks for reading.

Loved this article? You’ll also find this article on the shelf life and preservation of cinnamon useful.