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How To Tell If Ginger Is Bad

Ginger is a great way to add a lot of flavor to so many dishes. The thing is that you don’t need much in order to make the flavor pop.

One small ginger root piece can last you quite a long time. So the question at hand is, how can you tell if ginger has gone bad?

In this post, I am going to go over all of the ways to know for sure if you should use or toss your ginger root.

Ginger root with a couple of sliced pieces on a white background.

Best 3 ways to tell if ginger is bad

Not only does ginger boost the flavor in a dish but it is also known to be a healthy spice as well! You will find that using fresh ginger in your recipe will give you a much more potent taste than ginger powder.

This is all an important step before you cut ginger.

These are the same things you want to look for if you have had your ginger lingering around for a while and you are unsure if it is still good or not.

A ginger paste can be a great ingredient to have on hand in the kitchen to add great flavor to so many dishes. If you are following a recipe that calls for it and you don’t have it on hand read my post on all the ginger paste substitutes.

How does it look

Look over your ginger and see if there are any signs of mold. You may see green, grey, black, or even white mold growing on it. If so, throw it away.

However, if you see a small area that has a little mold, it is up to you if you want to cut it off and use the rest of it that is not affected. If you are unsure it is best to toss it out and get a new one.

Mold is not the only indicator of ginger going bad. If your ginger takes on the attributes like those of an old person, starting to turn grey or soft wrinkly skin then it has gone bad and should be thrown away. This is important if you’re going to peel ginger.

How does it Feel

If you pick up your ginger root and it feels squishy and wrinkled then it has gone by and should be discarded. Fresh healthy ginger root will be firm.

If you squeeze it gently and it feels like a stress ball then it is no longer good. You want it to feel like an onion or garlic clove.

How you store ginger is going to be an important factor in keeping it fresh and lasts you longer. You can check out this post on how to store ginger.

Also, find out how to tell if potatoes are bad, or how to tell if green beans are bad.

What to look for when you buy ginger

Let’s get into it though, when you are at the grocery store looking to pick out a good ginger root, what is it that you should look for to choose the right one?

Well, you are likely going to look it over for blemishes or rot, feel it for tenderness, and maybe even smell it to make sure it doesn’t smell moldy or off in any other way.

Healthy ginger should be yellow in color, have smooth skin, and be firm when you squeeze it with just a little give.

How long ginger lasts

Ginger stateRefrigeratedUnrefrigeratedFrozen
Fresh Ginger3 weeks1 week6 months
Chopped Ginger2 weeks1 week
Grated Ginger1 week6 months
Minced Ginger1 week6 months
Ginger Paste1 month6 months
Ground Ginger1-2 years


Can you eat expired ginger?

It is not recommended to eat expired ginger. Rotten ginger contains toxic bacteria that can cause many different health concerns. If you think your ginger may be expired you should throw it away and not risk it.

How long does ginger last at room temperature?

Ginger root can last at room temperature for about a week. With its thin skin, which is layered like bark on a tree, it can last longer than other fruits and vegetables at room temperature.

Should ginger root be refrigerated?

In order to keep ginger roots lasting longer, they should be stored in the fridge, tightly sealed, and kept in the crisper drawer. Peeled ginger should be refrigerated to keep it fresh for up to a week long.

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