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How to tell if spinach has gone bad

Everyone knows that spinach has great health benefits. Take it from Popeye, he ate a can a day, and look at his muscles.

If your spinach is left too long then it will spoil just like any other vegetable, but the question at hand is how to tell if spinach has gone bad.

Your senses are always the best way! Look at it, smell it, feel it but I don’t suggest tasting it if you suspect it might be bad.

You can tell if your spinach has gone bad by using your senses. If it looks dark green, feels slimy, or has a strong odor then it is probably safe to say that it has spoiled.

Spinach is known to carry E-coli and salmonella so it is important to always wash your spinach before you use it.

Steps for telling if spinach is bad

The leafy green vegetable known as spinach can be eaten cooked or raw and can be used as an ingredient in your dish or on its own as a side dish. There are so many uses for spinach.

Spinach is great in smoothies, pasta dishes, chicken dishes and so many more. Check out my Chicken Florentine recipe, it’s creamy and delicious.

Fresh spinach usually lasts about 5-7 days if it is stored properly in a tightly sealed container. Cooked spinach lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge.

Let’s go over the steps to help you tell if your spinach should be consumed or tossed.

1. How does it look?

Fresh spinach should have nice hardy, bright green-colored leaves. If your spinach looks wilted, slimy, or dark green in color chances are that it is no longer good.

Spinach will start out bright green and as it starts to go bad it gets darker and darker eventually turning blackish. Any signs of it getting dark are signs of it spoiling and should be tossed out.

2. How does the spinach look?

If you go to open your bag or container of spinach and you get a musky or sour smell then do not cook or eat it.

Fresh spinach should smell fresh. Like lettuce or kale, it will start to smell when it is going bad. Usually, this will go hand in hand with it looking dark and slimy as well.

3. Feel the Spinach

Reach in and grab a handful. If the spinach is wet and slimy, it has spoiled. Spinach that is still fresh will be dry and have hardy leaves and firm stems.

If moisture is introduced to your spinach then it will spoil faster and become slimy and you don’t want to eat it even if you are cooking it first.

Also, find out how to tell if kale is bad.

How to store spinach properly

When you store your spinach or other leafy greens you want to make sure that it is kept in a tightly sealed container and kept cold. A tightly sealed container will keep the moisture out and keep the leaves nice and dry.

The crisper drawer in the refrigerator is the best place for it as the temperature and moisture are the right environments.

You can also learn how to freeze spinach and how to freeze kale for longer storage which is great to have on hand for smoothies or soups!!

Be sure to keep your spinach away from ethylene-producing foods like apples and pears, because ethylene helps things to ripen which will spoil your spinach faster.

To learn more about how to properly store spinach and prevent it from going bad, check out our article on how to store spinach. By implementing the right storage techniques, you can prolong the freshness of your spinach and enjoy its nutritional benefits for longer.

To wash or not to wash

Always wash your spinach before eating or cooking it. Some packages say that it has been prewashed but I still recommend rinsing it again.

Spinach has been recalled many times for E-coli and salmonella so you want to make sure that it is clean. Using a salad spinner is the best way to wash spinach because it gets a lot of moisture off.

Only wash what you are going to use. You do not want to wash spinach ahead of time because the moisture and the cold in the fridge will cause wilted spinach and therefore will spoil faster.

If your spinach is only slightly wilted, it’s likely still good to eat. However, if it has a slimy texture or smells bad, it’s best to discard it.

It’s best not to wash spinach before storing it in the fridge. The excess moisture can cause it to spoil faster. Instead, wait to wash it until you’re ready to use it.

To prevent spinach from going bad quickly, make sure to store it properly in the fridge, avoid washing it until you’re ready to use it, and check it regularly for any signs of spoilage. Additionally, avoid overcrowding it in the fridge to allow for proper airflow.


Learning how to tell if spinach has gone bad is an essential skill for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy and safe diet.

Remember to check for signs of spoilage such as wilting, sliminess, discoloration, and unpleasant odors, and always store spinach properly in the fridge.

With these tips, you can ensure that you’re consuming fresh and nutritious spinach every time you add it to your meals.

Don’t let spoiled spinach ruin your meals and use our guide to “how to tell if spinach has gone bad” to keep your greens fresh and delicious.

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