This is not about potatoes sprouting. I had a large bunch of potatoes in the plastic tray I keep them in and with one thing an another, they got overlooked until I realized they'd been there a long time. I decided to make soup out of them and started to get them out of the tray - only to find that one of them was completely rotten and had ugly looking black (!) juice under it and it was frothing. YIKES! Obviously I threw it away and cleaned all the potatoes around it, first in hot water, then in cold water. I thoroughly cleaned the tray, too. YUK. Then I peeled the potatoes until they were printine and white. A couple of them were a bit soft, but no green bits on them no sign of spoilage.

I'm assuming these are okay to eat? I'm making potato and onion soup, as I hate to waste them (but will if there is still any danger of poison). What do you think?

  • I would say with the process you described and the outcome, you answered your own question. Enjoy the soup.
    – J Crosby
    May 5, 2020 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


The general rule with food is: If in doubt, throw it out.

Having said that, hot water is unlikely to kill any bacteria or fungi that came from the rotting potato. Washing will remove most of the contaminants that are on the surface. However - the problem here is that you generally can't see how far a contaminant has penetrated the food that you are eating. For example, in the case of moldy bread - the blue or white bits that sprout out are the fruiting bodies (produce the fungal spores) of the underlying fungus, the actual fungal mass will be many times larger and hidden inside the bread.

It's the same with your potatoes, while you may have removed all the infected bits, you may also not have. Will the infected stuff kill you? Probably not, but it sure won't taste very good and will make everything it is with taste bad too. To avoid wasting all the other ingredients as well as the potatoes, you are best of discarding any you think might be contaminated.

Long story short - throw out the ones that were touching the liquid and rotting potato. The rest should be fine.

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