I forgot a grocery bag in my trunk, and didn't realize it until 24 hours later. I had bean sprouts in the bag, and it says to keep refrigerated. Are they safe to eat? I am not sure what happens to bean sprouts if left unrefrigerated.

  • 1
    Actually amazed about a bag of bean sprouts still LOOKING edible after a day in the trunk... May 3, 2017 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


Raw bean sprouts are considered to be a potentially hazardous food item or a TCS food (time-temperature control for safety). Bean sprouts are likely to become unsafe due to bacterial growth if left un-refrigerated for more than four hours, as a warm, moist environment promotes bacterial growth. To err on the side of caution, you should throw your bean sprouts away.

  • 1
    Just to add-- growing your own bean sprouts is actually pretty simple, and while they can look twisty/ugly, they usually taste better, and you dont have to worry so much about forgetting them somewhere hot. XD
    – kitukwfyer
    May 3, 2017 at 23:06

Fresh bean sprouts are firm, crunchy and white. When they go off they turn yellowish, soft and ultimately slimy. They will also start smelling bad immediately.

If they smell fine and look fine, they are fine to eat.

  • This answer had a downvote without reason. I have upvoted again, because bean sprouts go bad quickly and that is very easy to spot. Just smell, you can't go wrong there.
    – user34961
    May 4, 2017 at 11:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.