How to Keep Mushrooms Fresh So They Don’t Get Slimy

Wild Mushrooms vs. Store-Bought Mushrooms 

There are differences that you need to consider when using wild mushrooms as opposed to store-bought mushrooms. When foraging, the first step is to check that the fungus you have is safe to eat. You will then need to clean the mushroom, check for bugs, and any damage.

When you buy commercial mushrooms, these are often

When you buy commercial mushrooms, these are often already clean and ready to be used. You don’t need to worry about bugs or damage, but you still need to be careful with eating something that has gone bad.

To prevent any food poisoning or illness, use these 10 tips to tell if your mushrooms are bad and prevent spoilage


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My name is Maia, Editor, and Writer of Lucky Belly

My name is Maia, Editor, and Writer of Lucky Belly. Here I talk all about my love and passion for Kitchen & Food. Read More

6 Tips To Tell If Mushrooms Have Gone Bad

Image: Lucky Belly
Image: Lucky Belly

Telling apart good mushrooms from bad ones is not as difficult. Here are the classic signs to look out for:

1. Slime

The first thing to check is the presence of a slimy layer on the mushroom. If you leave your fungi out in room temperature or keep them in the fridge longer than the recommended two weeks, they will develop this slimy film. The mushrooms might not be spoilt yet but they definitely will have lost their freshness.

2. Dark spots

Mushrooms that have stayed in the fridge for too long will develop bruises on the surface. They might still be safe to consume so you should use them up before they completely go bad.

3. Wrinkles

Mushrooms that are nearing the end of their shelf-life can lose their water content and develop wrinkles. This typically happens when fungi are left out in room temperature and allowed to dry on their own. It is best to discard mushrooms that look too dry if only because they would have lost that their meaty crunch.

4. Smell

Mushroom that has gone bad will produce a noticeably pungent, fishy smell. This will usually be accompanied by a slimy film and spotting on the surface of the fungi. The distinct smell alone will be enough to convince you that your stash of fungi needs to go.

5. Mold

Check for mold especially in the underbelly of the mushrooms. The high water content in mushrooms combined with improper storage can create the perfect breeding ground for mold. You should toss out the entire bag even if you find mold in just a few of the mushrooms.

6. Purchase date

A quick look, touch, or sniff is usually all you need to know whether mushrooms have gone bad. The final test is how long they have stayed in the fridge. A general rule of thumb is to get rid of mushrooms that have been refrigerated for more than two weeks, especially if all other signs of spoilage are present.


Mushrooms are not only tasty but also nutritious. Unfortunately, fresh mushrooms are perishable and won’t last very long in the refrigerator.

If you don’t plan to use fresh mushrooms within a week, consider freezing them for up to a year. Alternatively, you can also opt for dried or canned mushrooms for longer shelf life. After all, good hygiene and storage conditions are the most important in keeping your food supply fresh and safe to consume.

See more:

*Photo by AndreySt/depositphotos

*Photo by AndreySt/depositphotos



Shelf life of mushrooms

Lastly, to give you a better idea of when mushrooms tend to go bad, here is the shelf life of mushrooms:

  • Fresh whole mushrooms stored in the fridge: up to 10 days.
  • Fresh sliced mushrooms stored in the fridge: up to 7 days.
  • Cooked mushrooms stored in the fridge: between 7-10 days.
  • Mushrooms stored in the freezer: between 9-12 months.

At oneHOWTO we have one last piece of advice so that you know how to keep mushrooms fresh: never keep them in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. Why? Because these drawers are designed to conserve vegetable moisture, something that is not good for mushrooms. Your vegetable drawer will do the opposite.

If you want your mushrooms to last longer, a good idea is to preserve them as there are plenty of techniques you can try at home.

Lastly, take a look at this video where Chef Bill will explain how to select and store mushrooms, as well as other mushroom related questions you may have!

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell if Mushrooms are Still Good to Eat, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

Is It Safe to Use Old Shrooms?

If you inspect your shrooms carefully for the above signs of infection and don’t notice anything suggesting they are potentially dangerous to consume, old shrooms are probably safe. This is especially true if you have stored your shrooms properly and have kept them away from moisture.

Unfortunately, psilocybin mushrooms will degrade over time, leaving you with reduced potency. While eating old shrooms can be safe, they may not deliver the same effects that fresh ones would.

However, it’s crucial that you don’t assume your old shrooms have lost potency. If they’re stored correctly, it’s possible that they will retain nearly all of their active psilocybin. Many users have incorrectly assumed that their old stock has lost potency and increased their normal dose as a result. This is a recipe for a bad trip or an overwhelming experience, so it’s always safest to assume that your old shrooms haven’t lost any potency when you’re dosing.

Can You Freeze Mushrooms?

Fresh mushrooms don’t have that long shelf life, so freezing to preserve them for longer definitely makes sense.

The easiest way to go about that is to clean them up properly, slice, and steam or sautee in butter for a few minutes, until they wilt. Once the mushrooms cool down a bit, transfer them to an airtight container or a freezer bag and into the freezer. This way they’re pretty much ready to go once you thaw them.


If you freeze a big batch, consider dividing it into a few meal-sized ones, for easier defrosting and usage.

As usual, the safest thawing method is overnight in the fridge.

Rice, meatballs, mushrooms, and sauce
Rice, meatballs, mushrooms, and sauce

How To Store Mushrooms Properly

So we’ve covered different ways that mushrooms spoil, but how to about protecting them? There are several different methods to try in order to keep your mushrooms fresher, longer.

Mushroom Shelf-Life

First, let’s go over how long mushrooms actually last. If you purchased full mushrooms from the supermarket then those will last you about 4-7 days in the refrigerator.

If you bought the kind of pre-packaged mushrooms that come in cellophane then you’re looking at a very similar shelf life. Store bought mushrooms tend to last about 5-7 days when stored correctly in the refrigerator.

Refrigerating Mushrooms

You’ll want to keep your mushrooms stored properly in the refrigerator so they last longer. If you bought them from the store then you should remove them from the plastic and store them in a paper bag instead. This is also true for whole mushrooms you purchase. Don’t keep them in the little plastic grocery bag. Mushrooms need to be stored in paper bags so they can breathe. Plastic tends to quicken the spoiling process.

Freezing Mushrooms

If you’re looking to store them in the freezer then it might shock you to know that mushrooms can last in the freezer for up to a year. Remember that there are some tips to follow before freezing them, though. Mushrooms need to be cooked before they’re frozen. If you steam your mushrooms for about five minutes you can package them in freezer bags and place them in the freezer for up to 12 months. Just make sure that you leave about half an inch of headspace between your mushrooms and the seal of the bag.

Learning the proper ways to store mushrooms can help you to extend their shelf life and determining how to tell if mushrooms are bad can protect you and your loved ones from food poisoning and a yucky meal. The above tips will keep your ingredients fresh and your meals at their peak.

How to store mushrooms to keep them fresh

Just as it’s important to know when mushrooms are good to eat, it’s also important to know how to store mushrooms so they stay fresh. Here at oneHOWTO we have a comprehensive guide to how to keep mushrooms fresh here, but here is an outline:

  • keep mushrooms as dry as you can away from moisture
  • you can seal the mushrooms in a plastic bag or Tupperware box to reduce exposure to air (and therefore bacteria and spoilage)
  • in the plastic bag or box, put some kitchen paper inside. The kitchen paper will absorb the moisture from the mushrooms, making them good to eat for longer.
  • freeze your mushrooms by putting in a zip-lock bag and keeping in the freezer. This should allow you to keep you mushrooms for months at a time.

How long do dried magic mushrooms last? 

For those who are experts in magic mushrooms, if it is stored properly, it can last up to 6 months or even more while raw or fresh magic mushrooms can only last for up to two weeks if it is stored inside your fridge. Other magic mushroom varieties last longer, while some can spoil very quickly. 

It is very important to learn how to store magic mushrooms both fresh and dried properly since this is very needed to maintain its shelf life and, of course, its potency to preserve it’s psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects. 

Learning how to store magic mushrooms properly will also allow you to create a deeper connection with it since this is your go-to substance to give yourself euphoria. Storing magic mushrooms properly takes time to master, especially if you’re not familiar with how to do it properly. 

Magic mushroom users who are less informed are used to storing their magic mushrooms and ending up spoiling them, which strips the mushrooms from its psilocybin content and, worse, leave them to rot completely. 

How to tell if mushrooms have gone bad

Being able to spot when your fungi has taken a turn for the worse is essential if you’re going to make them a regular part of your diet, but how do you tell if a mushroom has gone bad? Here’s how.

As with almost every type of fresh food, your senses are your best friend when it comes to detecting a spoiled mushroom. Sight, smell, and even touch will all help you determine whether or not you should be eating your fungi or not. The key things to look our for are:

  • Sliminess
  • Stickiness
  • Ammonia-like odor
  • Wrinkles
  • Spots on the cap (head)
  • Darkened gills

Let’s take a look at each in a little more detail:

Sliminess The cap, or head, of the mushroom is where this is most likely to occur. If you run a finger across the top of your fungi and it feels in any way slippery or slimy, it’s probably on its way out. Stickiness Similar to the slimy feel above, a viscous residue is a bad sign and it’ll likely manifest on the cap as well. Mushrooms should be relatively dry to the touch, so anything other than that should be treated with caution. Better safe than sorry, throw them away. Odor Probably one of the best ways to tell if your mushrooms have gone bad is to smell them. Mushrooms give off a rather pungent, ammonia-like odor when they are past their best. They can also smell somewhat fishy, too. Anything other than a regular earthy smell is not a good sign. Wrinkles Oddly, mushrooms that have gone off can shrivel up and wrinkle as well as get a slimy coating to them. If the cap of your mushroom isn’t smooth and shows signs of dehydration, it’s time to get yourself some fresh ones. These are no good. Spots To the cap again, but this time we’re looking for spots. If you can see dark spots on your fungi, it’s likely they’re starting to spoil. In some instances, these may not be as obvious as out and out spots, but rather stains. It’s a good idea to check your mushrooms before refrigerating so you’ll notice any changes more easily. Darkness Flip your fungi over and look at its gills. Any darkening of these “vents” is a sure sign of decay beginning to happen. As with all of the above, if you spot this on your mushrooms, it’s time to throw them out. And finally… Another good way to find out if your mushrooms are still good to eat is to just exercise common sense. Have you had your mushrooms for over a week? If you have, then there’s a good chance that they’ll be close to turning bad, even if they haven’t already.

Mushrooms are pretty delicate and they really should be eaten as soon as you possibly can, so buy them on the day you intend to use them. Any left over should be used quickly to avoid the chance of falling foul of food-borne illness.

Eating mushrooms fresh on the day you buy them is by far the best advice. However, sometimes you’ll want to keep them in good shape for as long as you possibly can, so…


Treat your magic mushrooms with extra care by following the tips that are stated above. Just like regular food, magic mushrooms will eventually get worse, but there are tons of ways to preserve it. So, the next time you’re buying a bag of it, make sure you remember this post so that you’ll further enjoy it without any problems.


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