How To Tell If A Peach Is Bad (With Pictures!)

It is of utmost importance that we know the signs of peaches that are bad. A peach can range from spectacularly sweet to a bundle of disappointment very quickly, so we should understand the signs that indicate when they are in the early ages of rotting to avoid disappointment when we buy peaches. To help you choose correctly, let’s see how you can tell if a peach is bad.

sliced peaches turning brown

Peaches should never be extremely bruised, soft, mushy, or develop dark discoloration. You can also trust your nose since a peach can start to smell rotten very early on. Another clear and conspicuous sign is if the peach has mold and bacterium growth on it, or even worms when you cut into it.

Most of us are unaware of how bacteria actively grow in the food we eat daily and where these bacteria can be found. Peaches have bacteria on them, even when they look perfectly fine. That could be a big problem. We will look at things you can do to identify if there are bacteria on a peach and how you can still keep yourself safe if that is the case.

peaches in wooden box with text 'how to tell if a peach is spoiled'

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How Can You Tell If Peaches Have Gone Bad?

Peaches do not have a long shelf life; they bruise easily, turning them into rancid, soft, and mushy fruits that are no longer enjoyable. Also, a super soft and mushy peach will soon become a moldy, rotten fruit. You can also tell if peaches are rotten by how they smell. Here are all the signs that a peach may show you to indicate if you should preferably avoid eating it.

Sign #1: Bad Peaches Have Bruising On Them

Peaches bruise very quickly due to their thin, soft skin and tender flesh. To those who pinch peaches to see if they are ripe or not, please stop. There are far better ways to tell if peaches are ripe or not. But pinching them will only speed up their spoiling process, moving them past their prime much faster.

When you want to buy fresh peaches, and you’re deciding which ones to put in your basket, you should choose ones that do not have any bruising on them, as those are the peaches that will rot the fastest. Though bruising doesn’t mean a peach is already bad (only if other signs accompany the bruising), bruising shows a weakness in the fruit that encourages bacterial growth.

Sign #2: Peaches That Are Rotten Become Extremely Soft

Since peaches bruise so quickly, they are also more prone to become soft in those same areas where they were mishandled by people who do not know any better. You should never buy peaches that have these soft, bruised areas on them.

Soft parts alone don’t mean that a peach is bad, though. It’s simply an indication that it won’t last as long as one that’s still firm and unbruised. Peaches do not have extreme longevity. That is why it is best to buy smart from the start because chances are excellent that a peach will end up in your garbage if you buy peaches that are already decaying.

Those soft spots will end up being a mushy mess at the end since peaches decompose quickly. The best idea is only to buy the exact amount you need; do not let your peaches sit out to rot away. Chances are that a peach that looks like this will already taste different than it should. If you want to be perfectly sure, however, you should look out for some of the other signs.

Sign #3: Bad Peaches Develop Dark Rotten Spots

Some peaches have dark spots on them. Again, this is not necessarily an indication of a bad peach, but if the dark spots are also softer than the rest of the fruit, it’s likely a sign of rotting. If you notice these brown spots, cut into the fruit. There’s a very good chance that you will see discoloration on the inside as well, indicating that the peach is rotten.

Due to how soft and juicy peaches are, these rotten areas will spread very quickly throughout the whole fruit. You will also notice that the peach is giving off a rotten smell when it’s reached this point. It’s a sickeningly sweet smell with solid undercurrents of decay.

spoiled brown peach

Sign #4: You Should (Carefully) Smell The Peach

Speaking of smells. You will quickly detect the smell of a rotten peach. But don’t be tempted to sniff your peaches to find the culprit immediately. Only smell a peach if you do not see any visible mold since inhaling mold spores could cause respiratory diseases and other health problems.

A peach should never smell musty or rotten in any way. It should smell precisely the way you would expect a peach to smell, sweet and fresh without a hint of rotting in the air.

If you do not smell the peach at all (and assuming your sense of smell is working as it should), then chances are good that the peach will not taste as it should, making it bad in a different way. Without any sweet fruity flavor, you will only end up feeling a mealy texture in your mouth with none of the juicy sweetness. It won’t cause health issues, but all it will give you is a mouthful of disappointment.

Sign #5: Bad Peaches Also Have Signs Of Mold

Mold grows exceptionally fast on soft food, especially if there’s moisture present. Because peaches are soft fruit filled with juice, they do not hold up against mold very well. When peaches are in the extreme stages of decomposition, they rot and show mold growth. These fungi and bacteria can spread their mold roots deep into this super soft fruit.

As mentioned, it is vitally important to remember that you should never smell a peach if you see mold on it. Mold spores can grow in your respiratory system and damage your health. Tread lightly when you deal with mold in the kitchen because cross-contamination can happen without you even being aware of what is happening under your nose.

You should also look for mold when determining whether oranges, broccoli, and cabbage are bad.

moldy spoiled peach

Sign #6: Bad Peaches May Contain Worms

Worms are a problem often found in all types of rotting food, especially fruit, and peaches are no exception. In fact, due to their soft skins, peaches are often more susceptible to becoming infested with worms and larvae than many other types of fruit. This is especially true with organic or home-grown peaches since they are not treated with insecticides.

A peach may look almost perfect on the outside, even if it is infested with worms or larvae. Signs of rotting will only appear later in the peach’s lifecycle. But you may notice a spot or tiny hole in the plant’s skin. This is how the worm or larvae got into the peach in the first place. This spot or hole will eventually grow into a big rotten spot.

If you notice any spots like this on your peach, it would be best to cut the fruit open and inspect it before you eat it, rather than taking a bite out of the fruit directly as you normally would. Accidentally biting into a worm won’t usually affect your physical health in any noticeable way, but the mental scars will remain for many years.

Recipes for Using Up Extra Ripe Peaches

If your peaches are just overripe and not rotten, you’ll want to use them up fast! Here are some of my favorite ideas for using up ripe peaches.

  1. Make smoothies! Here is a great all-peach smoothie. Or you can combine it with other fruits. Strawberry-Peach, or Peach-Mango-Strawberry, or Peach-Banana-Strawberry are all delicious.
  2. Make baked goods like this peach cobbler french toast!

More Questions About How To Tell If A Peach Is Bad

What happens if you eat a bad peach?

Depending on how bad the peach is, nothing bad may happen. It will mainly be the taste that’s a bit off in the early stages. As it progresses, you may end up with a bad case of food poisoning. If Salmonella is present in the peach, you will notice foodborne poisoning that can cause severe headaches, stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Is a mealy texture a sign of a bad peach?

The mealy texture is not a sign of a rotten peach. Peaches become mealy and can have brown discoloration on them when placed at temperatures too low for safe distribution. They can only be placed in the refrigerator after they are fully ripe. Never place peaches in the refrigerator; this will only ensure that you end up with an unpleasant mealy taste in your mouth.

Conclusion

Peaches are a delicious fruit, but it is important to make sure you eat them when they are still in their prime! Never eat a moldy peach. Always examine the appearance and smell before digging into a peach and you should be good!

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