How to Tell if Yellow Squash is Bad (With Pictures)

Wondering if that yellow squash in your fridge has been in there a little too long? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I’ll show you how to tell if yellow squash is bad, with real pictures along the way. Let’s get right into it.

The best way to tell if yellow squash is bad by looking at the appearance, smell, and feel. Yellow squash that is moldy, squishy, or smelling rotten should be thrown out immediately.

picture of bad yellow squash

How to Tell if Yellow Squash is Bad

Yellow squash is not one of those vegetables that seems to last forever like carrots. Once you buy yellow squash, you should try to use it as quickly as you can. If you let it sit in the fridge too long, it will start undergoing the process of deterioration fairly fast.

I purchased yellow squash and tracked the process of spoilage so you don’t have to! Let’s look at the different stages of yellow squash going bad.

  • Stage 1: firm and bright yellow. When yellow squash is ripe and perfect for eating, this is the condition you want it in.
  • Stage 2: after the sqaush has been in the fridge for a week or more, it will start to show signs of deterioration. This includes scarring, bruising, and possibly some wrinkles. The inside flesh is no longer at its prime. At this stage the squash is still safe to eat, but the quality might not be 100%.
  • Stage 3: about a week after the squash starts to go downhill, it will be 100% spoiled. Let’s look at the signs of spoiled yellow squash below.

Yellow Squash Spoilage Signs:

  1. It has dark, black spots. These spots usually mean the squash is bad. If they don’t already have white, fuzzy mold on them, they probably will soon.
  2. It is squishy. Bad yellow squash will start to lose its firm texture. The thinner end usually get squishy first.
  3. The interior is no longer firm and is starting to turn colors. I found this happened at the same time as squash felt squishy on the outside.
  4. It smells rotten. By the time my squash had black spots and mold, I could also tell it was bad just by the smell. So if you’re not sure by the outside signs, this is also a good test to use.
  5. It is growing mold. If the squash has visible mold, it is definitely time to throw it out.

Here’s a photo that shows just how squishy this bad squash was, especialy on the thinner end:

squishy yellow squash

This is what the thin end looked like on the inside—very soft, and discolored.

Is soft or spongy yellow squash okay to eat?

I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I have eaten yellow squash that is not 100% fresh—where the inside flesh is starting to get a little softer than normal and a little spongy.

But really, you will need to use your own judgment and decide how much risk you’re willing to take.

Often, it is better to err on the safe side and throw out any squash that is past its prime.

Make sure to take a look at my video (or the photo above this), because I show a squash that has one side that is very soft. If your squash is very soft like this, do not eat it, even if there is no mold.

And of course if there is any rotten odor or mold, don’t even hesitate. Just throw it away.

Storing Yellow Squash

In order to ensure that the above does NOT happen to you, make sure to store your squash in the fridge and use it within a week for best results.

While some articles say yellow squash lasts 2 weeks in the fridge, I found that by the 2 week mark it was already showing signs of deterioration.

You’ll want to use the crisper drawer for storage and resist washing the squash before putting it in the fridge.


There are lots of signs that help you figure out if yellow squash is bad. So the next time you’ve left some squash in the fridge too long, make sure to check the appearance, feel, and smell. Or even better, use up that squash quickly so you never have to evaluate if your squash is bad.

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