Does Spinach Go Bad? How Long Do They Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

Buying healthful vegetables like spinach is simple, but remembering to consume them is frequently a challenge. That’s why the bag of spinach you meant to eat last week is still in the fridge. It’s a few days over its expiration date, and you’re wondering if it’s already rotten.

Does Spinach Go Bad?

Spinach, like other vegetables, becomes rotten at some point. In reality, spinach is very perishable, and certain nutrients are lost even quicker (more on this later), so it’s best to consume it fresh. But if yours has been in storage for a while, you’ll need to know how to detect whether it’s spoiled.

green leaves on blue plastic bowl

This page discusses spinach storage, shelf life, and spoiling. You’ve come to the correct location if that’s what you’re searching for.

How Long Does Spinach Last?

Spinach, like kale, has a short shelf life, and it’s difficult (if not impossible) to offer an accurate date.

If we’re talking about fresh spinach from the farmer’s market, it can keep its quality for up to two weeks. When it comes to pre-packaged spinach, it generally has a date on the label, and it’s a very reasonable approximation of how long the spinach will hold its optimum quality.

Usually, you may get an extra 3 to 5 days, but that’s about it. Of all, these are best-case circumstances, and spinach frequently displays indications of degradation sooner.

If you’re eating spinach for its benefits, try to consume it as fresh as possible. This is because, according to Penn State University, the nutritional profile of spinach declines quickly over time:

According to food experts, spinach kept for a long period loses much of its nutritious value, so that seven-day-old bag of spinach in your refrigerator may not make you as strong as your grandmother told you.

Cooked spinach may be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Fresh5 to 7 days6 months
Unopened7 daysUp to a year
Opened3 to 5 days6 months
Cooked4 to 5 days6 to 12 months
Blanched spinachUp to 5 days10 to 12 months
PureeUp to 5 days10 to 12 months

How Long Will Cooked Spinach Last?

Cooked spinach should be consumed within 3-4 hours of preparation. Otherwise, at room temperature, they will begin to degrade. If the indoor temperature is high, the spinach will endure little more than 1-2 hours. To keep them fresher for longer, place them in the refrigerator.

How long does fresh spinach keep in the refrigerator?

Fresh spinach may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If you purchased them in a package, they would last somewhat longer than 2 weeks if the packaging has not yet been opened.

If it has, the spinach will survive little more than a week. Transfer spinach to a sealable plastic bag or an airtight container to keep it fresher for longer. This will give them an extra week of shelf life.

How long can cooked spinach be stored in the fridge?

Cooked spinach will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 3-4 days. They should always be stored in an airtight container to keep their freshness. Otherwise, they would turn sticky and go rotten very fast.

How Long Can Spinach Be Stored in the Freezer?

Considering its fragility, frozen spinach lasts surprisingly long. You can’t eat the green stuff 12 months later if you freeze it fast and keep it properly. However, if you wish to freeze your spinach, you must do it as soon as possible.

Another alternative is to purchase frozen spinach. This is a decent substitute, and the leaves can be more nutritious than fresh spinach in some cases. This is partly due to the rapidity with which the spinach is processed, which may frequently be less than 24 hours from picking to freezing.

The disadvantage is that frozen spinach, in my view, does not taste as wonderful as fresh spinach.

One of the most difficult aspects of purchasing frozen spinach is getting it home without it melting. Bring a cooler to the shop and some ice packs if possible to help keep those green leafy cold.

As I indicated at the beginning of this section, frozen spinach should last between 10 and 12 months, making it ideal for keeping in the freezer in case you can’t get your hands on fresh spinach.

If your spinach frequently spoils because you forget about it or can’t be bothered to use it, consider purchasing frozen spinach. You may use it anytime you want, and there’s no need to worry about spoiling it.

How Can You Tell If Your Spinach Is Bad?

Several indicators of degradation can be seen in old or improperly preserved spinach. Some indicate that it has vanished and that you should discard it, while others do not.

If your spinach is moldy or slimy, it’s past its prime and should be discarded. I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but it’s worth repeating nevertheless. If it appears to be unappealing, don’t consume it.

Another indicator of aged spinach is yellowing and wilting leaves. Should you, on the other hand, throw it away? It is all up to you. I normally apply it even if only a few leaves turn yellow or begin to droop.

However, if the entire object is yellow, I get rid of it. The final truth is that it is a question of personal taste. And, if you’re unsure if it’s safe to consume, throw it out.

If you’re going to consume spinach that’s starting to wilt and turn yellow, use it in a cooked dish. The flavor of the green will be passable at most; therefore, incorporating it into a meal will assist in masking it.

How to select fresh spinach?

When looking for spinach, look for leaves that are bright green and have a crisp texture. The fresher the spinach, the brighter the green and the crisper the texture.

The fresher the spinach, the longer it will keep in the refrigerator. As a result, invest carefully. However, the stems should not be overlooked. They need to be dried. Spinach with discolored stems should be avoided.

When buying pre-packaged spinach in bags or clamshells, avoid the containers that have a lot of condensation droplets on the interior. This leftover water will encourage leaf leakage.

Should I Wash or Should I Not Wash?

Before eating or cooking with spinach, always wash it. Although some products state that it has been pre-washed, I still recommend washing them well.

Spinach has been recalled several times for E. coli and salmonella, so be sure it is clean. The best method to wash spinach is using a salad spinner, which removes much of the moisture.

Only wash anything you want to use.

Before using spinach, it should be washed.

Washing spinach before storing it is not suggested since it might bruise the spinach, and the excess water will lead to deterioration, both of which will reduce the shelf life of spinach.

However, pre-packaged bagged spinach can be washed before use.

Fresh, bunched spinach purchased from a farmer’s market or grocery shop should be properly cleaned before use since it contains dirt and many pathogenic and spoilage bacteria.

Is it true that boiling spinach kills bacteria?

E. coli O157:H7 bacteria can be killed by heating spinach at 170°F for about 15 seconds. Toxins generated by some pathogenic bacteria, on the other hand, are not eliminated by heating and can be harmful.

How to store Spinach

If you want to keep it for a while, get the crispiest, brightest, and greenest fresh spinach, you can find. Vegetables with dry or discolored stems should be avoided.

If you prefer pre-packaged spinach, keep it in its original, unopened container until ready to use. You should be aware that these bags contain shielding gasses that keep vegetables fresh for an extended period. Now, let’s look at the best ways to preserve your spinach.

How to store spinach in the fridge

Spinach, fresh

The easiest approach to keep spinach fresh for a long time is to keep it in the fridge at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 C). Keep it as dry as possible in the veggie drawer.

Avoid washing this vegetable until ready to use since extra moisture provides a good surface for bacteria development and speeds up deterioration.

In general, you may wash spinach before storing it, but this necessitates complete drying, which might be inconvenient.

To preserve this vegetable from moisture and pathogens, store it in an airtight plastic container, cling film, or heavy-duty plastic bag. To absorb excess moisture, lay a paper towel on the bottom.

Never store spinach with apples or bananas because the ethylene they emit causes leafy green vegetables to decay prematurely.

Spinner for salads

If you prefer not to wash the spinach leaves before using them, you may dry them in a salad spinner before keeping the packet in the refrigerator. The purpose is to eliminate excess moisture and extend the shelf life of the vegetables.

Can Spinach Be Frozen?

Freezing spinach is an excellent way to store it for a long time. If you don’t properly prepare the spinach, it won’t survive long.

Most of the time, you’ll need to blanch the spinach first before freezing it. Blanching helps to preserve the color and nutritional value of the spinach.

Blanching is not required if the spinach will be utilized within 6 months. Blanching is advised if the spinach will be stored for more than 6 months.

Once the spinach has been blanched, store it in an airtight container or a freezer bag. A freezer bag saves space, and the sealed container keeps food fresher for longer.

If you’re storing spinach in a freezer bag, press out any excess air before closing it. The less air there is in the freezer bag, the less likely it is that the spinach will experience freezer burn.

If the spinach arrived in a packaging, trash it and replace it with a sealable freezer bag. The plastic packaging is frequently weak and will rip while being frozen.

How to Freeze Spinach

Spinach, fresh

After properly freezing your spinach, you can preserve it for months. Place fresh leaves, whole or chopped, in a Ziploc bag and place in the freezer. A better approach is to freeze blanched spinach or puree at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) and utilize it within 10 to 12 months.

Spinach, cooked

Allow blanched or cooked spinach to cool before keeping it in the fridge in a Ziploc bag or airtight container for up to four days. Never store it alongside meat or other vegetables to avoid cross-contamination and a disagreeable odor.


Editorial Staff

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