Black Spots on Broccoli: Read This Before You Eat That!

Broccoli is a green vegetable and part of the cabbage family. One of many cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is tremendously good for you and is filled with antioxidants to keep you healthy. But like other vegetables, it can sometimes show signs that something is wrong.

What Are the Black Spots on Broccoli?

The black spots on broccoli are usually a sign of some type of mold growing. Does this mean you should throw out the broccoli? Not necessarily, but it does mean you should remove the dark spots and cook and eat the broccoli as soon as possible.

Cause of Black Spots on Broccoli

Any black spot or brown spots on your broccoli are a sign that the veggie is starting to go bad. Black dots usually indicate fungal growth that is manifesting as black molds. Unfortunately, they can appear as early as 48 hours after you’ve purchased the broccoli. To make the broccoli last longer, you should keep it in the refrigerator in the drawer made specifically for vegetables.

If the dark spots aren’t plentiful, all you have to do is cut them off the broccoli and discard them, but it’s best if you cook the broccoli and eat it as soon as possible afterward. If too much of the broccoli is dark in color, it might be best if you simply throw it away, since there may be too many bad parts to remove efficiently.

Are Black Spots on Broccoli Stems Safe To Eat?

Black spots on broccoli stems are not safe to eat because they are either the beginning of the development of mold or they are mold that has already formed and has seeped through the entire head. Either way, just remember that this is a fungus and is not safe to eat. Some people might eat the dark spots and not get sick. Other people might have mild symptoms such as tummy problems. Others might throw up and experience diarrhea as a result of food poisoning, which is not fun for anybody.

To be on the safe side, make sure your broccoli heads are all bright green in color and preferably have no dark spots on them at all.

What To Do If You Find Black Spots on Your Broccoli

If your broccoli has black or dark spots on it, you don’t necessary have to throw the entire head out, but you should use caution when eating it. If these are the only symptoms your broccoli has, you might be able to cut off the dark spots and eat it anyway. Most food experts agree that fresh broccoli doesn’t usually stay fresh for longer than a week. Once the dark spots appear, you don’t have much time to consume the veggie.

If you’re cutting off the dark spot and notice it goes all the way through the broccoli, don’t eat that section of the vegetable. Remember that the dark mold spot may be on the top of the veggie only or through the entire thing. Regardless, the last thing you want is to eat any section of the broccoli that has that darkness on it.

Other Ways To Tell If Your Broccoli Is Bad

Dark spots aren’t the only indication that your nice head of broccoli is now spoiled broccoli. There are several ways to tell if your broccoli has gone bad:

  • Is it soft? Soft broccoli is not good broccoli. Good broccoli is slightly hard, very crisp, and has a fresh taste. The softer your broccoli is, the closer it is to being completely useless and therefore should be thrown out.
  • Do you see mold on the broccoli in question? Any type of mold is a bad thing on a head of broccoli. If you are unable to cut it out of the broccoli or there is simply too much of it, go ahead and throw out the entire head of broccoli. Better safe than sorry.
  • Good broccoli has a dark green color with stems that are a little lighter in color, but it should never be yellow. Just like mold spots, yellow broccoli doesn’t necessarily have to be thrown out, but the yellow parts and yellow spots should definitely be removed if possible. If the entire thing is yellow, the broccoli should be thrown out.
  • Broccoli that is fresh has no odor whatsoever. Even if you keep your broccoli in the refrigerator, it should stay odor-free. If you notice at any point that your broccoli is starting to get a little pungent, this means it is starting to go bad.
Broccoli with yellow spots instead of black spots
Look out for yellow spots as well as black spots on your broccoli.

You should also look at the broccoli florets, which should have perfect symmetry and a very determined shape. If the florets are difficult to see and they now look like a blob of nothing, you’re better off throwing the entire head of broccoli out.

Again, if you can remove any parts of the broccoli that look like they’re going bad, it is safe to eat the rest. But if those parts are covering the broccoli or you’re simply unsure about what to do, it’s better to throw the broccoli in the trash can.

How Long Should Broccoli Last?

Broccoli that is purchased fresh doesn’t last forever. If you keep it on your countertop, it usually lasts only 48 to 72 hours. If you place it in your refrigerator, it can last up to one week, but after a week it will likely start to deteriorate and become bad broccoli. If you wash your broccoli before putting it into the fridge, make sure you keep it in an airtight bag to cut down on bacterial and mold growth.

How To Prevent Broccoli From Going Bad Too Quickly

The best way to keep your broccoli safe is to keep it in an airtight bag in the fridge. If you think you won’t be using it within a week, you should cook it and then place the cooked broccoli in the freezer. But if you want the freshest-tasting broccoli, you should cook it within a day or two of bringing it home so you can enjoy its peak flavor.