Do Limes Go Bad?: Limes add a delicious tangy flavor to lots of dishes and drinks. They help to lift the flavors in a curry, freshen up a salad, and look wonderful as a garnish in a summer drink.
Bought a bunch of limes and wondering do limes go bad? How long do limes last? Well, limes have a pretty large window of time, provided you store them correctly. Limes do go bad if stored for too long; you should make the most of your limes while they’re good. Let’s get all the details on spoilage, shelf life, storage, and much more related to limes.
- Do Limes Go Bad?
- How Long Do Limes Last?
- How To Store Limes?
- How To Tell If Lime Is Bad?
- Can You Freeze Limes
- The Risk Of Consuming Expired Limes
- Can you eat a shriveled lime?
- Can I use expired lime juice?
- Are limes still good when they turn brown?
Yes, all fruits go bad at some point, and limes are no exception. Ongoing bad, the limes that used to be bright green and plump turn dull and dry up. The reason for that is that your limes have gone past their best-by date.
When fully ripened, limes turn pale yellow and become less acidic. If still not used, the quality of limes will then start reducing. However, on the plus side, limes tend to last very well because of their relatively high acidity levels. So you can happily stock up on limes without having to worry that they will be bad in a day or two. Nevertheless, it is good to know how long limes last and how to spot bad limes so that you won’t end up wasting food.
Limes should keep for about a week on the counter and a few days longer in the pantry! If you store the limes in the refrigerator, you can expect them to last about 3-4 weeks. And, if you take the extra step and seal the lemons tightly in a sealed bag, they can last for about 5 weeks.
Therefore, whether you should refrigerate your limes or leave them on the counter in a fruit basket depends on when you’re using them. If you know you’ll use them soon, you can put them in the counter basket and call it a day. But if you need a longer shelf life, refrigeration is the way to go.
Fresh, whole limes will keep well on the counter for a week and for up to about 2 weeks in a cold pantry. However, if you refrigerate them, the fruits should last about a month in good shape, and maybe even a couple of weeks longer if you keep them in a sealed bag.
Also keep in mind that lemons and limes often sit for a couple of days in the produce section of the grocery store before they get sold. So unless you know that what you’ve bought is fresh, be prepared that it might not keep good quality for the above-mentioned estimated period.
Although it’s easy to store limes over the long term, consuming spoiled or moldy limes can cause food poisoning. Use the below-given food storage methods to extend the shelf life of limes, fresh lemons, and other citrus fruits.
The first and foremost step is to pick the fresh and best limes from the market at the time of buying itself. Make sure they are in uniform lime color and are a bit firm to touch. Try avoiding the ones with mushy or bruised parts. If you are about to finish them in a week or so you can leave them on the counter itself. If you want them to keep fresh beyond this timeframe you can store them in the refrigerator and store them in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer.
If you want them to stay even longer keep them in a freezer bag and try to remove excess air from the bag and keep a tight seal. Removal of excess air in the bag will eliminate moisture thus keeps them fresh for a pretty good amount of time.
For a complete idea of the storage of limes do refer to our article on How To Store Limes and have a clear picture of the best methods to keep your limes fresh.
Look for the following signs of spoilage in your limes:
Mold growth: Limes typically go moldy after you cut them up and leave some parts unused, but if the rind is heavily bruised, it might grow mold too. If you notice any specs of mold, discard the lime.
It’s super soft, shriveled, or slimy: Some softness is a good indicator that your lime is filled with juice, and that’s not a reason to throw it out. But if the whole thing is super soft, shriveled, feels hollow, or the skin is wrinkly, it’s time for the lime to go.
Browned skin: If the peel of the lime has some large brown patches, chances are what you’ll see inside when you cut the fruit in half will be quite disappointing. Nevertheless, some browning here and there on the outer part shouldn’t be a problem.
Stored beyond the recommended shelf life: It’s not recommended to cut and store lime for more than 4 to 5 days. Sliced limes, like all other cut fruit, don’t last that long, so if yours crosses that 4- or 5-day mark, it’s time to get rid of it.
Taste test: Generally, fresh limes have a sweet and sour taste that is refreshing and revitalizing. If you find that your limes have become rather tasteless or even unpleasant, it’s a good sign that they have gone past their best date of consumption. It is not advised to eat limes with a rancid or bland taste because you won’t enjoy them anyway.
Smell test: A bad lime might have a very acidic smell. This will be unpleasant and acidic beyond the usual lime smell. The same applies to a cut lime. The smell of a spoiled lime piece will either be nearly nonexistent or it will be bitterly acidic and unpleasant. If you discard the skin of a bad lime, you may not smell an awful lot.
The skin of a fresh lime is bright green and somewhat firm, so if the changes you see are quite significant, the lime might already be past its prime. If fruit isn’t dried out on the outside, cut it open and see what’s inside. If the lime was stored for a long time, the rind might look okay, but the flesh could be somewhat dry. If there’s no clear sign of spoilage but something still feels off, it’s up to you to choose if you want to use the fruit or not.
Yes, you can freeze limes undoubtedly and they keep fresh in the freezer. In the case of whole limes, you can keep them as they are. However, if you are dealing with cut slices place them in an air-tight container or ziplock bag so that they don’t get in contact with the freezer directly and lead to freezer burn eventually. Make sure to thaw them if you are planning to cook or bake them give them enough time. For a complete picture on freezing limes do visit our article on Can Freeze Limes and get in-depth knowledge.
Generally speaking, it’s never advised to consume food that has gone bad. Similarly, limes that have passed their date of consumption should be avoided. People with sensitive stomachs might experience symptoms of food poisoning after consuming bad limes. Consumption of bad limes may lead to abdominal bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
It is also advised that you avoid drinking lime juice that has been standing in your fridge for too long, especially if it has become cloudy. There could be toxins or bacteria in the rancid lime juice that will make you feel very uncomfortable.
However, if you have accidentally consumed a bad lime, don’t worry since eating a rotten lime isn’t life-threatening. Be sure to drink lots of water and wait for your symptoms to pass within approximately 24 hours. However, if you still experience significant discomfort after this time, you should seek medical help.
See More: Can Lime Juice Go Bad
FAQs On Do Limes Go Bad?
Yes, fruit such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit may sometimes appear bad but are perfectly fine to eat. If the skin of the fruit looks damaged, bruised, has some mold, or is otherwise poor, simply peel the fruit and check for any signs of spoilage on the inside.
Generally bottled lime juice has a long shelf life, and keeps for months past the printed date. After opening the bottle, unlike other juices, it stays safe in the refrigerator for up to the printed date, and even longer. It might experience a bit of a color change, but it’s still okay to use.
Limes may turn brown due to multiple reasons, like insect damage or citrus canker, or simply because they are old and decaying. In the first two cases, the lime should still be fine to eat if you remove the brown bits, but if it has gotten completely brown and soggy, it should be thrown away.
The powerful tangy punch of limes can uplift any drink or dish and thus provides a great addition to any kitchen. Limes are very versatile, you can use their peel, zest, and flesh. You can use limes to add a bit of color to your baking or to add an excellent sweet and sour taste to your curries and drinks.
Thus, keeping limes handy is a good idea. Follow our tips on how to store your limes and how long they last, and you will be able to enjoy your limes without worrying if your limes have gone bad. Keep following our website for the best wellness content and articles like How To Store Lemons and others.