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Due to their high protein content, mushrooms (like all other mushrooms) have a very limited shelf life and will spoil after a short time if left uncooled. This is particularly problematic with packaged supermarket mushrooms, which spoil within a very short time due to the unfavorable plastic packaging - often directly in the store. For this reason, you should buy loose goods if possible.

If the mushrooms smell bad, they should not be eaten

This is how you can tell if mushrooms are still good

You can recognize fresh mushrooms by these characteristics:

  • closed, maximum half-closed head
  • Lamellae are light to medium brown
  • Cap and stem feel dry and firm
  • Interfaces are bright
  • Mushroom is crunchy and smells pleasantly mushroom-earthy

If the mushrooms look and smell as described, they are still good and can definitely be used. Even minor bruises - recognizable by brownish discoloration on the cap and / or handle - do not pose a problem.

How do you recognize mold on mushrooms?

Sometimes fine, white threads can be seen on otherwise still good-looking mushrooms, which in advanced cases literally cover the mushrooms. This is not mold, but the fungal mycelium, which now forms a new fungal network. It comes from the spores that even supermarket mushrooms still secrete and can be safely eaten or removed by gently rubbing with a paper kitchen towel. Incidentally, such fruit bodies covered with mycelium can also be used to grow your own mushrooms.

When is it better to throw away mushrooms

Mold on mushrooms is also never white, but mostly black. Please do not cut out this area and use the affected mushrooms anyway! Throw away moldy mushrooms or you are gambling with your health. You should also throw away and preferably not use mushrooms that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Fungus feels spongy to greasy
  • unpleasant, putrid odor
  • distinct brown or even black spots

If the mushrooms still smell good but have dark lamellae, dark cut surfaces and dark spots on the cap and stem, they are no longer fresh. However, they can still be used in such a case, provided you remove the stalk completely and cook the mushrooms very well. Only the taste will not be as aromatic as with fresh mushrooms.


If you want to be on the safe side and want to use mushrooms that are as fresh as possible, you can simply grow them yourself. This also works on the balcony, in the garden and even in the cool basement.

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