How to Tell if Basil is Bad?

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Although basil is a fresh herb, it can retain its scent and flavor for up to a week, even if it is not stored properly. But, there are a few things you can do to tell if basil is bad before you use it.

How to Tell if Basil is Bad

Basil is an aromatic plant that is largely used to adorn many dishes and vegetables. When plucked fresh from the garden, it does exude some awesome aroma and bears some green to crisp purple color. Like any other vegetable or plant, basil too may go bad and become largely unfit for human consumption.

You have to know how to tell whether indeed the basil is bad or not. It is only in this way that you shall prevent the dangers that ordinarily come along. We are going to take you through the steps and procedures to follow to ascertain whether indeed your basil is bad or not, here below.

How to Tell if Basil is Bad?

Below are some of the common signs to be on the lookout for:


Fresh basil usually has a distinctively green to purple hue. Any deviation from this signifies that it is bad. Mostly, the bad basil assumes a golden brown or black color.

Moist texture

The texture of the basil has to be dry. If you notice some moisture in the outer parts of the basil, that is significant enough that it is not in good shape. As a deterrent, you are asked to keep it away from all moisture as possible.

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Rotten smell

As explained already, fresh basil has a great aroma that is truly pleasant to the nose. Basil that is bad will often give off some sharp rotten smell that is really unpleasant. Provide sufficient air in the area where the basil is stored.

Soft and weak strands

Basil that is healthy has strong and enduring strands. Those that are spoiled on the other hand have soft and weak strands. Their leaves also start falling off from the main stem. Keep the area where the basil is stored from all germs and contaminations.

Withered leaves

Closely related to the above is the issue of the withered leaves. Bad basil has leaves that wrinkle and wither away as opposed to the fresh ones that are glowing and great to the eyes. To stem this one, preserve the basil as far away from direct sunlight as possible.

Length of storage

The length of time in which the basil is stored also determines to a large extent whether indeed it will be bad or not. Basil that is stored in a fridge for more than 2 months will automatically be considered bad. You may have to consume it within the shortest time possible.

Safety Precautions (Prevent basil from going bad)

To prevent your basil from going bad, we recommend that you:

  • Store it in a cool dry place
  • Keep it far away from direct sunlight
  • Spray the adjacent areas for insects and other destroyers
  • Consume it within the shortest realistic time possible
  • Handle it with clean and hygienic hands to prevent contamination
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Please note that there are numerous health risks and challenges that come along with the use of bad basil. Some of these include food poisoning, feelings of nausea, and sharp loss of appetite. It is important that you work only with basil that is in great condition.

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