Is It Dangerous To Eat A Spouted Potato?

Potatoes are veggies that store very well, but they don’t last forever like all foods. A potato can sometimes last for a week and up to a few months.

 How long they last mainly depends on how they are stored, but it’s common to find when potatoes are sitting for a while that they produce a few sprouts that form from "eyes.” These are not appealing to look at, but does that mean the potatoes is now unedible? Here are a few tips to help you spot potato spoilage.

Is It Safe to Eat Sprouted Potatoes?

There are some contradictory opinions on whether or not sprouted potatoes are 100 percent safe. However, everyone agrees with one point. Don’t eat the sprouts!

Potatoes are a great natural source of compounds known as glycoalkaloids that are found in other veggies like eggplants and tomatoes. When consumed in small amounts, Glycoalkaloids can be very beneficial to your health and contain antibiotic properties linked with lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. However, when consumed in excess, this compound can become toxic!


As Potatoes start to sprout, their glycoalkaloid levels increase. Therefore, folks who eat these potatoes may experience symptoms with a couple of hours up to a full day after consumption. Symptoms include things such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

When consumed in larger quantities, Glycoalkaloids may also cause headaches, low blood pressure, fever, rapid pulse, and may even cause death. Some studies show that eating these potatoes while pregnant could increase a child’s congenital disabilities.

If you’ve peeled sprouted potatoes before, you might have noticed greening, damage, and a very bitter taste. These are all signs that the potato has higher than safe glycoalkaloid levels. This is why it’s essential to remove the sprouts and the green parts and buried areas to help reduce the risk of consuming too many glycoalkaloids.

Also, peeling and frying these potatoes can also help reduce these levels. Plus, potatoes with newer sprouts are much safer to eat than those that have sat longer with more developed sprouting activity.

However, we still don’t know if removing the green areas, skin, and sprouts totally protect a person from glycoalkaloid toxicity. This is why most experts will recommend throwing away spouted or green potatoes unless it’s an absolute emergency.

You can also watch a helpful video about this topic below.

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