How Long Do Raspberries Last and What’s The Best Way To Store Them?

Bought a pack of raspberries and wondering how long they will be good for? How long do raspberries actually last?

Or perhaps you’re not sure if you should refrigerate raspberries, or what’s the best way to store them, depending on your circumstances.

If that sounds familiar, this article is for you. In it, we’re going to cover:

  • the shelf life of raspberries – how long they keep for, depending on where do you store them
  • storing raspberries – letting them sit on the counter versus refrigerating them
  • freezing – when it makes sense to freeze raspberries and what’s the easiest way to go about that
  • signs of spoilage

Interested? Let’s dive right in.

Handful of raspberries

How Long Do Raspberries Last?

Raspberries keep for a couple of hours on the counter or 2 to 3 days if you refrigerate them. If you need more time than that, freezing is your best option.

Raspberries mold and mush quickly, so you have only one to two ([MF]), sometimes up to three days from the moment you get home with the package.

To make sure your raspberries actually last those two days and not grow mold all over during the night, choose the best ones available.

To do that, inspect the top, bottom, and sides of the package, and look for signs of moisture, mushy or discolored raspberries, or mold. If either is present, move to another package.

Tip

Clamshell containers let you see exactly what’s going on inside, so they allow you the most control over what you’re buying.

If there’s a single spoiled (or spoiling) raspberry in the container, you can still buy it. Just remember to get rid of that specimen once you get home.

CounterFridgeFreezer
RaspberriesEat within a few hours2 – 3 days6+ months
Group of raspberries

How To Store Raspberries

Store raspberries unwashed in their original container in the fridge. Avoid letting them sit in the back of the refrigerator because it’s too cold for the fruit. To make sure you eat them before they spoil, keep them in the front of a shelf, where you’ll see them often.

Leaving these berries on the counter is an option only if you’re going to eat them within a couple of hours. Otherwise, you should refrigerate raspberries ([MF, OSU]).

When it comes to packaging, the container they come in is usually the best choice.

Tip

If you need to package your raspberries, use a shallow container or box with holes to allow for air circulation. A shallow container prevents the raspberries on top from crushing those underneath ([MF, OSU]). If you don’t have one, use a plastic bag and poke some holes in it.

To make your raspberries last the longest, sort through the fruits once you get home, and discard any discolored, mushy, or moldy ones. This way, the decay won’t spread, and most of the berries will still be intact tomorrow.

Raspberries in a plastic container

Like with strawberries or blueberries, be gentle when handling raspberries as they bruise easily. And berries that are bruised today usually end up in the trash tomorrow.

Warning

Don’t wash raspberries before you refrigerate them. Any leftover moisture on the fruit’s surface shortens its life and increases the chance of growing mold.

If you research storing raspberries long enough, you’ll undoubtedly run into “tricks” such as placing a moist paper towel on top of the fruits or bathing them in a vinegar-water solution to get rid of spores.

I’m sure those work, but I’m also fairly certain that hardly anyone has the time or motivation to perform these consistently. What I encourage, instead, is to get good at the basics:

  • Buy the best raspberries available.
  • Sort through them.
  • Keep them breathing and refrigerated.
  • Use them as soon as possible.
Raspberry muffin before baking
Raspberry muffin before baking

Can You Freeze Raspberries?

Freezing raspberries is an easy way to preserve them if you’re afraid they might go bad in your fridge. The process is simple and doesn’t require much time, but it comes at a cost.

Defrosted raspberries won’t be as firm as fresh ones, and for some uses (e.g., in a fruit salad or if you’re topping your yogurt), that’s a huge drawback. For others, such as in baking or smoothies, the texture doesn’t matter that much, and thawed raspberries will work just fine.

Woody skin on a raspberry
Woody skin on a raspberry, safe to eat, although doesn’t look that appealing

How To Freeze Raspberries

To freeze raspberries, grab a baking sheet or a large tray, and do the following:

  1. Wash and dry. Washing removes any debris and dirt, so it’s pretty much a must-do before eating. We do it now because it’s much easier to wash fresh raspberries than mushy just-thawed ones. After rinsing, drain them on paper towels and pat them dry. The less moisture remains on the berries, the better.
  2. Pre-freeze. Place all the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray, and make sure they don’t touch one another. Chuck that tray into the freezer for a few hours or overnight, allowing the berries to freeze solid. If you don’t want them sticking to the tray, use a silicone mat.
  3. Freeze for the long term. Transfer the frozen raspberries into a freezer container or bag. If you go with a bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it. Add a label with name and date if you like, and put everything into the freezer.

That’s it. The only annoying (at least to me) part of the procedure is washing the berries because you have to be careful not to bruise them. Once that’s done, it’s smooth sailing from there.

Raspberry closeup

Those raspberries can easily sit in the freezer for 6+ months, so you can enjoy them even if they aren’t in season.

Tip

If there’s a sale on raspberries in your local farmer’s market, don’t hesitate and take advantage of it. You can freeze all those berries and have them readily available throughout the year. Also, it’s better for your wallet than buying expensive imports when raspberries aren’t in season.

Finally, let’s talk about thawing. For some purposes, like baking or smoothies, you don’t need to defrost the raspberries. You can throw them in as-is, and the dish will turn out just fine.

But if you need to defrost them, do that overnight in the fridge, in an airtight container. And expect those raspberries to be watery and soft in the morning.

Freshly baked raspberry muffins
Freshly baked raspberry muffins

How To Tell If Raspberries Are Bad?

Throw out raspberries that:

  • Are moldy. And if the fuzzy area was quite large, consider throwing out those berries that were nearby, just to stay safe.
  • Are mushy or discolored. Those aren’t necessarily spoiled, but they don’t taste that great and usually grow mold within a day or so. Alternatively, you can eat them right on the spot (don’t forget to rinse them!) so that you don’t have to discard them later.
  • Smell off. If everything looks okay, but the berries smell off, discard them anyway.
Moldy raspberry
Moldy raspberry, throw those out
Moldy and mushy raspberry
Moldy and mushy raspberry, discard those

As usual, if you’re not 100 percent sure those raspberries are safe to eat, it’s better to err on the side of caution and let them go.

Sources