Does Pineapple Go Bad?

So you bought a pineapple or two, with a plan to prepare a fruit salad on the weekend. But life happened, and you couldn’t stick to that plan. And now you’re wondering: does a pineapple go bad? You’re still eager to make that fruit salad but aren’t sure the pineapple will last until the next weekend.

Or maybe you thought about stocking up on pineapples when they went on a sale. But you decided against it because you’re not quite sure how long do pineapples last. And since you’re not certain when to comes to their shelf life, there’s no point in buying more than you can use within the next few days.

The quintessential tropical fruit, pineapple is usually available only between March and July. And if you love this summer fruit, it’s time to learn about good and proper storage practices, shelf life, and going bad of it. And this article is here to help you with precisely that.

Cut pineapple
Image used under Creative Commons from Kyle McDonald

How to Store Pineapples

To make sure your pineapples last as long as they can, let’s start with picking up the ones. Start by checking if it’s free from soft spots and bruises. Next, take a look at the leaves. They should be green and fresh, not losing color and drying out. Please note that sometimes pineapples are sold without the top, and that’s quite normal. The growers often cut out the crown right after harvesting so they can plant it for the next batch to grow.

While pineapples are most often sold in the not-refrigerated section of the store, room temperature isn’t ideal for them. So you should keep them in the pantry or on the countertop only if you plan on consuming them within a day or so. Extended storage in such conditions will result in quality degradation, and possibly in rot setting in after a few more days.

So as you probably know, the fridge is where you should keep the pineapple. You can put it in the crisper drawer in the plastic bag you brought it in, but make sure the fruit can breathe. Please note that despite its looks, pineapple is easily bruised, so don’t put anything on top of it.

When it comes to pineapple slices and chunks, the story is quite similar. You should put the cut pineapples in an airtight container or a freezer bag, and then in the fridge. If you’re using the bag, squeeze as much air out of it as possible. Again, make sure the flesh stays untouched in storage. If fridge space comes at a premium, you can use a rigid airtight container so you can put other food items on top of it. For a few days of extra storage time, you can cover the slices and chunks in simple syrup.

Last but not least, if you went for canned pineapple, store it the same way you keep other canned foods. That means you should keep it in a cool and dark cupboard, possibly in the pantry or in the kitchen. That’s about it.

Image used under Creative Commons from isox4

Can You Freeze Pineapple?

If you want to store the pineapple for the long term, freezing is the way to go. Prep the pineapples by peeling and cutting them into desired pieces. Then transfer them to airtight containers or freezer bags. If you want to be able to easily thaw only a few pieces instead of the whole container or bag, flash-freeze the pieces first. Add a label with name and date if needed.

When it comes to thawing, the fridge is the best choice, but there are a few other choices too. Check out our guide to defrosting.

How Long Do Pineapples Last

Generally, pineapples don’t last that long. A whole pineapple should retain quality for 1 to 2 days at room temperature, or 4 to 5 days in the fridge. And it should stay okay-to-eat-but-not-that-great for at least a couple more days.

When it comes to cut pineapple, 3 to 4 days in the fridge is what you can expect of it. A few more days if you go the extra mile and submerge it in simple syrup.

Canned pineapple comes with a best-by date on the label. And just like other canned foods, the canned pineapple slices or pieces can easily last months past that date.

If you need to store the pineapple for longer, freezing is the way to go.

Pantry Fridge
Whole pineapple 1 – 2 days 4 – 5 days
Pineapple chunks or slices 3 – 4 days
Canned pineapple Best-by + 3 – 6 months

Please note the periods above are only estimates.

How To Tell If Pineapple Has Gone Bad

Before pineapple actually goes bad, it degrades in quality. When the top leaves start to lose color and dry out, it’s now or never when it comes to consuming the fruit. If there are some soft spots or bruises, same thing. You usually can cut those areas out and use the rest of the fruit. But please remember that at this point the deterioration process accelerates and waiting until tomorrow isn’t a good idea if you want to use the fruit.

When the bottom becomes wet and mushy or develops mold, it’s a good sign the pineapple should be discarded. While technically you could try to cut out the bad parts, it’s not a good idea when things got this far. Err on the side of caution and throw the fruit out.

If the fruit looks and smells okay, cut it up and see how the flesh is doing. If there aren’t any noticeable changes, the fruit should be okay to eat.

When it comes to canned pineapple, as long as the tin isn’t leaky, bludged, or rusty, the contents of the can should be just fine.