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How Long Does Celery Last and Can You Tell When It’s Bad?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Celery is crunchy, delicious, and very versatile. It tastes fantastic on its own and can also be added to recipes like stews to thicken up the sauce.

However, it also is not unusual to find celery lurking in the back of the refrigerator. It can easily be forgotten, especially when something extra tasty has been put in front of it. 

How Long Does Celery Last and Can You Tell When It’s Bad?

Or, you might have recently bought celery and are wondering whether it will spoil before you get a chance to cook with it. 

For these reasons, how long does celery last? 

If you have some celery that needs to be used up, you have come to the right place.

Here you will find out how long celery can last, the signs of spoilage to look for, and the best ways to store it. 

What Is Celery?

Celery is a vegetable that belongs in the same Apiaceae family as parsley, celeriac, parsnips, and carrots. 

While it does not have a lot of flavor to it, it is a nutritious veggie that is added to lots of different dishes.

It is low in calories and provides numerous health benefits. It is also hydrating as it includes water too.

Studies suggest that celery has lots of antioxidants, can aid in weight loss and digestion, and can reduce inflammation. What is not love about celery? 

How Long Might Celery Last?

If you are wanting to know how long celery lasts, it depends on different factors. For example, is the celery fresh and whole, or has it been cooked? Have you bought pre-packaged celery, or has it been cut up?

Fresh And Whole Celery

Generally, celery that is whole and fresh can last for up to two weeks when put in the refrigerator.

If you were to leave it at room temperature, then you will notice that it will only last for up to 4 days at most.

However, the fresher the celery and the better storage, you may notice that your celery lasts a little longer. 

Packaged Celery

If the celery you bought is packaged or has been made into sticks by being pre-cut (but also packaged), then you will want to take note of its expiration date.

This is an indication of how long they will last.

Once the date is reached, you will notice that the quality will drop. They then may last for another three to four days before becoming unusable. 

Cut Celery

If you have cut the celery yourself, then once refrigerated they may last for a week at most. You can always write on the airtight container the date you stored them. 

This way you can keep an eye on how long they have been in the refrigerator.

Cooked Celery

Cooked celery that has been stored correctly in the refrigerator will last for up to four days at best.

Even though it has been cooked, it is still susceptible to bacteria and just generally being something that is not nice to eat. 

Does Celery Have An Expiration Date?

How Long Does Celery Last and Can You Tell When It’s Bad?

If you have bought celery that is packaged, then you will notice that it has an expiration date. This is a really good indicator of how long the freshness of the celery will last.

Once the date passes, you can be sure that the celery will begin to soften and become less fresh each day.

For this reason, it may only last for up to four days once the expiration date has passed. 

How Long Does Cooked Celery Last?

So long as you store cooked celery properly, you will find that it lasts for around four days. It needs to be placed in an airtight container.

You can also place it in the fridge in a pot with a lid too if it is easier.

You will just need to make sure that the celery has no access to excess air. You can do this by making sure that the lid is on properly. 

Before you place cooked celery in the fridge, always allow it to cool to room temperature. This can help to stop bacteria from taking hold of the food.

However, the cooling period should be done within a two-hour window, otherwise, bacteria will form on the celery.

If you plan to pre-cook your celery for a few days, make sure the amount you cook is only enough for the four days ahead.

This is because cooked celery will only last four days in the refrigerator.

If you plan to leave it longer, place the celery in the freezer instead. 

Are There Ways To Tell If Celery Has Gone Bad?

Unfortunately, celery can go bad. For this reason, you will want to know the different ways you can tell if celery has gone bad.

While there are ways to see if the celery has gone bad (see below), the list is not exhaustive.

If you notice anything that does not seem right when it comes to the celery, get rid of it!

Time Has Passed

If you are storing something like cooked celery, once the four-day mark has passed, it is best to just throw it away. Eating it passed this time frame can make you sick.

This is because the celery is now not safe to eat, and bacteria may be present. While it may look fine, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Soft Texture

When fresh or packaged celery has gone bad, it is usually soft in texture. This means that you can bend it, or it has gone mushy and very soft. It may even feel slimy.

However, if it has a slightly soft feeling to it, then it should be fine to eat. The quality of the celery will not be at its best, but it won’t make you sick. 

Mold Growth

If you see any mold growth on the leaves or the celery itself, then you definitely should not eat the celery. Toss it and wave goodbye – it is time to buy fresh celery!

What Is The Best Way To Store Celery?

To store celery, all you need to do is keep it in its ventilated bag and put it into the crisp drawer.

However, do keep it away from veggies and fruits that are high in ethylene, otherwise the celery will ripen too quickly.

If the celery is cut or cooked, place it in an airtight container. 

Final Thoughts

Celery should be crispy and delicious, but how long does celery last? Fortunately, fresh celery can last up to two weeks if stored correctly.

Just remember to keep it away from fruits and veggies that can cause it to ripen too fast. 

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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