It's obvious that eating a bunch of strawberries covered in mold isn't a smart thing to do. But what about strawberries that are just a bit wrinkly? Or dates covered in white spots? Here's how to know if fruit is spoiled or it it's safe to eat, and when you should throw them away.

1. Dark Brown/ Squishy Bananas

vegetable, banana
Ashleigh Monaco

There are some people who swear by spotty bananas, while others are certain that green bananas reign supreme. Brown bananas are actually higher in antioxidants than yellow or green bananas. Because they're more ripe, brown bananas also tend to be easier to digest, especially for people with digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

If you're bananas smell, or are mushy, moldy, or leaking, they're no good. Before your spotty bananas get this far, use them up and make some banana bread. It's better to have your kitchen smelling like cinnamon than moldy fruit.

2. Bruised Apples and Pears

juice, pasture, apple
Ashleigh Monaco

In general, bruised apples and pears are fine to eat. There are a few things you should check to make sure your fruit isn't rotten or moldy:

1. If there is discoloring on the skin of the fruit, peel the skin off this area. If the flesh underneath this part is dark brown and mushy, it's not good anymore.

2. Make sure there aren't any insect holes in the fruit. This could make the exposed flesh moldy. And, you know... bugs. Ew.

3. If you can squeeze the fruit and it's super mushy and juice is coming out... I don't think you need me to tell you to throw it away.

3. Squishy/ Wrinkly Grapes

juice, gooseberry, berry, pasture, grape
Naib Mian

If a grape is wrinkly, mushy, or leaking juices, it's beginning to spoil. Technically, you can eat them, so long as they're not moldy. But it won't taste nearly as good as a ripe, firm grape. For best taste, I would keep the shriveled grapes out of recipes like this.

4. Squishy/ Wrinkly Blueberries

grape, wine
Norah Cliff

If there's no visible mold on your berries, it might be hard to determine if anything's wrong with them. If a blueberry is very shriveled and wrinkly, or leaking any juices, like a grape, it's beginning to go bad.

Berries tend to spoil quickly, so once you stock up for the summer, you can use them up and bake something with them, or freeze them to keep them longer.  

5. Wrinkly Strawberries

strawberry, berry, sweet
Cherie Mak

A perfectly ripe strawberry should be bright, firm, and smell sweet. If a strawberry is wrinkly and discolored, it might not necessarily be rotten (unless there's visible mold on the outside or inside of it), but it should be used within a day. Because the taste of the strawberry on its own won't be as good, it's better to use wrinkly strawberries in baked goods.

6. Dates That Smell Like Alcohol or Have White Dots On Them

candy, sweet, date
Ashleigh Monaco

Let's be real: dates are delicious, but they look super weird. It can be hard to tell if they're okay to eat, so in order to know if a date has gone bad, open it up. If you notice a black dust or powder on the inside, it's moldy.

After knowing what a moldy date looked like, I searched online to see if dates with weird, white dots on them were still okay to eat. I saw someone say the dots were insect poop. Before throwing up and regretting having eaten dates with white dots on them before, I continued my search to see if this person was telling the truth.

Yes, there are VERY rare chances that bugs could be hanging out in your dates, but those white specks are NOT poop. When dates are exposed to warm environments for long periods of time, the sugar in them begins to ferment (which causes the alcohol smell) and crystalize (which are what the white dots are).

So no worries, you're not eating insect poop. It's only wonderful, natural sugar. Put those beauties to good use and make these for dessert.

watermelon, mint, berry, salad, strawberry
Abby Reisinger

A bruised or flawed piece of fruit doesn't necessarily mean it's gone bad. It could be completely fine, or maybe it needs to be used quicker. While eating an apple with a bruise on it won't kill you, I'd advise staying away from anything with mold on it. Remember: weird-looking fruit doesn't always mean bad fruit.