Short Answer: If you accidentally eat bad sweet potato, you may experience food poisoning, digestive distress, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or dehydration.
Sweet potato is an edible tuber, belonging to the Convolvulaceae or morning glory plant family.
There are about 400 varieties of sweet potato, differentiated by their skin and flesh color, ranging from cream, yellow, and orange to pink or purple.
If you accidentally eat bad sweet potato, you may experience food poisoning, digestive distress, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or dehydration.
These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe health issues, emphasizing the importance of proper food handling and vigilance in inspecting sweet potatoes for freshness.
This is because bad sweet potatoes can contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, or toxins produced by mold or bacteria.
These microorganisms can cause infection and inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Bad sweet potatoes can also contain a type of sugar called mannitol that can cause stomach pain if you have a sensitive stomach.
Mannitol can also trigger bloating and diarrhea in some cases.
Mannitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is poorly absorbed by the small intestine and can draw water into the colon, causing osmotic diarrhea.
It is quite uncommon to eat bad sweet potato due to its long shelf life and distinctive signs of spoilage.
Sweet potatoes can last for several weeks if stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
However, they can go bad if exposed to moisture, heat, or light, or if damaged by insects or rodents.
Some signs of bad sweet potatoes are softness, discoloration, sprouting, mold, or a foul smell.
You can treat mild symptoms of bad sweet potato consumption by drinking plenty of fluids, eating bland foods, and taking over-the-counter medications such as antacids or anti-diarrheals.
However, if you experience severe or persistent symptoms, such as bloody stools, high fever, dehydration, or signs of an allergic reaction, you should seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid accidental eating of bad sweet potato, you should always check the quality of the sweet potatoes before buying, storing, or cooking them.
Look for firm, smooth, and evenly colored sweet potatoes that are free of cracks, bruises, or mold.
Avoid sweet potatoes that are soft, wrinkled, sprouted, or have a bad odor.
Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark place away from other fruits and vegetables that can produce ethylene gas, which can speed up the ripening and spoilage process.
Cook sweet potatoes within a few days of purchase or freeze them for later use.
Do not eat sweet potatoes that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours or that have been cooked for a long time at high temperatures, as these conditions can increase the risk of bacterial growth and toxin production .
Finally, remember, sweet potato is a nutritious and delicious vegetable that can offer many health benefits when consumed fresh and in moderation.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, and can help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, boost immunity, and protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.