Watermelons are one of the best parts of summer, are they not? The large fruits are partially so delicious because they are harvested at the peak of ripeness. But you have to eat them quick; after you harvest or purchase a fresh watermelon, it has a limited storage life. Storing the watermelon past its storage life can cause it to spoil. Knowing the signs of spoilage will help you to determine if the watermelon is safe and delicious to eat. Consuming a spoiled watermelon puts you at risk for a serious food-borne illness.

Examine the watermelon carefully. Look for areas of mold or dark brown or black spots. The spots indicate that the watermelon has rotted and it needs to be tossed.

Look at the cut watermelon slices. Inspect them closely for signs of slime and discoloration. Throw away the watermelon if you notice any of these signs because they indicate spoilage.

Smell the watermelon. If you notice a sour or foul odor, discard the watermelon to prevent the risk of a food-borne illness.


  • Store the unwashed watermelon at room temperature to ripen for up to five days. Store sliced watermelon in the refrigerator. Use—and enjoy!—the stored watermelon within three to four days after you slice it.