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Watermelons are abundant during the summer season. The large fruits are harvested at the peak of ripeness. 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 to consume. Consuming a spoiled watermelon puts you at risk for a serious food-borne illness.

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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 discarded.

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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.

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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 the stored watermelon within three to four days after you slice it.


You may not be able to tell that the watermelon has spoiled by examining, smelling or tasting it. If the watermelon has been stored for longer than the recommended time, throw it away immediately to prevent a food-borne illness.

About the Author

Angela LaFollette

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.