Ah, cantaloupe—so refreshing. With its thick outer shell, it might seem hard to know how to pick the right one. It’s actually simple: Look for melons with firm, tight skin and no soft bruises. It should have a mild fruity fragrance and feel heavy for its size.

Whole, Uncut Cantaloupe

Uncut cantaloupe stays fresh at room temperature for two to four days, depending on its ripeness, and up to 10 days in the refrigerator. Near the end of those periods, soft, squishy areas with dark bruises or splotches indicate that it’s past its prime. A strong, unpleasant odor even before you cut into it is also a bad sign.

Cut Melon Pieces

After three to four days in the refrigerator, cantaloupe can spoil. Signs include a whitish, slimy film on the surface of the flesh, soft sections of flesh that also appear whitish instead of orange, and excess liquid in the container. Toss the entire cantaloupe if you see these conditions.