The most noticeable sign of spoilage in broccoli is an intense odor that is typically not present. Visibly, broccoli exhibits other signs of spoilage, such as becoming limp and beginning to turn yellow or brown. Storage time is also a good indicator of the freshness of broccoli, as any broccoli stored in excess of 14 days has most likely begun to show signs of spoilage.
To extend the shelf life of broccoli, store it in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator. If the broccoli cannot be consumed within the 14-day window, freezing it is an option to extend its shelf life further. Broccoli must be blanched in boiling water before freezing, and then it can be stored for up to eight months in an airtight container.
Broccoli can also be cooked to extend its shelf life. Once fresh broccoli is blanched or fully cooked, this extends its shelf life for an additional seven to nine days. Cooked broccoli should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.
If broccoli shows signs of spoilage, do not taste it but instead discard the broccoli in question. Practicing these good food safety measures helps to prevent the spread of food-borne illness.