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Food Safety Issues/About mashed bananas safety


Are mashed bananas left out all night in tightly lidded plastic container still safe to use to bake with?

Hi Billie Jo,

The general rule is that all fruits, once cut should be refrigeratd for quality. Most fruits do not support the growth of harmful bacteria because of their low pH (below 4.6) but for quality purposes are recommended to be refrigerated after cutting.

Foods with a pH below 4.6 do not support the growth of harmful bacteria and most fruits fit into this category (apples, peaches, strawberries, etc). But there are some fruits with a pH above 4.6, and bananas fit into this category. Bananas have a pH of about 5 and thus could support the growth of harmful bacteria if not kept either hot (above 135 degrees F) or cold (below 41 degrees F) once the peels are removed.

Since you can't tell be look, taste or smell if your mashed bananas are still safe to use (harmful bacteria do not give off any discernible signals), the recommendation is to not use the bananas.



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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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