Everyone loves potatoes. They are a staple ingredient in so many traditional recipes! What would a potato gratin be without potatoes? Or hash browns? Or your favorite fries? Whether mashed, baked, or fried, potatoes have long been a fan favorite. However, most people are not aware that if handled and stored incorrectly, potatoes can pose a deadly threat to your family. Being aware of the freshness of your produce is an important part of keeping your family healthy, and monitoring the freshness of potatoes is a necessary way to keep your family from experiencing dangerous health problems.If stored for too long, rotten potatoes in your pantry can emit a toxic and dangerous fume that can be detrimental to your family’s health. A substance, called “glycoalkaloids”, can be found in potatoes (this substance can also be found in black nightshade, a deadly plant). As potatoes rot, this substance becomes more and more potent, and can eventually cause even the fumes emitted from the potatoes to be fatal.In 2014, an 8-year-old Russian girl was orphaned when her parents and grandmother kept rotten potatoes in their cellar for too long. The fumes killed everyone but the little girl, and now serves as a reminder for the rest of us not to make this lethal mistake.So how do you know if it’s time to throw out your potatoes? If it’s green and sprouted, you should dispose of the potato, experts say. It’s also best to store your potatoes in a cool dry place for freshness. When in doubt, throw it out! Your family’s health is not worth the risk.

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