Question on whether my white onion is safe to use?

@Marty1 (34824)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
September 27, 2016 8:18pm CST
I have a question that I hope the smart people of MyLot land will help me with a question about a white onion. I am starting to cook, and last week I made cheeseburgers. I cut a few slices of a large white onion to add some taste on top of my cheeseburgers on the Monday of last week, and then I took the rest of the onion and placed it in a plastic bag that closes by zipping it. Then I put it on my kitchen table/counter. I did this because the last time I used an onion and put it in the refrigerator my refrigerator smelled like an onion for months. Here's where the problem starts. This past Friday, my sister came to visit and brought dinner with her. While we were busy eating our food, my sister happened to notice my white onion. She told me she thought, but wasn't sure, if I should eat it again as I had already cut it open on the Monday of that week. She thought an onion should only be kept outside of the refrigerator before it is cut. Then she said she thinks that after it is cut for whatever reason, one is using it, even one slice, the onion had to be put in the refrigerator and not sit out in the kitchen. She has the belief that I would get food poisoning from it if I ate it again and said not to eat it until I find out if it is safe to continue to eat. Can I use that onion in my cooking on Thursday? Would you use it and if I did, would I get food poisoning? Where does one store onions between uses? Can I use it in my cooking on Thursday in which what I am planning to cook would taste better with onions.? But it can just be used with melted butter but onions make it taste better?
14 people like this
17 responses
@owlwings (39391)
• Cambridge, England
28 Sep 16
No, you shouldn't use it. Onion is low in acids and contains quite a lot of sugar and sulphur and therefore salmonella and other bacteria grow very quickly on it once it is cut. You can only safely use a cut onion within a day or two of it being cut and as long as it immediately stored in the fridge (always wrap it in plastic before storing it, of course, to prevent the smell permeating the rest of the food).
3 people like this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@owlwings Thannk you very much. You are so intelligent with the way you explain things! I appreciate your input!
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@marguicha (97349)
• Chile
30 Sep 16
I disagree! I have been using cut up raw onions that I leave outside, even out of the house, for around 50 years and nothing has happened to me.
2 people like this
@Happy2BeMe (75118)
• Canada
28 Sep 16
No don't eat it. It should have been refrigerated in a sealed container after it was cut. After several days in the refrigerator it needs to be thrown out because bacteria will start to format and you will get sick of you eat it. Where you left it out on the counter it will already be bad.
2 people like this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@happy2beme Thank you so much for telling me about throwing it out when it has been in the refrigerator a few days. I had a neighbor i blamed it on the fruit i was eating, but she had an onion that she had cut for awhile and when she came to dinner put it on our spinach salad many pieces of it and the next couple of days i spent in the bathroom all day! I am going to look up on the internet if one can freeze a cut onion. i am known for my freezing of things!
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@Happy2BeMe I just watched a youtube video, and it showed how to freeze onion but only to work with as the freezing will make them limp and no crunch to them, But one can use them in cooking!
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@Happy2BeMe (75118)
• Canada
28 Sep 16
@Marty1 ok thanks..good to know.
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@akalinus (17488)
• United States
28 Sep 16
From stories I have read on the internet, onions absorb all the germs around, once they are cut. I have seen people say you should cut onions in half and put them in small bowls to capture flu or other contagious germs when someone in the house is sick. Therefore, I would not use cut onions the next day unless they are cooked into something like sauce, meatloaf or other cooked dishes. That is just my thinking, others might have another opinion.
2 people like this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@alkalinus I tend to agree with you as it makes sense as i have read of food that absorbs germs.
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@akalinus (17488)
• United States
28 Sep 16
@Marty1 Onions seem to do it.
1 person likes this
@akalinus (17488)
• United States
28 Sep 16
@prabir123 Maybe you should search it online first to make sure it is still the right information.
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@BelleStarr (39056)
• United States
1 Oct 16
I store mine in a zip bag in the fridge veg drawer, and I keep it up to several weeks and use it and have never gotten sick. If it looks dried out I throw it away.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 Oct 16
@bellestarr Good advice but how does a dried out onion look? DO you wait until the whioile thing is dried out what about a little brown spot as my onion before this one had and my sister made me toss it that was in the refrigerator!
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@BelleStarr (39056)
• United States
1 Oct 16
@Marty1 If the edge is dry I cut it off. Feel the onion, if it feels slimy, throw it away. If it smells funny, throw it away. If not, cut off anything bad and use the good part.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 Oct 16
@BelleStarr I thought one bad part and the whole onion had to be thrown away as that is what my sister told me. Thank you for the great advice!
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@marlina (74913)
• Canada
28 Sep 16
I find that the best thing to do with a cut onion is to put it in a glass jar, that way it will not stink up your fridge and is also safer to eat. I would never leave a cut onion outside the fridge.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@marlina Can I put it in something else as I do not have a glass jar? would a plastic zip top bag be okay? how about plastic containers that I save all of the plastic containers food came in so I can store left over food in the refrigerator? I have other containers but like too make sure I have enough containers!
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@marlina (74913)
• Canada
28 Sep 16
@Marty1 It is easy to get a glass container, just clean the empty jar of something and reuse it. Or buy a glass jar at the Dollar Store. The plastic will not help with the smell.
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@marlina I will be walking to the library this weekend so I will stop off at the dollar store and get a glass jar. Thanks for the idea as I don't have any food finished that I can clean the jar. I was going to stop off at the Dollar Store to pick up a thing or two. Thank you so much for the idea of how to get a glass jar! Just have plastic containers from food that I washed out today!
1 person likes this
@yukimori (9066)
• United States
28 Sep 16
Toss it. They need to be stored in the refrigerator after cutting. Even then, the longest you should keep a cut onion around is going to be about a week.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@yukimori Thank you so much! I am going to go toss it now then buy a new one Thursday morning since I am going out for a little while. You are the greatest! When you buy the onion can one keep i out of the refrigerator before it is cut?
@yukimori (9066)
• United States
28 Sep 16
@Marty1 You actually should store them out of the refrigerator until they're cut. They don't last as long when refrigerated.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@yukimori Thank you very much; I was wondering as I kept it out of the refrigerator before I cut it and I wasn't sure if i should have eaten it. I am making a dish tonight that onions compliment it so I think that I will just be drizzling melted butter over it! Does it matter what type of onion it is? I know that there are several types of onions and was wondering if there are onions you can keep out after cutting?
@RubyHawk (26893)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 Sep 16
I wouldn't use it after it's set out of the frige. I often cut an onion and put it in plastic dish with a tight lid. It never smells up my refrigerator. Then I use it next time I need an onion.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
30 Sep 16
@rubyhawk thanks for telling me! Do you use the onion often? I haven't made much in the past that required an onion but now am doing some cooking! I am hoping to do a lot more cooking in the future i love cooking i discovered!
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@RubyHawk (26893)
• Atlanta, Georgia
1 Oct 16
@Marty1 i use quiet a lot of onions, I cook them in squash casseroles, i put them in avocado sandwiches and soups,I simmer onions and tomatoes. I also make an onion bake, with sliced onions cream and eggs. I make hush puppies with onions. You can put onions in most any thing.
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@brokenbee (7905)
• Philippines
2 Oct 16
I have read before that it is not good to store cut onions because they absorb bacteria and will cause food poisoning. We usually don't store them if they had been cut already. My mother makes sure we use it once we peel it. Maybe you can try to buy those smaller white onions next time so that you will not have some leftovers.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
3 Oct 16
@brokenbee I did buy a sack of them that are little. It is hard to eat a whole onion at once because i just cook for myself. I can't eat a whole onion in one sitting by myself!
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@marsha32 (6693)
• United States
1 Oct 16
We use onions a lot. Most of the time we do keep them in the fridge before cutting them too...not sure why. A lot of times we have to cut off the cut end to get to fresher parts of the onion. You can also freeze onions. You can't thaw and use them on burgers and such raw, but they are great to throw is chili or stew and such.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 Oct 16
@marsha32 I have watched a youtube video on how to freeze onions and a couple of websites, and i did read that one can't use them on things that aren't cooked! I can live with that! I would like to put them with pierogis and beef stew! With pierogis, they need to be cooked with melted butter!
@just4him (120556)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
29 Sep 16
I wouldn't keep it out. I've had no problem keeping cut onions in the fridge in a plastic zip bag. My fridge doesn't smell like onions. Maybe your bag came open which would make your fridge smell like onions.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
29 Sep 16
@just4him That bag that i had that time was just pressed close on the top; I need the zip top ones because I think it was open now that I think of it, thanks for telling me that. I never have luck with those types of bags that press close! I need the zip top with the plastic zipper!
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@Tampa_girl7 (25890)
• United States
28 Sep 16
After I cut and peel an onion I store what isn't ate in the fridge or freezer.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@Tampa_girl7 Thanks for telling me what you do! I will be freezing my onions inn the future!
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@epiffanie (10412)
• Australia
28 Sep 16
I always keep cut onions in an airtight container in the fridge and use within two days .. If you are concerned about the smell in the fridge, bicarbonate of soda will fix that problem ..
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
29 Sep 16
@epiffanie I have heard people put bicarbonate of soda in the refrigerator but didn't know the reason, thank you very much for telling me. I am going to freeze my onions, I believe!
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@ms1864 (6977)
• Bangalore, India
28 Sep 16
i don't know about food poisoning, but my mom always says to keep it in the fridge once it is cut. Did u know white onions make awesome onion rings?
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@ms1864 No, I have not attempted to make onion rings, but that could be in the future as I am new to cooking! Thank you for the advice!
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@Susan2015 (21029)
• United States
28 Sep 16
I think it is supposed to be refrigerated again after.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@susan2015 That seems to be the consensus, so I am going to throw it out. Just hate to waste it, but don't want food poisoning!
@TRBRocks420 (79506)
• Banks, Oregon
28 Sep 16
I am of the same belief as your sister, but I'm not positive how that works.
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@Marty1 (34824)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 Sep 16
@trbrocks420 My sister wasn't positive how that works either. that is why I posted this today
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@marsha32 (6693)
• United States
1 Oct 16
Sorry, I didn't read well enough until reading comments that you hadn't put it back in the fridge after cutting. I wouldn't trust to eat it after not being in the fridge.
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@AkoPinay (10032)
• Philippines
3 Oct 16
I am not sure because I haven't tried it. I never keep sliced onions.