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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Chopped onion in fridge-how long is it good?
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    Chopped onion in fridge-how long is it good?

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    Luv Dessert
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:50 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I chopped it on Friday, and it's in a baggie in the fridge. When would you toss it?
    Peter Bergerson
    Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:48 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Some of the flavor qualities of onions begin to evaporate as soon as it's chopped, but as long as the onion pieces are firm, crisp, and not slimy, they are good to use. That said, it's likely that your chopped onion will lose flavor before it goes bad.

    When I have leftover onion, I usually store it in the freezer. If packed loosely enough, I can easily break the frozen chunk up to get how much I need without thawing it out.
    IngridH
    Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:14 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I'd toss it when it becomes slimy, discolored, or smells off.

    It should be fine today.
    Citruholic
    Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:08 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Semi-related....mayo vs onions, which spoil faster. This is from a friend of mine:

    "Watch out for those spoiled onions...

    I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food
    Products. Mullins is HUGE and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend Jeanne is the CEO.

    The facility is mammoth. We toured about 280,000 square feet! Questions about food poisoning came up and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

    The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of
    the brothers. Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula.
    He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's

    Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the
    tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made Mayo is completely safe.

    It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary. He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quintessential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

    Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and
    where those onions came from. Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's NOT Homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES. He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator. It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you. (And doubly watch out for onions at the baseball park!)

    Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put in on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down."

    Have a peek at this Mullins site:
    http://www.mullinsfood.com/aboutus.html

    So take from it what you will. Do I personally know enough about mayo to know this? No. I, like most everyone, have always read the bottle/container on mayo that states plainly "refrigerate after opening" and have always done so.

    But it has changed my mind about storing half an onion in the refrigerator in a ziploc....unless I'm going to cook it to death.
    Luv Dessert
    Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:48 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Ew. Onion, meet landfill.
    Tessikins
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:02 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I have had the same questions about onions too, now how about raw onions in recipes that include things like vinegar or lemon juice or salt or any combination. I have this great recipe for marinated onions and I don't know how long it is to be relied on not to make us sick.
    theanna
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:38 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I mean absolutely no offense to anyone in this post. However, I've been using chopped onions from the fridge for 40+ years and have never made anyone sick yet. I am certainly not qualified to argue with Ed the expert, but from my personal experience, refrigerated onions work great. I generally use them for cooking though, and don't use them raw so maybe that kills any lurking bacteria.

    The sickest I've ever been from food poisoning was from deviled eggs at a picnic for my son's school. Since I was manning the barbeque grill and had little time, that was all I ate. I hadn't been home an hour when I became deathly ill. It took me two days to get over it.

    Say what you will about mayonnaise, but left out, it will make you sick. I can't imagine not refrigerating mayonnaise after opening. Put a spoonful on a saucer and leave it overnight and see what it looks like in the morning.
    IngridH
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:35 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    If Ed the tour guide can back up his statements with a scientific study proving his point, I'll think about tossing the onions... until then, common sense tells me that since I've never in 40 years gotten sick from chopped onions, I'm not going to now.

    However, if you want to waste half an onion, go right ahead.
    cricketbird
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:55 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    I have never gotten sick from cut onions that I have put in a ziploc bag and put in the fridge. Common sense tells you when onions stored that way should be thrown out. I agree with the previous answer, I don't see a need to waste 1/2 an onion simply because I'm not using it tonight. Odds are, I'll use it instead tomorrow. And it will be fine.
    Chocolatl
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:33 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    IngridH wrote:
    If Ed the tour guide can back up his statements with a scientific study proving his point, I'll think about tossing the onions... until then, common sense tells me that since I've never in 40 years gotten sick from chopped onions, I'm not going to now.

    However, if you want to waste half an onion, go right ahead.

    I do want to point out that Ed may not be an objective source, since he works for a food company.

    Mayo, onions, and potatoes can all make you sick if they're spoiled. I don't see a perfectly firm, chilled, partially cut onion as being spoiled, and I've never had a problem with using them.

    One thing, though--never store onions and potatoes together. I have heard varying stories about which one makes the other one spoil, but in my experience they both get rotten, and I'm not sure which one smells worse.
    Katlinn
    Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:45 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Just thought I'd point out the Snopes article pertaining to this very thing... http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/cutonions.asp

    As for me...I almost always have a baggie of chopped onions in the fridge, as I use onions frequently. I have never once gotten sick from using them, nor has anyone else in my household. Even if they're used in uncooked dishes such as salads and such.

    Granted, they never last long because I use them fairly quickly, but still...a few days in the fridge never hurt my cut up onions icon_wink.gif
    Toadflax
    Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:46 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Regarding the onions, one could almost always find a "part-onion" in my refrigerator. I use what I need and wrap the rest in saran wrap. When I use the leftover onion, if it looks a little "used" on the cut surface I cut that part off and discard it. I'm sure if this were a real food safety issue we would have heard more about it by now.

    As far as the mayonnaise goes, as someone mentioned the stuff is gross if left out for any length of time so I don't worry about if it is safe - I keep anything with mayo refrigerated just cause I do. I agree that it may have some "protective properties" but I'm still not leaving my potato salad out in the sun!!
    Rit
    Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:51 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    IngridH wrote:
    If Ed the tour guide can back up his statements with a scientific study proving his point, I'll think about tossing the onions... until then, common sense tells me that since I've never in 40 years gotten sick from chopped onions, I'm not going to now.

    However, if you want to waste half an onion, go right ahead.


    I have been cooking for over 50 years now and in all those years I have never had a problem with using an already cleaned onion out of the refig. If of course it were soft, mushy, slimy I would throw it.
    I am not an expert and do not question that it might be a problem, but after all these years, and believe me I use lots of onions, I think I will just keep doing what I have been. I hope I won't regret it but just am not that afraid of it.
    Maybe I and my family just have buildt up a tolerance to it icon_confused.gif
    Suburban Grandma
    Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:52 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I also have been cooking for over 30 years, and had 1/2 used onions stored in the fridge for a week or so, or sometimes back in the bag with the rest of them in my basement or garage, and no one ever got sick from onions. Of course I would use them for cooking, not eating them raw. I think that is a bluff.....that post is promoting the site this story originated at, and a special ad for mayo. If mayo does not have to refrigerated, then why does the manufacturer posts that message on the container? I would always keep my mayo in the fridge and keep on eating half started onions!!
    http://suburbangrandma.com/


    Last edited by Suburban Grandma on Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total
    Chocolatl
    Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:53 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Mrs.Z wrote:
    I also have been cooking for over 30 years, and had 1/2 used onions stored in the fridge for a week or so, or sometimes back in the bag with the rest of them in my basement or garage, and no one ever got sick from onions. Of course I would use them for cooking, not eating them raw. I think that is a bluff.....that post is promoting the site this story originated at, and a special ad for mayo. If mayo does not have to refrigerated, then why does the manufacturer posts that message on the container? I would always keep my mayo in the fridge and keep on eating half started onions!!
    http://suburbangrandma.com/ [/url]


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