The Internet claims that putting cut, raw onions in the refrigerator will make you serious sick. We investigated to uncover out the truth.

You are watching: What happens if you eat a bad onion


A couple of weeks ago, together we to be hanging out on a lazy Sunday morning, deciding wherein to brunch, my girlfriend dropped a bombshell.  


“Guys!” she said, she voice accelerating with anticipation. “My aunt told me the craziest point yesterday. Apparently raw, cut onions absorb bacteria, therefore you must never part an onion and also then eat it later because it’s chock-full of bacteria that have the right to make girlfriend sick.”


*

Sign up because that our brand-new weekly newsletter, ThePrep, because that inspiration and support for all her meal plan struggles.

The declaration stirred up blended reactions in the group. Most of us gasped at its initial absurdity. Some of us climate tried to calculate how often we’d consumed onions choose this, if others assumed through the idea and also applied straightforward logic against the claim. The end of cultivation curiosity and concern, we quickly Googled it and found tons of literary works online.


Like this: “Please remember the is attention to reduced an onion and try to chef it the next day, it becomes very poisonous for also a solitary night and also creates toxicity bacteria which may reason adverse stomach infections due to the fact that of overfill bile secretions and even food poisoning.”


And this: “Onions room a vast magnet because that bacteria, specifically uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion. It’s not also safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and also put that in your refrigerator.”


Also: “Lots the times once we have actually stomach problems we don’t recognize what come blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions ABSORB BACTERIA is the factor they are so an excellent at staying clear of us from getting colds & flu and also is the very reason we have to NOT eat an onion that has been sitting because that a time after it has actually been cut open.”


The sentiments differed in wording, yet the all at once gist was clear: continue to be far, far away indigenous cut, raw onions. Castle suck increase bacteria indigenous the air and become poisonous, dangerous, illness-inducing orbs.


The scientific research sounded (somewhat) legitimate and also the reality that there to be so numerous different resources spewing this claim added to that is credibility. Top top the upper and lower reversal side, I, like many of my friends, had actually been eating onions virtually my entire life and wasn’t however terminally ill, or even sick all that often. I made decision to carry out some digging.


“There is no validity at all,” Ellen Steinberg, PhD, R.D., L.D., food security specialist, called me.


For starters, the chemical makeup of onions simply doesn’t assistance bacteria growth, she explained. Your low pH (i.e. Acidic nature) and also low protein content mean they are not suitable breeding ground for germs, viruses or other pathogens.


“When cut, onions release compounds that do not promote microorganism growth,” the nationwide Onion Association claimed in a statement published on your website. “The facility for Food safety at the university of Georgia states, juice released from cut onion is known to death or inhibit the growth of several varieties of microorganisms, including some the those capable of bring about food poisoning in humans.”


According come the nationwide Onion Association, this onions-are-poisonous legend originates from several various sources, consisting of a folk id from the 1919 influenza epidemic that insurance claims cut onions left approximately the house will combat the flu virus, and also a 2008 blog post via Dinner through Zola that purports onions and also potatoes cause much more food poisoning 보다 spoiled mayonnaise. The blog post, i m sorry has because been deleted, prompted Chicken Little-esque chain emails and sensationalized warnings the although officially debunked, tho exist ~ above the net today.


So when it involves raw onions—and onions in general—is over there anything people should be concerned about?


“There is nothing unique around the poor little onion,” Jeff Nelkin, food security specialist, said me. “The only arrival of poison and also bacteria would certainly be strictly eco-friendly


Like any other form of food get an impressive in soil, there is the (very rare) potential for onions to have E.coli, salmonella or various other viruses that have the right to be spread out via toxicity fertilizer, Nelkin explained. Yet this risk is quite low, and also not greater in onions 보다 in any other kind of food pulled from the ground.


Overall, there space “no safety and security precautions that are distinctive to one onion the wouldn’t hold true to apples, carrots or anything other type of produce,” shown Steinberg. “All of exact same rules use for anything rather you would gain out of a garden.”


These rules include thoroughly washing her hands and also kitchen tools and wiping down counters with sanitizer prior to beginning the food prep process so that you don’t introduce outside contamination, recommended Nelkin.

See more: Which Sport Is Chris Evert Lloyd Famous For, Chris Evert


When you monitor these safe food practices, reduced onions “can be stored in the frozen refrigerator in a sealed container for as much as 7 days,” claimed the national Onion Association. The one caveat: if you notification any mold—just toss it.