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

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A couple of weeks ago, as we to be hanging the end on a lazy Sunday morning, deciding whereby to brunch, my girlfriend dropped a bombshell.  

“Guys!” she said, she voice quickening with anticipation. “My aunt said me the craziest point yesterday. Reportedly raw, reduced onions absorb bacteria, therefore you need to never slice an onion and then eat it later due to the fact that it’s chock-full of bacteria that can make you sick.”


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The explanation stirred up mixed reactions in the group. Many of us gasped at its early absurdity. Few of us then tried to calculate how regularly we’d eaten onions like this, while others believed through the idea and applied simple logic versus the claim. The end of cultivation curiosity and also concern, we quickly Googled it and found tons of literature online.

Like this: “Please remember the is attention to reduced an onion and shot to cook it the following day, that becomes very poisonous for also a single night and also creates toxicity bacteria which may reason adverse stomach infections because of overabundance bile secretions and also even food poisoning.”

And this: “Onions are a substantial magnet because that bacteria, specifically uncooked onions. You need to never setup to save a section of a sliced onion. It’s not also safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and also put that in her refrigerator.”

Also: “Lots the times as soon as we have stomach difficulties we don’t know what come blame. Possibly it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions ABSORB BACTERIA is the factor they are so great at staying clear of us from gaining colds & flu and also is the an extremely reason we must NOT eat one onion that has actually been sitting because that a time after it has been cut open.”

The sentiments varied in wording, but the all at once gist was clear: stay far, much away from cut, raw onions. They suck up bacteria native the air and also become poisonous, dangerous, illness-inducing orbs.

The science sounded (somewhat) legitimate and the truth that there were so countless different resources spewing this claim included to the credibility. ~ above the upper and lower reversal side, I, like many of my friends, had actually been eat onions practically my whole life and wasn’t yet terminally ill, or also sick all the often. I determined to perform some digging.

“There is no validity in ~ all,” Ellen Steinberg, PhD, R.D., L.D., food security specialist, said me.

For starters, the chemistry makeup of onions simply doesn’t support bacteria growth, she explained. Your low pH (i.e. Acidic nature) and also low protein content average they room not perfect breeding ground because that germs, viruses or various other pathogens.

“When cut, onions relax compounds that execute not promote microorganism growth,” the nationwide Onion Association claimed in a statement published on their website. “The center for Food safety at the college of Georgia states, juice exit from reduced onion is recognized to death or inhibit the development of several varieties of microorganisms, consisting of some the those qualified of leading to food poisoning in humans.”

According come the nationwide Onion Association, this onions-are-poisonous myth originates from several various sources, including a folk id from the 1919 influenza epidemic that cases cut onions left about the home will combat the flu virus, and also a 2008 blog article via Dinner with Zola the purports onions and also potatoes cause much more food poisoning 보다 spoiled mayonnaise. The blog post, which has since been deleted, triggered Chicken Little-esque chain emails and sensationalized warnings that although officially debunked, still exist on the internet today.

So when it pertains to raw onions—and onions in general—is over there anything human beings should be worried about?

“There is nothing unique about the poor little onion,” Jeff Nelkin, food security specialist, called me. “The only introduction of poison and bacteria would certainly be strictly ecological

Like any other kind of food get an impressive in soil, over there is the (very rare) potential for onions to have actually E.coli, salmonella or various other viruses that can be spread via toxic fertilizer, Nelkin explained. Yet this threat is rather low, and not better in onions than in any kind of other type of food pulled from the ground.

Overall, there are “no security precautions the are distinct to one onion the wouldn’t organize true to apples, carrots or something other kind of produce,” evidenced Steinberg. “All of same rules apply for anything rather you would obtain out the a garden.”

These rules incorporate thoroughly washing your hands and kitchen tools and wiping down counters through sanitizer prior to beginning the food prep process so that you don’t introduce external contamination, encourage Nelkin.

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When you monitor these safe food practices, cut onions “can it is in stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 7 days,” stated the nationwide Onion Association. The one caveat: if you notice any mold—just toss it.