How to Tell if An Onion Has Gone Bad – Best Guide

How to Tell If an Onion Has Gone Bad: As a matter of convenience and time management, many people order their groceries in bulk. By going to a wholesale store, they can stock up and get wholesale prices for several days or weeks at a time. In addition, they can save time and money by going to a single store.

If you purchase bulk products, there is, of course, the risk that they will spoil, especially fresh items like onions. This is an essential ingredient, especially for people who enjoy cooking meals every day.

But some are hesitant to buy onions wholesale because they are worried that they will rot after sitting in storage for too long. Well, good news because you can easily tell if it is already bad or if it is going bad. Wondering what to do?

How Long Do Onions Last?

We are fortunate to have onions amongst the longest-lasting vegetables in our fridges! But how long does onion stay fresh in the fridge? That depends on the condition it’s stored in.

Onion storing

To clarify this issue, let’s check out the following information.

Whole and Raw Onions

If onions are kept at 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit in a dark, cool place, they can be stored for two to three months. If you do not have a thermometer, remember the temperature must be warm enough to drink, yet cooler than the average room temperature. Onions can be stored in a refrigerator for three months if they are stored whole and raw.

Chopped and Sliced Onions

If you are wondering how long can cut onions last, they can last for ten days max only if they are stored in an airtight container. Despite this, it is best to seal the onion with a plastic cover if you have cut it in two.

Cooked Onions

When onions were cooked, their shelf life depended on where they were kept. If they were kept in the refrigerator, they could be used for approximately five days following cooking; however, they would become inedible in the freezer after a year.

So the answer to the question: “how long do onions last?” is given.

For long-term storage, freeze onions in an airtight container or resealable bag. Don’t refrigerate or freeze cooked onions. They last 2-3 weeks in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Best Way to Tell If an Onion is Bad

Pick the freshest and ripest onions you can at the time of purchase to ensure long shelf life. Fresh onions feel heavy and have papery skin. You can separate them by holding them by the edges to prevent crinkling. If you see any damage to your onions, including cuts and bruises, you must not touch these onions. Don’t pick any discolored or moldy onions.

Signs of a Bad Onion

  • Mold
  • Discolouration
  • Foul/rotten odour
  • Soft or squishy
  • Soft spots
  • Dry flesh
  • Sprouting

To test if your onion or bell pepper is trashed, look at it, feel it, and smell it. Molds appear as white hairs on the cut edge of sliced onions. A bell pepper that has gone bad will smell very different from an onion that is still good.

The onion smells like onions, while bad onions smell like rotten or foul odours. Additionally, fresh onions should not feel soft or squishy, and should not feel slimy or squishy when cooked.

These vegetables keep for two weeks if you follow proper food storage guidelines in the fridge crisper drawer. Green onions, scallions, and leeks have a firm, almost crispy texture when fresh.

These types of onions begin to appear discoloured as they go bad, and they can become soft and flimsy, smelling bad and feeling slimy. As they turn bad, they become soft and flimsy; they also smell bad and may feel slimy to the touch.

5 Tips To Store Onion

It is important to store onions correctly to maintain the maximum freshness of the produce. Use these tips to make sure your onions stay as fresh as possible:

1. Keep Them Away From Moisture

It’s best to avoid storing onions under the sink or in the basement, since moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria. If you want to store them for several months, you should store them in an airtight pantry.

2. Get The Temperature Right

We rarely consider this, but onions are susceptible to deterioration when there are differences in temperatures. The ideal temperature range for storing onions is 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sprouting and drying occur at too hot of a temperature or discoloration and mold appear at too cold a temperature.

3. Store Away From Other Foods

When fruit and vegetables are stored close together, they ripen so rapidly? This occurs because one of the ingredients in those foods contains ethylene, a ripening compound.

When storing onions, it is important to keep them away from potatoes, tomatoes, apples, melon, and bananas. Ethylene from these foods will cause the onions to ripen, resulting in them becoming mushy.

4. Refrigerate

Onions that are chopped or sliced, rather than whole, do well when refrigerated. It is, however, not recommended to store uncut vegetables in the fridge as they will lose their crunch due to the coolness and then become too soggy to be of any value.

Use a slicer or food processor to slice the onions into small pieces. Once the onion slices are small enough to be consumed at once, pack them in freezer bags.

Flatten each bag before putting it in the freezer to eliminate air bubbles.


1. Do onions go bad in the fridge?

Sliced or diced onions should be refrigerated within seven to ten days (4), while peeled onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Onions easily absorb moisture in the refrigerator, so you should not store them whole, unpeeled. It will make the fruit mushy and cause it to spoil faster.

2. How do you store an onion without it smelling?

It can be challenging to get the onion smell out of plastic containers afterwards, but you can store them in the refrigerator in plastic containers. When keeping chopped unions in the refrigerator, I find that a Ziploc bag works best.

3. Is it safe to eat raw onion at night?

Onion consumption causes heartburn when lying down and can cause reflux. Those who are in good health are able to eat onions without any issues. If onions are eaten at night, they may cause bloating.

Summing It Up

Compared to other vegetables, onions are quite hardy. If stored properly, they can remain fresh for an extended time. However, you should always check your onions for signs of spoilage because a single improperly stored green onion can quickly affect the rest of the plant.

Cut onions should be refrigerated immediately, and any onions that are out too long or have lost their freshness should be discarded.

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