Food poisoning: Expert gives advice on safe food storage

Autumn has now arrived which means lots of people will be making hearty meals during the colder months, such as stews and soups, and one essential ingredient for any comfort meal is onions. 

The majority of people simply place onions in a drawer in their fridge once they get home from the shops, but storing allium vegetables this way can cause them to spoil quickly, causing them to mould, go soft and begin to smell. 

The cold temperature in fridges is usually much too extreme for onions, and the humid conditions mean the onions may be exposed to more water, causing them to become soggy and expire before they should. 

If you wish to keep your onions fresher for much longer, Chef De, a professional chef from, Glen And Friends Cooking, has explained that onions can last months if they are kept out of your fridge.  

In a video online, Chef De explained that there are some “simple tricks” to storing onions, and explained where the best place to store onions is in your kitchen. 

How to select the freshest onions

According to Chef D, keeping your onions fresh begins at the supermarket and has advised people there are certain things to look out for in order to select onions which will last much longer. 

Chef D explained: “When buying onions, you should be looking to see if they are nice and firm, there’s no blemishes on them, and they shouldn’t be soft.”

When picking up onions, they would feel firm and should have no powdery or black spots on them. There should also be no pungent scent, which is another indication the onions are going to go bad soon.

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How to store onions 

Chef D explained that the best place to store onions is somewhere cool, and dark with lots of air ventilation. The longer you can store them in a cool dark place, the more sugar comes out and they are sweeter.”  

Onions should never be exposed to sunlight, which can cause them to begin sprouting, and need mild temperatures in order to keep fresh, and should never be stored somewhere humid, as onions will aboard the moisture which will cause them to spoil

The best place to store onions is in a cupboard, pantry or cellar if you have one. Onions should also never be stored in the plastic bag they come in, and instead should either go in a basket or in an open paper bag. 

Chef D added: “Do not store them under the sink, as they’re going to take on the flavours of your soaps and whatever else you have. Plus, it’s too warm.”

If stored correctly, whole onion should last up to six months. However, once onion has been cut it will likely only last about a week. In which case, it is fine to place them in the fridge. 

Sliced onions should be stored in the fridge in an airtight glass container, as plastic containers can absorb odours and affect the flavour of the onion. Storing onions this way will prevent them from rotting and help your food stay fresher for much longer.

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