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How to tell if an onion is bad

Onions are such a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. They are used in so many dishes and add great flavor to just about any savory meal.

Every dinner in our house starts with onions, they are a staple in our house. You can buy them individually or by bag.

You want to make sure to use them up before they go bad if you buy them but the bag. So how do you know when an onion is bad?

Two simple signs to know whether your onion is still good or not are how it looks and feels. This post goes over both of those steps.

2 white onions with an onion skin laying next to them

How to tell if an onion is bad? You can tell if an onion is bad by looking at it to make sure that it isn’t browning, moldy, or growing sprouts.

Also by the way it feels. Give it a squeeze; if the onion is squishy then it has gone bad.

Can you get sick from eating a bad onion?

It is important to know whether your onion is still good or if it has gone bad before you start to cook. If you cook with onions that have gone bad then you will be at risk of getting sick.

Any food that has gone bad puts you at risk of food poisoning or upset stomach and onions are no different. Always check these three signs before using onions for cooking or eating them raw.

Signs that onions are bad

The best ways to tell if your onions are bad are by simply by looking it over and feeling it.

It isn’t recommended to use taste to tell if something has gone bad. So let’s dive deeper into those 2 tell-tale signs of a bad onion.

1. How does it look?

Brown spots on your onion are a good indicator that your onion is bad. The brown spots are signs of mold growth and you toss it out.

The same goes if you see any type of mold growing anywhere on the onion. You may see green, grey or white mold.

If you notice that your onion is sprouting from the top then your onion is on its way out and might be a little softer on the inside.

2. Mushy

A mushy onion is a bad onion. It has started to break down under the papery skin and you should discard it.

You want your onions to be firm when you give it a squeeze and heavy for its size.

What to look for when buying onions

When you are buying onions either individually or by the bag you want to make sure to look them over at the store to pick out the good ones.

Unfortunately you can use the sniff test when buying onions like you would buying a melon or plum.

You want onions that still have that papery outside on them and a dry neck on them.

If you notice any of the signs of a bad onion such as brown spots, mold, or mushy, then you want to put them back and pick different ones.

Check out this post on how to store onions so that you can get the most shelf life out of them.

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