How Long Do Onions Last?

Onions - how long do onions last? The shelf life of onions, like most other fresh vegetables has no sell by date or best before date so you have to go with purchase date. Because of their versatility, flavor and relatively long shelf life sauteed onions (although unpleasant to chop) immediately add that "something smells good" aroma to any kitchen.

So, how long do onions last? When properly stored, the shelf life of onions is approximately...

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Onions Expiration Date

Counter Fridge
Fresh Whole Onions last for 4-6 Weeks 1-2 Months
Fresh Chopped Onions last for -- 1 Week
Fresh Whole Scallions last for 1-2 Days 1-2 Weeks
Frozen Onions last for -- 6-8 Months in Freezer

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly.

How to tell if Onions are bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Although not a perfect test, looking is the best way to tell if your onion has gone bad. Some common traits of onions going bad are brown, black or soft spots. The soft spots will quickly develop mold, so cut out the soft spot and surrounding area and use the onion quickly.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Onions to extend their shelf life?

To extend the shelf life of onions it is best to store onions whole at room temperature in a dark and dry place with plenty of air circulation. A hanging wire mesh net works great, as do mesh bags and paper bags. Avoid plastic bags or any closed containers that can't breathe (allow air through), which can produce moisture buildup.

Once onions are removed from their skin and prepared, it's a different story - peeled onions should be stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator.

Onions can be purchased frozen, although their texture is not as nice.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Onions:

  • Onions come in three colors: white, yellow and red (although red ones are actually purple in color).
  • Here's a great to way to use an old pair of pantyhose - put an onion in the leg then tie a knot and repeat the process with all your onions and then hang the pantyhose! To remove one, simply cut a slit in the sack just above the onion you wish to remove starting at the bottom. If you cut small enough slits, you can re-fill the pantyhose with the next batch of onions.
  • How to use extra before your Onions go bad?

  • Chop the onions and seal them into an airtight freezer safe bag and freeze.
  • How long are Onions good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long do onions last? That depends. How long does garlic last? In general, onions last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Onions lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Onions.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Onions shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

    Our Favorite Food Storage Set!

    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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