How long do onions last after the best-before date?

Onions are a staple in many recipes – no matter the season. It’s always a good idea to have a few to hand for this reason. Not only are onions delicious, but they are also high in nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium. They are also known to have several health benefits such as improving heart health, better blood sugar control, and increased bone density. Onions also store and keep well as you will find out below.

What’s the best way to store onions?

How long onions last depends on how they are stored. Onions are best stored in their raw form, in a cold, dark, and dry place. Whole, raw onions will last up to three months when stored in a cool, dark and dry place. Places that provide these conditions may include your cupboard, cellar, pantry, or even garage. They also last this amount of time when stored in a refrigerator – but they must be kept dry.

Can onions go bad?

Like all foods, onions can go bad. Correct storage is very important from the moment you bring them home from the store. When storing onions, whether at room temperature or refrigerated, proper ventilation is key to prevent mold. A basket, fabric bag, or loosely covered paper bag is ideal. Avoid storing them in plastic bags as they don’t provide correct ventilation and can hold in moisture. Dispose of any onions that have soft, or dark spots. Unlike potatoes, onions begin to go bad when they start to sprout. If they sprout, throw them out.

How long do onions last after the best-before date?

Onions can last between up to 3 months after their best-before date if they have been stored correctly. It varies between onion varieties, and it’s important to check them individually before eating. Onions are very hardy and you can easily peel away any layer that has gone dry. Always visually inspect onions that are past their best before date to look for signs of mold, rot or sprouting. If onions demonstrate any of these characteristics, then they should not be eaten.

Do you want to learn more about Food Hygiene & Safety?

Our Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety Course can give you the education you need on the best practice protocols around preparing food safely and diligently. It is aimed toward those who prepare food for others and it used by professional cooks and kitchen staff in restaurants across the UK. The course costs just £10.