Cooking onions is an easy way to kill salmonella before using them in another recipe. But will it also kill the salmonella on raw onions? This might seem like a silly question. After all, raw onions are not a high-risk food for contracting salmonellosis. It’s not like raw chicken or undercooked pork that can easily be contaminated with bacteria from the icky animal bits left on them. Raw red onions aren’t even listed as a high-risk food by the Center for Disease Control. So why go through the trouble of cooking them? The reason is twofold: 1) Raw onion is high in VSC; 2) There are documented cases of people contracting salmonellosis from raw red onions.
Does Cooking Onions Kill Salmonella?
Yes, cooking onions kills salmonella. You should make sure that your onions are thoroughly cooked or baked before eating them. Cooked onions should be safe to eat, as long as they are properly prepared.
Why Are Onions High In Volatile Sulfur Compounds?
- Onions are high in VSC because of their high water content.
- VSC is a compound that is produced as a result of the breakdown of proteins and amino acids during cooking.
- The breakdown of amino acids and proteins in onions occurs at a higher rate than that in other foods, thus increasing the concentration of VSC.
- Cooking onions release these compounds into the air, where they come into contact with airborne particles, which carry them to the lungs and cause an illness known as onion-induced asthma.
- These sulfur compounds are also produced by bacteria that live on onions (called “Onion Rot”). Salmonella bacteria can grow on raw onions, but whatever is left after cooking them kills the salmonella.
Why Are Raw Onions A Risk For Salmonella?
- Raw onions are a source of bacteria that can cause salmonella.
- Salmonella bacteria can live on raw onion and survive cooking and can be found at very low levels even after cooking.
- Salmonella bacteria may be present in raw onion pieces that are left on the cutting board, counter, or table after chopping the onion.
- Raw onions get contaminated through contact with surfaces, such as cutting boards and counters, that have been used to prepare other foods that were contaminated with salmonella bacteria (such as raw chicken).
How To Kill Salmonella With Onions?
The first step in killing salmonella is to clean all of your kitchen surfaces that come in contact with raw meat, produce, or eggs. Wipe down your countertops, cutting boards, and your sink with a bleach-based cleaner. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing a cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Be sure to clean your eggs thoroughly as well. Clean your kitchen utensils, bowls, and any place where you will be mixing the ingredients. If you are going to serve food, be sure to clean your serving dishes as well. Clean your refrigerator and freezer. Wipe down the shelves and the inside of the refrigerator. If you notice any signs of mold, be sure to clean it off with bleach-based cleaner. Clean your outside grill using a stiff brush and water to remove any bacteria. If you have a charcoal grill, you will want to clean it after each use.
Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
The next step in killing salmonella is to rinse all produce and any other food items that you will be eating raw. Clean your produce in a sink full of water with a mild detergent. Be sure to thoroughly rinse all produce, including fruits and vegetables that you plan on eating raw. Dip any products that you are eating raw in water for at least one minute. This will make sure that any pesticides or chemicals that have been sprayed onto the produce have time to break down and dissolve in the water. Clean your eggs thoroughly. First, wash the eggs under running water, then put them in a bowl full of water and swish them around. This will effectively clean your eggs.
Always Buy Fresh Produce
Next, you should always buy fresh produce. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with salmonella as well, even if they are frozen. Preventing salmonella contamination is important because it is difficult to properly clean it off of your produce. However, you can prevent it completely by buying fresh produce. If possible, try to visit your local farmers’ market or produce stand to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also buy them from a trusted grocer or store. Once your product has been purchased, be sure to store it properly. Wash all of your fruits and vegetables completely before eating them. This will remove any dirt, debris, and pesticides that might be on the food itself. Store your fruits and vegetables in a dark place. Do not place them in the refrigerator, as this will significantly decrease their shelf life.
Only Buy What You Will Use Immediately
Another way to kill salmonella is to only buy what you will use immediately. Do not buy more products and eggs than you will eat in the next day or two. This will help prevent salmonella contamination. As soon as you bring your fresh produce and eggs home, be sure to thoroughly clean them and put them away in a safe place. Place your eggs in a cool, clean, dry place and your product in a dark and dry spot. Do not leave your eggs sitting in the cart where they may be exposed to salmonella. If you bring home a bag of produce, be sure to clean it immediately before putting it in the fridge.
Seal Your Foods With A Food Saver
If you buy meat in bulk, seal it with a food saver. This will prevent salmonella contamination and also extend the shelf life of your meat. If you buy eggs in bulk and are worried about salmonella, be sure to store them in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep your leftovers in an airtight seal and refrigerate them. This will keep salmonella out and extend the shelf life of your leftovers.
Tips For Cooking Raw Onions To Kill Salmonella
- Wash your hands, cutting board, and knife.
- Peel the onion with a vegetable peeler
- Cut into small pieces or slices
- Place on a plate and cover with a paper towel until ready to use
- Wash all surfaces that were touched by raw onions before you begin cooking with them
- Cook the onions in a very hot skillet or frying pan, stirring frequently at first then less often as they begin to caramelize
Onions are a great addition to any diet and have many health benefits. But it’s important to cook them before adding them to any recipes, as they can carry salmonella bacteria. Cooking onions kill salmonella bacteria, so it’s important to cook them before adding them to recipes that don’t get above 160 degrees. Make sure to chop the cooked onions and let them cool before adding them to other dishes that won’t get cooked. This will ensure that salmonella is killed off.
1. Question: What is the best way to wash my hands?
Answer: The best way to wash your hands is with warm water and soap. You can also use a hand sanitizer or antibacterial soap.
2. Question: What are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning?
Answer: The symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and headache. If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical attention right away.
3. Question: How do you treat salmonella poisoning?
Answer: The best way to treat salmonella poisoning is with antibiotics. You can also use over-the-counter medications such as Pepto-Bismol, Pepto-Bismol with Codeine, or Imodium.