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I have a Hot Dog Stand. I use chopped onions every day, can I re use the left over chopped onions the next day? The onions are in a container that keep them cold all day long. Some days the onions have a lot of liquid in the bottom, is that a problem? I do not want to get anyone sick.

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While not a safety question, which you are asking about, or a code question, the quality of onions that are held for a considerable period of time will go down. They will loose their crispness, and take on a more astringent, harsh flavor rather than the fresh, crisp bite they have when first chopped. So you might not wish to hold them, even if it is permissible under your local health codes to do so. –  SAJ14SAJ Jan 28 '13 at 20:27
    
Cook them and serve pissaladière the next day. –  mouviciel Jan 30 '13 at 15:28
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2 Answers

If you're operating a hot dog stand, I'm going to guess that you'll want to follow your local health codes. There's a very good chance that it'd be a violation.

In most areas, it wouldn't be anything to stop you from using it for your own meals, so long as you didn't serve it to the public. (and you might have to transfer it to a different container, so you keep the public & personal stuff seperate). So long as they've been kept chilled through the day, I'd be inclined to use them in some sort of cooked dish for dinner. At worst, you get sick, but you don't get the public sick.

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I think the core of Joe's answer--follow your local, current code--is the most important thing. –  SAJ14SAJ Jan 28 '13 at 20:18
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This is a good thread to read about storage time for onions after they've been cut.

There are also some ways to attempt to keep an onion fresh.

If you're cutting your onions to serve then Joe is correct in stating that you'll want to adhere to local health codes and possibly even consider cutting your onions to order or only cutting a small amount and adding to it as needed- any good customer would prefer a fresh cut onion to an off, cut up cup of them anyway, right?

It's also prudent to remember that in nearly all cases you cannot see whether or not a food has gone bad entirely, but since you stated there is a watery liquid in the bottom of your onions it sounds like there are some visual indicators.

Just remember: If in doubt- throw it out (especially when you're serving it to the public)!

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