Dr Bartholomew Brai, a nutritionist at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, has advised against the consumption of exposed onion cut the previous day, to avoid food poisoning.

Brai said in Lagos on Wednesday that such sliced onions if not properly stored, become exposed and could be highly poisonous as they could create toxic bacteria.

According to him, onion contains sugars which promote bacteria growth.

“There are no perceived dangers if the sliced onion is stored properly; a cut or sliced onion is best stored inside a tight container in a refrigerator.

“However, considering our environment and the perennial epileptic power supply, it is better to slice your onion when you want to make use of it.

“This is to avoid bacterial contamination which may cause adverse stomach infections and even food poisoning because of excess bile secretions,” Brai said.

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It’s not all bad though as he noted that onions contained compounds that had health benefits such as Vitamin C, glutathione, flavonoids, allin and allicin.

These compounds possess antioxidant properties which reduce blood cholesterol levels, hypertension and heart failure.

The compounds also lower risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Brai added that onion belonged to the vegetable food group and it is almost certainly safe when eaten in amounts commonly found in our foods.

He said onions should be a key ingredient in every healthy vegetarian meal because of its versatile, high beneficial sulfur compounds.

It belongs to the allium genus as garlic and was grown not only for use in cooking but for its antiseptic qualities.