Written by Zola Gorgon - author of several cookbooks.
This story was shown to not be true, more of an "urban legend" tale. Sorry for original post but left up so others will know it is not factually supported. ......Herbanite Bob
Watch out for those spoiled onions.
I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products. Mullins is HUGE and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend Jeanne is the CEO.
The facility is mammoth. We toured about 280,000 square feet! Questions about food poisoning came up and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.
The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers. Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's.
Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you.. Ed said that all commercially-made Mayo is completely safe.
It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary. He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quintessential picnic, with the bowl of potat! o salad< /SPAN> sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.
Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from. Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES. He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator. It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you. (And doubly watch out for onions at the baseball park!)
Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put in on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.
So, how's that for news? Take it for what you will. I am going to be very careful about my onions from now on. For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming from a chemist and a company, that produces millions of pounds of mayonnaise every year.'
Dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.