food quality and food safety consultants

01208 895370

red onions smallA brief guide to the quality standards expected for the supply of red onions.  We provide the basic food standards and the key fresh produce quality criteria for this product as part of a series of articles on fresh produce quality standards.

Please be aware that these specifications only reflect what we consider to be well established industry standards, commonly held knowledge and our own expertise in having conducted thousands of food quality inspections over the past 20 years.  If we have made any direct reference to another source it will be referenced clearly.

Red Onion Fact

Since the majority of the flavonoids (disease protecting type of phytonutrient) are in the fleshy outer layers of red onions, don't over peel your onions when preparing them, try to retain as much as you can.

Size Requirements for Red Onions

Minimum diameter 60mm.

Common Quality Defects Found in Red Onions

We break quality defects typically into major and minor categories, with no tolerance recommended for the former, and a small tolerance recommended in the latter.  This would typically be in the region of 5% - 10% of a pack by either weight or count.

Red Onion: Major Quality Defects

  • Mould, Rots or Breakdown
  • Pest Damage, Infestation, Taints or Foreign Bodies

Red Onion: Minor Quality Defects

  • Defects in size and shape not affecting the overall appearance of the product
  • Skin or colour defects not affecting the life of the product, not exceeding 1cm sq. and not affecting internal quality of the product
  • Absence of outer skin, light staining to outer layers

Images of Common Red Onion defects:


Storage Temperatures for Red Onions

Storage temperatures for this product are usually between 0°- 4°C

It should be noted here, that in most mixed product distribution scenarios, red onion along with most other fresh produce is grouped into the chilled storage and distribution network which would be expected to run below 6C.

Common Countries of Origin for Red Onions

  • UK
  • Holland 
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Morocco

Please note these specifications are for informational use only, if you would like a detailed specification or comprehensive list of fresh produce specifications preparing, do not hesitate to contact us on 01208 895370.

Free Quality Updates

Free advice and food quality information?

To get advice, tips and specs straight to your inbox

Follow Us On