Tum'a: Leaving Cut Produce Uncovered Overnight

Some foods (such as onions, garlic, and scallions/green onions) will pick up ru'ach ra'a if:

  • Peeled, AND
  • Cut at both ends, AND
  • Left overnight in a home, AND
  • Raw (OR cooked) and not mixed with other foods, spices, or salt.

Note Under the above conditions, the food will pick up ru'ach ra'a even if stored in a sealed container after being cooked. However, if such an onion (raw or cooked) that is peeled and cut at both ends is mixed with something else--whether other foods, oil, spices, or salt--the onion will not pick up ru'ach ra'a.

Problematic foods:

  • Onions,

  • Garlic,

  • Eggs (hard boiled or raw once they are out of their shell).

Not a problem:

  • Unpeeled onions

  • Cut and open lemons or other produce(excluding onions, garlic, and eggs).

  • Raw onion, garlic, or eggs that were cut or peeled in a commercial facility and remain uncovered overnight.

Note You may not use an onion that has been left overnight under any circumstances (even if wrapped in clear plastic wrap, put into the refrigerator, etc.):

  • That has been cut at the top and bottom, and

  • Whose brown layer has been removed.

Note Spring/ green onions also attract ru'ach ra'ah, but only if you cut off all of the green and also the roots.

Note If the onion or garlic had been peeled and cut at both ends but you sprinkled some salt on it, then you may use it even if it has been left out overnight.

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