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Pickled food and safety


Terrasanct
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I admit that I have a fear of botulism, since I grew up canning things at home. I'm always cautious and would rather toss something than take any chances. But how do I know what's good when I buy it?

I ordered some Lebanese green pickled olives online, and when I opened them they were really fizzy. I thought it was from being shaken, but after 20 minutes they are still fizzing. Is this normal? If I opened home-canned peaches and they were doing that I'd throw them away. But I've never had this sort of olive and am not sure what they are supposed to do. If anyone knows, please help. I took a very small bite after smelling them, and I still can't tell for sure.

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This doesn't really answer your question, but I've read in every pickling/canning book I've picked up that there's a huge difference between pickled and canned food safety. It's very hard (impossible?) for botulism to survive in the salty, vinegary environment of pickled items. Plain old canned foods, on the other hand, do provide a more receptive environment.

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And this doesn't answer your question either, but I know that some homemade kimchi fizzes, and that's supposed to be a good thing.

I think Kiliki is right. Botulism is an issue in low acid pressure canned foods, not pickles as far as I know. But rule number one is, if you aren't comfortable eating them, don't. I'm sure the store will refund you and send you a non-fizzing jar.

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