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Vacuum Sealing, then Freezing Garlic?


cssmd27
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I buy the bulk, peeled garlic at Costco, then portion it out in smaller packs, [chamber] vacuum seal it, and freeze it. Now, I read (here, and other places) that vacuum sealing fresh garlic is a no-no because of the botulism risk. However, I can't find anyone discussing the scenario that I'm using. Is the concern regarding vacuum sealing garlic related to leaving it at room temp after sealing it? I can't see why vacuum sealing would impart anything special in terms of botulism as compared to just freezing it without vacuum sealing.

Anyone have some opinions/knowledge on this subject?

Thanks!

Chris

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As I recall, The USDA canning site warns against freezing fresh tomatoes, because there is not enough acid to prevent botulism.

Surely garlic would need more acid before freezing. I wouldn't mess with this, until I learned more about it from the USDA or university canning sites.

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The USDA canning site warns against freezing fresh tomatoes, because there is not enough acid to prevent botulism.

That's nonsense!!!

Reference???

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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It is hard to imagine that this is a realistic worry, USDA warning or not. There must be some special situation that USDA is referring to.

For all practical purposes nothing grows at 0F.

We vacuum pack and freeze raw meat and fish all the time with no acidity and no worry.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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it seems garlic and mushrooms have been singled out for C.b., at least w chamber vac's

fresh garlic is everywhere, cheap. Id not take the risk.

just throw the fresh garlic bulbs in the freezer in an regular plastic bag if you mush

take them out frozen and deal with them then in that state when you need them.

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This from foodsafety.gov re sources for botulism...

http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/botulism/

  • Infants: Honey, home-canned vegetables and fruits, corn syrup
  • Children and adults: Home-canned foods with a low acid content, improperly canned commercial foods, home-canned or fermented fish, herb-infused oils, baked potatoes in aluminum foil, cheese sauce, bottled garlic, foods held warm for extended periods of time
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There are warnings against water bath canning tomatoes because the pH may not be low enough to prevent botulism.....adding lemon juice or citric acid to lower the pH is recommended...but that a whole other ball game!

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Also, you may not be creating vacuum. It may just be mostly airless.

A Foodsaver type of machine can't create very high vacuum.

dcarch

I have a chamber - Henkelman Boxer 35.

it seems garlic and mushrooms have been singled out for C.b., at least w chamber vac's

fresh garlic is everywhere, cheap. Id not take the risk.

just throw the fresh garlic bulbs in the freezer in an regular plastic bag if you mush

take them out frozen and deal with them then in that state when you need them.

It's not about the expense, but about the convenience. This way I'm sure I always have garlic on a moment's notice.

The container the garlic is sold in comes with an expiration date that is usually about 6 weeks out. So, it's fine to leave it refrigerated for 6 weeks. And, it's fine to leave it frozen for an extended period. The ONLY alteration I'm making is vacuum sealing it. I just can't logically figure out why the vacuuming would make any difference.

Since C. botulinium makes a gas when it's active, it would seem that vacuuming it would be even better because I could see the bag expand from its vacuumed state.

Thanks for all the opinions on this thread. The diversity is illustrative of what I ran into when I tried to research it on the net.

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The USDA canning site warns against freezing fresh tomatoes, because there is not enough acid to prevent botulism.

That's nonsense!!!

Reference???

I keep my ketchup out without refrigeration for months.

dcarch

It's safe because of the vinegar and sugar and HFCS content.

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Why not just buy storage garlic, still in its husk? A properly cured garlic braid will keep for months and months hanging in a cool, dry place. Break off what you need, when you need it. Mother Nature's convenient, biodegradable wrapping will keep it far fresher than factory-peeled, then frozen garlic. It takes less than 10 seconds to peel a clove of garlic.

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The issue with vacuum is that the bug is an anaerobe and won't grow in the presence of much oxygen. So vacuum might help it grow by removing O2.

I've done a pub med search and cannot find a paper saying that this bug grows below freezing, vacuum or not.

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Why not just buy storage garlic, still in its husk? A properly cured garlic braid will keep for months and months hanging in a cool, dry place. Break off what you need, when you need it. Mother Nature's convenient, biodegradable wrapping will keep it far fresher than factory-peeled, then frozen garlic. It takes less than 10 seconds to peel a clove of garlic.

LOL The discussion has gone far past this eminently sensible suggestion.

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Botulinum can't grow below 3°C (38°F.)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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The issue with vacuum is that the bug is an anaerobe and won't grow in the presence of much oxygen. So vacuum might help it grow by removing O2.

That makes sense. But, since it produces a gas, wouldn't I notice at least a loosening of the vacuum around the frozen garlic?

Why not just buy storage garlic, still in its husk? A properly cured garlic braid will keep for months and months hanging in a cool, dry place. Break off what you need, when you need it. Mother Nature's convenient, biodegradable wrapping will keep it far fresher than factory-peeled, then frozen garlic. It takes less than 10 seconds to peel a clove of garlic.

Frankly, this other way is much cleaner and works well for me. But, that is a good alternative suggestion.

Botulinum can't grow below 3°C (38°F.)

If that's true, then that's the answer.

I suppose the warnings against vacuuming pertain to saving it some other way besides freezing. Vacuuming it will [mostly] eliminate oxygen and allow it to grow, but only above 38F.

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Yup, that is the answer!

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Botulinum can't grow below 3°C (38°F.)

This.

It may help for people to have some references to work on if they are going to put opinions up about vacuum storage and botulism and about botulism and bad bugs in general.

Here are a few. I've avoided source documents. These are summaries using the scientific data.

CDC document on botulism in the USA.

CDC surveillance data on botulism.

National center for home food preservation article on garlic.

If you want some bed-time reading, there is always the Bad Bug Book from FDA.

Edited by nickrey (log)
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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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As I recall, The USDA canning site warns against freezing fresh tomatoes, because there is not enough acid to prevent botulism.

Surely garlic would need more acid before freezing. I wouldn't mess with this, until I learned more about it from the USDA or university canning sites.

I think you might have confused the directives for canning and freezing. Easily done. Home canning of tomatoes can be an issue if there is not enough acidity but as far as I know they can be frozen without risk of botulism.

www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/.../09341.ht...

Freezing is a safe, easy alternative to home canning. Frozen tomatoes and tomato products do not need added acid.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Just happened to be searching recently for some garlic info and this snippet from the Christopher Ranch FAQ may be helpful to include here:

http://www.christopherranch.com/archives/3173

•CAN I FREEZE PEELED GARLIC? You can freeze peeled garlic but it changes the consistency. Frozen garlic can turn mushy when thawed, but the good news is that most of the flavor remains. It’s best used in sauces or dishes that don’t need chunks or pieces of garlic. Store in the Christopher Ranch bag or any airtight plastic or vacuum-sealed bag (get all the air out first) and freeze for 3 to 6 months. It may be necessary to double bag it so the aroma does not “travel”.

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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Maybe I can post my garlic question here? I like to steep raw garlic in vinegar with salt & black pepper, sometimes red pepper flakes. I'm not boiling the vinegar like you would for pickling. Is this safe to keep for extended periods of time?

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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Just happened to be searching recently for some garlic info and this snippet from the Christopher Ranch FAQ may be helpful to include here:

http://www.christopherranch.com/archives/3173

•CAN I FREEZE PEELED GARLIC? You can freeze peeled garlic but it changes the consistency. Frozen garlic can turn mushy when thawed, but the good news is that most of the flavor remains. It’s best used in sauces or dishes that don’t need chunks or pieces of garlic. Store in the Christopher Ranch bag or any airtight plastic or vacuum-sealed bag (get all the air out first) and freeze for 3 to 6 months. It may be necessary to double bag it so the aroma does not “travel”.

Just happened to be searching recently for some garlic info and this snippet from the Christopher Ranch FAQ may be helpful to include here:

http://www.christopherranch.com/archives/3173

•CAN I FREEZE PEELED GARLIC? You can freeze peeled garlic but it changes the consistency. Frozen garlic can turn mushy when thawed, but the good news is that most of the flavor remains. It’s best used in sauces or dishes that don’t need chunks or pieces of garlic. Store in the Christopher Ranch bag or any airtight plastic or vacuum-sealed bag (get all the air out first) and freeze for 3 to 6 months. It may be necessary to double bag it so the aroma does not “travel”.

Now that is really interesting and useful information. Few would argue that fresh garlic is the ideal but some of us are housebound in the winter and having a small stash of frozen garlic could be a meal saver. Thanks for sharing.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Maybe I can post my garlic question here? I like to steep raw garlic in vinegar with salt & black pepper, sometimes red pepper flakes. I'm not boiling the vinegar like you would for pickling. Is this safe to keep for extended periods of time?

Sounds safe to me.

Do you use the garlic or the vinegar?

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