Historical Recreation in the Kingdom of Calontir


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Gary and Virginia Phillips <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Historical Recreation in the Kingdom of Calontir <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 21 Jul 2013 20:02:03 -0500
text/plain (94 lines)
Your local food safety person chiming in, here:

The biggest risk with pickled foods comes from the anaerobic environment, 
not one in which oxygen gets in.
Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism, grows only in an 
anaerobic environment.

Pickling depends on acids (whether lactic acid from fermentation or added in 
the form of vinegar [acetic acid] or citric acid or the like) to inhibit the 
growth of C. botulinum in the anaerobic environment of the jar. As long as 
your final product pH is below 4.6 at equilibrium (the point at which the 
acids have thoroughly penetrated all of the foods and the pH is constant 
throughout the product), C. botulinum cannot grow.

Pickling solutions are usually added to the fruits or vegetables hot, to 
kill any vegetative cells of C. botulinum that might be present on the food. 
The bacterium is ubiquitous in our environment in soil and other places, and 
must be assumed to be on the product.

Once the vegetative cells have been killed, all that remains are the C. 
botulinum cells that have formed a protective spore coat. These are inert, 
but will come out of the spore coat and form vegetative cells, which produce 
the deadly toxin, if the environment allows. That environment would be 
warmer than 45 degrees F (5C), anaerobic (like in a jar) and low-acid (above 
4.6 pH.)

Properly acidified foods will be shelf-stable. Acidified foods in 
hermetically sealed containers for service or sale to the general public 
must come from an approved processing plant.

I recommend that folks who want to make pickles for service to large groups 
of people depend on refrigeration for bacterial control, rather than 
acidification through fermentation or addition of food acids.

Botulism is a deadly disease. Incidence is rare, but it is among the most 
fatal of foodborne illnesses.

Let me know if folks need more details.

Mistress Gillian Warrender
mka Virginia Phillips, Environmental Public Health Specialist.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ségnat ingen Fháeláin
Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] pickles

Fermentation is supposed to occur in an anaerobic environment.  When you use
a method that might allow oxygen into the mix,  other bacteria can occur
that are really unhealthy.     In the past they  used oil or sometimes made
a paste of flour and water and sealed the tops of the ferments that way,
too.  If you look in  lot of the old still room books there are instructions
on how to do it.

I know that this isn't a period practice and it might be frowned upon but
they make fermentation jars for such things now that use jars that seal
tightly and brewers airlocks.  While I am all about learning how they did
things in period,  a lot of people died  from exposure to foodborn bacteria
in the Middle Ages.    Maybe in this case, using the  more modern method to
make your period ingredient, would be prudent.    You could use all the same
ingredients and just put them in one of these jars.

I made jars that resemble the Pickl-it jars they sell online by getting
ahold of some of the fido canning jars and drilling 1/2 inch holes in the
lids and  putting a rubber grommet in the hole to insert the airlock into.

I have pickled key limes and lemons and they are amazing.  I am sure they
would last for a very long time, if we didn't like them so much.     I just
like to be safe.



-----Original Message-----
From: Historical Recreation in the Kingdom of Calontir
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stefan li Rous
Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2013 1:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] pickles

Okay, more on this technique, at least for lemons. I was considering these
dried or salted, so didn't think of this file. but I guess you could
consider them pickled.
presrvd-lemons-msg(45K) 10/29/11 Dried, pickled and salted preserved lemons.