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Old 07-08-2019, 01:16 AM   #1
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Forgot to rinse pickling lime

OK... So in an attempt to do far to many things at once, It seems I managed to forget a very important step in my pickling process!

I FORGOT TO RINSE THE PICKLING LIME OFF...

I rarely use pickling lime, but I have an over abundance of cucumbers this year & have been trying out some older family recipes. (making every batch different) It wasn't untill about 45 min after they came out of the water bath that it finally clicked in my head!! (Insert Face Palm Here...)

I know that not rinsing them messes with the PH & can cause a serious risk of botulism. MY QUESTION is... are they OK as refrigerator pickles, or would the hot water bath be the source of the possible botulism growth. I am fully prepared to discard the whole batch. The last thing I want to do is to make my family/friends sick. but before I toss everything, I figured I would get the opinion of some more experienced caners before I pop all the jars toss the contents.

Thanks in advance

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Old 07-08-2019, 02:23 AM   #2
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I'm not an expert, but it sounds pretty risky to use pickling lime (calcium hydroxide) even if you do rinse it off because of the risk of botulism. If even a small amount is left on the pickles, it will raise the pH and a nice low pH (acidic) prevents the growth of botulism. Refrigeration might work, but it would be better to get the info from someone more qualified than me. All I did was read a Wikipedia article that says it won't grow at below 3°C. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostr...and_prevention

I hope someone with more expertise chimes in.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:49 AM   #3
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It isn't recommended to use any recipes from before 1989 because safety guidelines have changed. So old family recipes may not be safe even if you follow the directions exactly.

The hot-water bath is not the source of the botulinum bacteria, although it could increase the growth of the bacteria.

I found this on the Cooperative Extension site. I'm sorry about the waste of food, but I think it's safest to toss it.
[QUOTE ]Addition of pickling lime to pickled vegetables may have several consequences. I consulted several experts and sources for additional opinions. When pickling lime is used to increase the crispness of pickles, and it must be completely removed. In addition, pickling lime is highly basic (non-acidic) and can increase the possibility of botulism in home canned products. For these two reasons, I would recommend discarding the pickled vegetables. Even though you refrigerated them, pickling lime is still present in the jars. In addition, if the pickled vegetables were processed in a boiling water bath, the presence of the pickling lime may increase the risk of botulism.[/QUOTE]
https://ask.extension.org/questions/348369
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=GotGarlic;1598385]It isn't recommended to use any recipes from before 1989 because safety guidelines have changed. So old family recipes may not be safe even if you follow the directions exactly.
I think I will also be editing/adjusting my old family recipes I have so as NOT to include the Pickling lime.


The hot-water bath is not the source of the botulinum bacteria, although it could increase the growth of the bacteria. Just doesn't seem worth the risk of attempting to save the batch

I found this on the Cooperative Extension site. I'm sorry about the waste of food, but I think it's safest to toss it.

Thanks, I'm fully prepared to toss the batch, its only been a couple days & I already have another huge pile of cucumbers... lol I appreciate the detailed info. I just cant stand wasting food.. that's just the worst part of it. but better to be safe than sorry... right!


It sucks that they sell it with all the other pickling supplies & provide little warning as to the major health risks. Had I not been as proactive in my research as I was once I realized my mistake, I may have just let it slide.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:59 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=taxlady;1598377]I'm not an expert, but it sounds pretty risky to use pickling lime (calcium hydroxide) even if you do rinse it off because of the risk of botulism. If even a small amount is left on the pickles, it will raise the pH and a nice low pH (acidic) prevents the growth of botulism. I agree, I was a chef for a while before I started my own business & food safety is something that has been ingrained in me.

Refrigeration might work, but it would be better to get the info from someone more qualified than me. All I did was read a Wikipedia article that says it won't grow at below 3°C. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostr...and_preventionI also read that and several other things, but none of what I read gave me any indication of the safety of saving the batch to a refrigerator. (hence my post here)

I hope someone with more expertise chimes in.
I would be very grateful to see a bit more opinions from other people. (even though i have decided to toss the batch) Hopefully this thread will help others that may have made the same mistake.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:24 PM   #6
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Yes, there are a lot of people who know the rules of safe canning and don't spend the time to learn before they start. There's only so much retailers can do to educate people on how to use chemicals safely.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:24 PM   #7
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Big kudo's to you on being so careful with your canning Moonfairy. Not everyone is, and I graciously decline home canned food gifts for that reason.

By the way...welcome to Discuss Cooking!!
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Yes, there are a lot of people who know the rules of safe canning and don't spend the time to learn before they start. There's only so much retailers can do to educate people on how to use chemicals safely.
Oops, meant to say *don't* know.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:48 PM   #9
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Yes, welcome to DC Moonfairy. I hope you stick around and join in some discussions.
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