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Canning -- Pickled and Fermented Foods

A consumer has made the Pickled Pepper Recipe from the Ball Blue Book and packed them into quart jars. What is making them soft?

Rating: 90

To begin with, processing in the quart jars is not a safe processing method. The processing times are based on the volume of food packed in a pint and half-pint jar. Therefore, the pickles might not be receiving an adequate kill of bacteria. So the individual should repack in the correct jar size and reprocess. The reason the pickles might be too soft is that the raw peppers were overripe and so soft. Secondly, they might not have been adequately immersed in a vinegar solution. Finally, soft pickles also occur when the product is over-processed. This is not the case in this situation.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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