Korean Pickled Garlic recipe safety

Asked August 1, 2018, 9:54 PM EDT

This recipe was posted to a (garden) group I manage. I mentioned that keeping this at room temperature is not advisable and have been challenged. Please help me explain why this is not safe or correct me if I am wrong.

Lane County Oregon

2 Responses

I would not recommend this at all unless the product is refrigerated for the following reasons.

1. Garlic is a low acid food so it needs to be processed using heat. Even when acidified, we tell businesses that they need to have the garlic finely chopped to ensure it is properly acidified to prevent C. bot. and they have specific requirements for heat penetration (processing times and temperatures)

2. The pH of soy sauce appears to be 4.4-5.4 which makes it either low acid, or at best, borderline

3. The vinegar to soy sauce ratio is 1:1 which brings into question if there is enough vinegar to properly acidify both the soy sauce and garlic

4. We always recommend the use of vinegar with 5% acidity. There is no mention of this in the recipe. So again, there may not be proper acidification

At the end of the day, we have no idea what the pH of this product is, nor has it been thermally processed. It is potentially very dangerous, and should only be stored in the refrigerator and not on a shelf at room temp.

Thank you! I appreciate your time and expertise.