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Q & A - Can I do pickling in my restaurant?

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

A - Pickling yes, canning no.

This pickled okra looks hermetically sealed (canned) and would not be allowed in your restaurant with out an approved variance. There are several ways listed below how you can pickle your okra safely and without a variance - take a look.

There are three processes commonly used to make pickled products in food service facilities: hot brined product, cold brined product and natural fermentation.

Option #1: Cold Brine Raw, non-potentially hazardous (non-PHF) veggies that are covered with a cool brine are allowed to be held for use indefinitely without refrigeration or datemarking because there is no heat treatment of the vegetables.

Option #2: Hot Brine Vegetables treated with a hot brine are considered to be potentially hazardous foods (PHFs). But this can be done under the Food Sanitation Rules by cooling the food properly and storing them below 41F with a 7-day datemark.

Option #3: Natural fermentation is the process where raw vegetables (including cabbage) undergo natural lactic acid fermentation at room temperature. No meat or fish products may be used for this option. These products are not subject to refrigeration or datemarking requirements

If you choose to go outside these parameters set in the rules, then a variance is required. For example, any hermetic sealing or canning of a pickled product requires a variance in Oregon and may also fall under the national Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) as an acidified food.

Visit the Oregon Health Authority variance webpage at FoodSafety/Pages/variance.aspx for more information on how to apply for a variance from the Food Sanitation rules.

OHA Fact Sheet #23 Pickling and Fermentation in Food Service Facilities



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