Do I have to refrigerate Kosher Dill Pickles!!?

nita1950October 27, 2003

I purchased from Walmart last night a large jar of these pickles. It is too big for the refrigerator with all of the other items that I refrigerate. Years ago and even recently...I would go to the store and purchase room temperature Kosher Dill pickles. They were never refrigerated. Is this absolutely necessary if my family of 5 and a couple of neighborhood kids eat them within the next 2 weeks?


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Did you get them from the refrigerated section of the grocery? If so, those do say on the jar to keep refrigerated.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2003 at 2:53PM
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I don't refrigerate pickles cause I don't like them cold. When I was a kid my mom never refrigerated pickles, ketchup, or mustard. It's only been the last few years that they have put it on the labels to refrigerate after opening and I don't know why it is required now and it wasn't back then. And jams and jellies...why do they have to be refrigerated? I just don't like everything I eat to be icy cold. That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it!!!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2003 at 7:05AM
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I did not get these from the refrigerated section of the gorcoery. They were just on a shelf in the aisle. I have decided not to refrigerate them and we enjoy them at room temperature. We have not eaten them as fast as I thought that we would..they still smell fresh, the same as when I got them. Perhaps after a short time I will discard any left over and buy a smaller jar.

Barbara.. I don't refrigerate ketchup and never have. I remember the days when we kept all of the items that you mentioned on the shelf...jams, jellies, etc. I don't like to have those items chilled when I eat them.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2003 at 9:57PM
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They will be fine...lots of places used to sell them from a crock on the counter.....Laugh all of you, I never refrigerated the other stuff either and believe it or not, I never put my butter in the frige...It is a little crock in the cabinet...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2003 at 3:18PM
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In home ec class (over 30 years ago) the teacher told us pickles,relish and ketchup can be kept room temperature because they are acidic. And jellies and jams because the sugar prevents the growth of bacteria.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 4:16PM
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Most of my friends go nuts when they find out that I don't refrigerate my butter...I have it in a little covered container in the would probably eventually get rancid but we use it long before that happens and there are actually only two of us and Idon't even use it every do you refrigerate yours?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 4:49PM
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Yes, I do refrigerate my butter. How long do you actually keep it in the cabinet? I don't know the ruling on this. MY mom refrigerated her butter always and by habit so do I.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 11:17PM
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I was lurking here trying to get some ideas...this was an interesting read. I've wondered about the ketchup.

I don't refrigerate my butter. I put it on the counter in a container and we go through a cube during the week. Haven't ever had a problem. When it is very hot outside I do refrigerate though.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 9:00PM
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I don't refrigerate my Ketchup. I no longer discard my butter if I leave it out overnight by accident. I now just put it in the fridge the next day. I used to think that it was bad and I would not use it if it had been left out overnight. I think that I was putting it in the same category as Mayo.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 10:11PM
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Being in Florida, I keep it all in the fridge. Even peanut butter.

I noticed recently there is a mayonaise out that requires NO refrigeration even AFTER opening! How about that?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2004 at 5:00PM
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I do refrigerate mustard, catsup, relish and pickles. I have plenty of room, so never thought about it. I do not refrigerate table butter. I dislike hard butter. Williams Sonoma sells a butter boat that keeps butter fresh out of the fridge. I'm going to get one as soon as my new kitchen is done.

I can't imagine not refrigerating jams and jellies. Now I'm curious about the necessity for that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Williams Sonoma Butter Boat

    Bookmark   December 3, 2004 at 1:19PM
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Like all common sense issues, there's endless debate spread across the entire net regarding the refrigeration of food and the necessity thereof.

I offer this: this issue should be considered as one of individual personal preference. Don't stop reading, though, thinking that you've stumbled upon backup reinforcement for your careless thinking. The individual personal preference being suggested here is the one that determines whether you want to live or whether you want to get sick or die.

If the label on the package specifically requests that the item in question be refrigerated after opening, you may choose to disregard that warning... and end up risking your health and life in doing so.

Pickles are taboo, to stay on topic. Some prefer cold, crisp pickles so they refrigerate them. Others have no concern for cold and crisp, so they leave them floating in the brine in a cupboard. Since 'most' bacteria cannot grow in a vinegar solution, one might conclude that it's perfectly safe to leave items containing vinegar out of the fridge. However, if the concentration of vinegar isn't strong enough, potentially harmful bacteria can survive and thrive within, especially when you add water to the mix (which vegetables contain a great deal of). In the case of pickles (cucumbers), water from the cucumber is exchanged with the brine, lowering the acidity of the vinegar concentration. If it's lowered enough, rest assured that bacteria will take full advantage of the situation.

If you're going to eat it, it is advisable to follow the directions on the label. If the label suggests that you should refrigerate, you definitely should do so or you're only playing roulette with serious health consequences and even death.

If you must leave those pickles out, do yourself the favor of topping off the jar with 7% acidic vinegar each time you remove a dill to ensure that you don't end up getting sick... or worse.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 6:21PM
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spedigrees z4VT

BJS3D, I found your post useful. Bacteria can grow in acidic foods under the right circumstances, for instance the cases of botulism from several decades ago in home canned tomatoes.

I like my pickles at room temperature, but I store them in the refrigerator and microwave them, usually on the same plate as the hot pastrami sandwiches that they go so well with. I do the same thing with orange juice, store in the fridge and microwave before drinking to take the chill off.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 9:29AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Another thing worth noting, most canned foods (both home canned and stroe bought) do not require refrigeration until after they are opened and the seal is broken.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:37PM
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Just to let everyone know-I had on of those butter crocks. It was working fine for about six months. Till one day I lifted the lid and there was green-gray mold and it smelled sour! Out went the crock.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:26PM
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I bought two huge jars of Mt. Olive dill pickles when my local grocery was closing. Sold in the pickle aisle, not refrigerated. Kept them in my pantry closet for about three to six months, but once opened, they were just too tall for my fridge. DH got some plastic containers from the deli and we divided the whole pickles into the deli bontainers. They kept just fine. We are all dill pickle lovers and this worked for us, we consumed them pretty quick.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 5:24PM
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Don't believe everything you're told. Jars now carry warnings because once opened, jars will acquire microbes. Factories can control contamination, but your house doesn't. Most people don't get sick, but food safety minimizes your risk. Chances are, since food poisoning can take place two weeks after ingestion of the offending materials, you won't know when you get sick what really caused it.

Trust science, not your home ed teacher.

Now, you may still want to leave it on the countertop, just because it's been done for a hundred years. But don't kid yourself and think that just because it's worked before, it'll continue to work. That's how we got both space shuttle disasters.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 11:08AM
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I refrigerate ketchup and jellies because they can get mold on the top surface when left out, although you can just scrape the mold off and use the rest. I don't refrigerate peanut butter. The box of butter goes in the fridge door and one cube goes into a dish in the cupboard. It's protected from dust in there. I also dislike hard butter, it tears bread and is harder to butter a baking dish. Butter does eventually go rancid and smell funny after a few months so only put out as much as you will use in that time. Mind you I live in a cold climate. People in hot climates might prefer putting butter in the fridge.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 9:05PM
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My husband, because of room issues decided that pickles could stay on self. They go pretty fast any way. What could live in that briny juice? Butter is left in a Tupperware container on counter. It stays in fridge or freezer until needed then a stick or two at a time is out for use. Only keep out what you will use in a week because it does get some mold, usually a week to 10 days. My mother cared for an elderly lady who's older child and spouse even kept mayo in cupboard after it was open. That I would never do! Ketchup yes, mustard, no and jelly and such can mold in fridge let alone in cupboard. I could never eat anything I scraped mold off of to salvage. Today they have us afraid of everything, they kept pickles in barrels for goodness sake....this did start an informative thread though, thank you.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 9:56PM
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Well, it's not going to hurt you. It's just recommended for food preservation.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 4:22PM
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They're just pickles....I think you'll be fine!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:55PM
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