Pickles - My brother in law has a fit if you touch the pickles with your hands to replace them in the jar. He claims if they come in contact with you it will cause the whole jar to spoil.
closed as not a real question by Aaronut♦ Apr 29 '13 at 2:32
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No, this is nonsense.
Bacteria are everywhere, crawling over all of your food. This is why food spoils - quickly outside of the fridge, within a few days in the fridge. Touching food with your fingers should not introduce any new bacteria species, except in some extreme cases (e.g. if you have been handling soil and not washed them well, or if you have a cold and have been keeping your hand in front of your mouth when coughing).
The reason pickles can hold for such a long time is that the brine is highly salty and acidic. Bacteria cannot survive in these conditions. If your fingers introduce new bacteria, they will die within a few hours. Neither the touched pickle nor the rest of the jar will spoil.
This being said, the skin on your fingers can have lots of stuff on it which is not especially appetizing. There is no specific food-safety concern in eating touched pickles, but many will find it gross. So while touching isn't dangerous, most of your co-eaters will probably still insist on the pickles being handled with normal utensils.
Vinegar is a disinfectant. And in fact it is used as a preservative.
Put the pickles in a bowl, with several toothpicks, so that each one touches only their own. Only for not doing discussions. There are also commercially metal toothpick, decorated and imaginative, for the table.
But then kindly point out to him that no one knows what happens in the kitchen. Almost everything is cooked with hands, which of course are washed. But if he sits down at your table and think that you've cooked everything with pliers, explain to him that he's wrong. The real cooks use their hands for almost everything.