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I accidentally left some opened pickled ginger out of the fridge for 8 hours. is it still good?

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    Does the jar say "must be refrigerated after opening"?
    – Catija
    Mar 16, 2018 at 16:14
  • I went in and looked at the jar when I noticed it had been out and someone in my household had taken the label off. I don't know why? I looked on Amazon where they also sell it and it doesn't say anything about refrigeration.
    – Denise
    Mar 16, 2018 at 16:17
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    Possible duplicate of How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?
    – Fabby
    Mar 16, 2018 at 19:39
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    @Fabby Well, not really a duplicate, given that this is a pickled product. I don’t refrigerate pickled veg not least because you can’t taste stuff when it’s cold and it’s already undergone a preserving process.
    – Spagirl
    Mar 16, 2018 at 20:44
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    @Spagirl that doesn't really mean it's necessarily safe to do. Heck, some of the pickle brands here are sold chilled in sealed jars.
    – Catija
    Mar 16, 2018 at 23:20

2 Answers 2

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Food safety guidelines would say a definite no. The temperature "danger zone" is between 40 degrees F (slightly warmer than your fridge temp) and 140 degrees F. Assuming you keep your house around a normal temp your ginger was most definitely in that range for at least 2 hours (the max allowed time a food is considered "safe"). There's no way to guarantee that the pickling liquid was acidic enough to keep it safe, especially since you don't know if the original label said that refrigeration was required. Commercial products that are pickled and canned are not the same as an opened product, because the canning process creates a vacuum (the lid "pops" when you open it).

All that being said, you may keep it and eat it and never get sick. That's up to you to decide, but for peace of mind, I'd throw away what you have and spend the extra few dollars to buy a new jar.

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Your ginger is certainly still good.

There is an answer on Cooking SE that will be referred to about food safety guidelines, and many people follow it as must-do.

Pickled eggs and sausages are out on the counters of some convenience stores and delis for many days. They are heavily salted and in vinegar.

Your pickled ginger is not as aggressively preserved, and is marked 'refrigerate after opening' to preserve quality over a several month period, so put it back in the fridge and it will be fine. Do that a bunch of times, though, and it will degrade and lose quality.

Pickled ginger will probably never 'spoil' in the sense of contamination, but lose quality through oxidation.

We are talking about GINGER here. It is used as an anti-microbial agent. Here is an excerpt from the abstract of this scientific paper:

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has long been used as naturopathy due to their potential antimicrobial activity against different microbial pathogens. Moreover, in many countries like Bangladesh, ginger is used in different boiled food preparations. This study was conducted to determine the antimicrobial activity of soybean oil extract of dried ginger powder, using agar diffusion assay, against 24 isolates (4 of 6 different types) of food borne pathogens including Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, Klebsiella spp. and Salmonella spp

Your ginger is fine. Put it back in the fridge if you haven't already.

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    Down votes with no comments? Not really our style, I thought. Mar 17, 2018 at 19:48
  • 1
    "not as aggressively preserved" could mean "ineffectively preserved" here. Mar 21, 2018 at 21:44
  • Downvoted for "certainly still good".
    – Erica
    Mar 22, 2018 at 13:11

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