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Jan 9, 2011 05:50 AM

Food safety questions

The label on my bottle of Bragg's apple cider vinaigrette says it tastes better unrefrigerated. Does that mean I can leave it on the counter after opening? (Main ingredients are apple cider, olive oil and honey.) Are there other dressings or condiments that can go unrefrigerated? I'm always dismayed at the way refrigeration kills the flavor of an opened jar of salsa. Can I leave it out instead? Thanks so much--I've learned a great deal from y'all.

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  1. apple cider, olive oil, and honey individually do not need to be refrigerated. I see no reason to refrigerate the combination. I wouldn't leave it on the counter though (sunlight can break down oil). Put it in the cupboard. Salsa however must be refrigerated after opening.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tzurriz

      I appreciate your response, tzurriz, and have taken your advice.

    2. I keep an opened bottle of Newman's Own light balsamic vinaigrette in my office. As trurriz notes, things that you don't refrigerate individually you don't need to refrigerate in combination.

      7 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte

        .... the exception is oil infused with garlic or herbs - keep refrigerated ... oil and garlic is an excellent breeding ground for botulism ...

        1. re: CocoTO

          And adding water to dry things, but that's probably obvious.

            1. re: CocoTO

              If it's breeding botulism the fridge isn't going to save you. BTW, botulism is extremely rare

            2. re: nofunlatte

              things that you don't refrigerate individually you don't need to refrigerate in combination.

              That is not true.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Not always, no, but generally speaking it's a good rule of thumb.

                1. re: tzurriz

                  While it might be a good rule of thumb, for those that are not keen on the exceptions re dangerous food combos (e.g. garlic and oil), following a rule of thumb can be rather dangerous. That's all I was trying to point out.

                  I think when dispensing advice on something like food safety, it's best to avoid categorical generlizations, esp. when those generalizations do not always hold true.

            3. I never understood why you would need to refr vinegar-based foods, like mustard. or saurkraut. or pickles.

              3 Replies
              1. re: GraydonCarter

                At least for things like mustard and ketchup, the taste gets a bit stale or "off" if left out too long - sort of like faux oxidation takes place.

                I never have that problem with my mustards however; my problem is keeping mustard in stock, refrigerated or otherwise.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I noticed that the SO put my capote capers in the refr. I believe she drained the pickling juice into her chicken marsala, so she must have figured that without the pickling they would deteriorate quickly.

                2. re: GraydonCarter

                  It's been a while since I studied biology, but it seems that it would depend on the concentration of the acetic acid (and other ingredients). If there are sufficiently high concentrations, that should kill any microorganisms. If not, perhaps it might slow down the rate of reproduction but not stop it entirely.