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Jan 13, 2011 03:47 PM

Is Pink Garlic Safe?

A friend gave me a ziplock bag of peeled garlic cloves which I tossed into the fridge. Well the migrated to the back and got lost. When I pulled them out I discovered they have turned pink. Does anyone know what caused this and are they safe to use?

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  1. Pink on dairy products indicates bacteria, which definitely should be tossed out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joebob

      However, garlic is not a dairy product.

      To the OP - Sounds like your garlic has fermented a bit and has bacteria on it that has multiplied; it was most likely inoculated by the hands that peeled it. Or it may be just that your garlic, exposed to an acidic environment of some sort, has oxidized. The bacteria, if that's the case, had some time to develop in the back of your frig. I'm going for the oxidization theory though.

      Garlic sometimes can turn pink when introduced to an acidic environment, which may indicate spoilage if not done in a controlled situation, like pickling. It most likely is not in very good condition and I would be reluctant to eat it, just from the freshness standpoint. Consider chucking it.

      Then there's pink garlic, as a cultivar, but this refers to the skin of the bulb, not the color of the cloves.

    2. When in doubt, throw it out!

      1. Toss it. It might hurt you and the people you cook for, and it might not. But it definitely won't taste right. Why risk it? It's just garlic.