Pre-peeled, vac sealed garlic - how long in fridge past best by? Botulism?

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Joined Apr 23, 2020
Regarding the store bought pre-peeled garlic that comes in individually sealed packs in the bag: what is the shelf life past the printed best by date, and is there any botulism risk involved here? My understanding is garlic + anerobic environment without acid = bad. From what I could find, while there is no acid preservative added, these packets are not actually vacuum sealed, but rather, sealed with "modified atmosphere packaging", which may contain a gas mixture with reduced oxygen. FDA says 90 days from manufactuer.

However, I can't find anything about how long these can last past the best by date printed, nor if there could a potential Botulism risk involved. I do understand that MAP or ROP packaging can change the gas makeup over time, which is why there IS a time limit, but I can't tell if the time limit is just before visible spoilage or loss of quality or other bacteria growth, or due to botulism?

If stored properly in fridge, and there is visible sign of spoilage on the garlic itself, is there any risk of Botulism say 3-4 weeks past the printed Best By date? What about further down the road?

Hoping someone can provide a somewhat scientific answer here, as I cannot seem to find any information on this anywhere.

Much thanks.
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
Not a scientific answer at all sorry about that.

Its gonna be hard to pin down the specifics on the time=danger equation here. But I can accurately say that your best and safest bet is listening to the use by date in the package. Anything beyond that is not the best idea in the world(hence you not finding info on it), specially if we are talking in a commercial kitchen(probably more a case of home use here).

In all honesty you'll be probably safe by staying relatively close to the use by date(3-4 weeks is more than a lot), but it is still risky.
So if you wanna be safe throw the garlic away and get some more.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Throw it out. I don't think botulism is a concern and I hate wasting food based on arbitrary best by, use by, sell by dates but three to four weeks past that date is too much even for me. Go buy some more and make sure it gets used up. In the future, unused garlic can always be roasted and made into garlic butter.
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
Why would you buy pre-peeled vacuum sealed garlic when fresh garlic lasts for-nearly-ever and is so easy to peel???
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hi dsc106,

Contact the "manufacturer" for the data you seek. You will not get any secrets from them but they are your best source of info on safety of their product. They can at least address your botulism concerns.

By the time you see deterioration, it's already too late to use.

For future, roasted garlic makes a great emulsifier for vegan mayo... Czech garlic soup comes to mind also.

Good luck!
 
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Joined Apr 23, 2020
Thank you for all the insights and help! Appreciate it.

On a semi-related note, I assume for taste, it goes something like:

- Fresh Garlic (best taste)
- Pre-peeled & sealed (solid, but reduced taste)
- Minced garlic in a jar (further reduced taste)

But I was wondering if anyone could shed light on how big the difference is. I've been doing minced in the jar and pre-peeled + garlic press to keep things fast & easy, but I am wondering how much garlic flavor I am missing out by not putting in the extra effort to peel fresh garlic instead?
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Bottom line- Every operation has variables which we don't know. Staffing, menu pricing, customer expectations, etc., etc., etc. All here can give advice, you are the one that has to decide what you do in your particular operation...

Best way is for you to prove it to yourself. Time for some experiments! You may discover that the different products only work well in some dishes and not others.

Good luck!
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
I am wondering how much garlic flavor I am missing out by not putting in the extra effort to peel fresh garlic instead?
Next time get some fresh and see if you can smell and taste the difference. Sometimes it takes a few try. I would never, ever use pre-peeled garlic cloves.
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Next time get some fresh and see if you can smell and taste the difference. Sometimes it takes a few try. I would never, ever use pre-peeled garlic cloves.
If one wants the ease of pre-peeled garlic, a jar of homemade garlic confit stored in its oil is the only way to go!
 
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Joined Apr 18, 2021
we peel fresh garlic, then vacuum seal it in bags of about 30-40, a part goes in the fridge, another in the freezer. does the job well.
 
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