In the recipe, Pickled Beets, why must you drain and discard the liquid the beets were cooked in?
Preservation experts from the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) include this caution statement for safety reasons. There is a risk the beets are not clean and may contain trapped soils. Spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria are found in soils and are not inactivated or killed by boiling.
Using the water the beets were boiled in may result
in adding the Clostridium botulinum bacteria spores to
the pickled beets. In addition, the soil or dirt may
result in a product quality issue when finished and the
water may contain pigments that could cause undesirable
coloring to the finished product.
Source: Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist, Director, National Center for Home Food Preservation, Department of Foods and Nutrition, The University of Georgia
Answered by Jessica Kovarik, RD, LD, Extension Associate, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Friday, February 06, 2009