NRA We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
    NRAEF Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • NRA Show
    NRA Show May 19-22, 2018 As the international foodservice marketplace, the NRA Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Make pickles properly in your restaurant

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Manage My Restaurant

Email Print

Make pickles properly in your restaurant

According to the National Restaurant Association's 2018 “What’s Hot” culinary survey, housemade pickles are the third most popular restaurant condiment trend and the twelfth most popular food trend overall. Pickling is a food preservation process, and it’s important not to land your restaurant in a food safety pickle during the flow of food.

When a vegetable is submerged in a vinegar and water solution, the food’s pH and flavor changes. What’s critical is the amount of vinegar; if you don’t have the proper vinegar-to-water ratio with a pH of less than 4.6, you can’t preserve.

Depending on your intent for the food product, adjust your prep to ensure pathogens don’t get introduced. Remember to select fresh ingredients and confirm your equipment is ANSI- or NSF-certified. Here are three different pickling scenarios and how to carry them out in your restaurant, according to ServSafe:

  • Canning pickles for dry storage. To set up a canning operation, FDA review is required. Canning involves removing oxygen to create an anaerobic atmosphere, which can breed conditions for botulism, and getting the food’s pH below 4.6. A third-party laboratory ould need to conduct an accelerated shelf life test as well. If you purchase canned goods, verify that they are from a reputable supplier that meets all regulatory requirements, including inspections, as the food code dictates.
  • Refrigerating pickles for quality. If you would like to use vinegar to change food’s acidity to a pH below 4.6 so it’s no longer a TCS food, you need to obtain a variance, develop a HACCP plan, and get it approved by your local health department before proceeding. Place in the refrigerator at 41° or below to reduce spoilage and maintain food quality.
  • Enhancing flavor. If your goal is to add an acid taste to cucumbers, you can place them in a vinegar-water solution and store at 41° or below in the refrigerator. Treat them as TCS foods.


▲ Back to Top

Goodness, Made Juicy

Juicy Juice

Register Now

Sustainability ESG 2018

Food & Nutrition Solutions

Food & Nutrition Solutions


We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156