Non-food item in home-made pickles

My husband decided to leave unbleached tea bags with dried dill in the bottom of the jar of pickles and sealed them up that way. Is this safe? Will this cause food poisoning or just look weird?

Sue Bowden


Lori T. August 27, 2018
I doubt you will get any "official" answers, but I firmly believe your pickles should be safe to eat. There are recipes which suggest using small muslin bags to hold spices, and be sealed in the jars to prevent the spice mixture getting all over the pickled foods. Tea bags would ordinarily be used in drinks meant to be consumed without having reached temperatures that kill bacteria - and everyone survives drinking their cups of tea. Pickle brine is both salty and acidic, so I highly doubt anything harmful would survive, not to mention the process of sealing would involve temperatures far above those normally used to make tea, and for a longer time. On the bright side, at least you don't have loose dill bits coating your pickles.
tia August 26, 2018
You are probably ok on this one, but you probably want to consult with some actual experts (I think Ball has a hotline). I would expect that if the brine is good, it would just pickle the tea bag, too, the same way it would a piece of clove or something. Here's a guide I found to different things that might happen with pickles and whether they're safe or not: I hope this helps!
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