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Old 05-11-2007, 08:26 AM   #1
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Making Garlic Oil

hey all

i have read on wikipedia and other sites that storing garlic in oil causes botulism. The thing is my mum made this garlic oil by browning minced garlic and topping it up with olive oil in a jar

for the past 3 months (she made a lot) i have been using this oil and it was not kept in the fridge (kept in the cupboard with the oil/sauces).

i was wondering was it safe to eat this oil, cause atm i havnt had any problems after having this oil

thanks

Aaron

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:50 AM   #2
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It is not safe. Get rid of it now!!!

Yes you can do this and have no ill effects, but you are playing with fire. It is like driving without a seatbelt. You can do that and be fine, but that one time you get into an accident you will be in BIG trouble.

Oil like this needs to be kept in the fridge and used within about 10 days.
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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GB,

Just curious? What causes it to go bad? Bacteria in the garlic or attached to it from the ground? If that was the case then we should never eat raw garlic. Oil stored un-refrigerated? If that was the case we should put the salad oil in the refrigerator and buy olive oil only by the amount we intend to use right then as it is pressed from the olives. I have not found chicouk's source of information to be particularly reliable sometimes.
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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MJK it is a combination of the garlic coming from the ground and the anaerobic environment of the oil. Botulism comes from the soil and thrives where there is no air.

Store bought oils are a different story as they are processed in a way that you can not do at home. That is why you can buy flavored oils in the store and keep them for a long time without a problem.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I will keep that in mind.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:26 PM   #6
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One person asking a question can help many others. I was not aware that the garlic and herbs in oil that was not refrigerated could be a potential problem. I took required courses in sanitation and safety but that was a number of years ago. I remember some of the basics about the toxins but never put them together with other areas of food storage. The information below is from the Center for Disease Control. I thought it might be helpful because it enlightened me. Thanks for asking this question and for those others who responded with knowledgeable responses.

How can botulism be prevented?

Botulism can be prevented. Foodborne botulism has often been from home-canned foods with low acid content, such as asparagus, green beans, beets and corn. However, outbreaks of botulism from more unusual sources such as chopped garlic in oil, chile peppers, tomatoes, improperly handled baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, and home-canned or fermented fish. Persons who do home canning should follow strict hygienic procedures to reduce contamination of foods. Oils infused with garlic or herbs should be refrigerated. Potatoes which have been baked while wrapped in aluminum foil should be kept hot until served or refrigerated. Because the botulism toxin is destroyed by high temperatures, persons who eat home-canned foods should consider boiling the food for 10 minutes before eating it to ensure safety. Instructions on safe home canning can be obtained from county extension services or from the US Department of Agriculture. Because honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum and this has been a source of infection for infants, children less than 12 months old should not be fed honey. Honey is safe for persons 1 year of age and older. Wound botulism can be prevented by promptly seeking medical care for infected wounds and by not using injectable street drugs.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:33 AM   #7
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Refridgeration equals solid olive oil

Hi, I am learning about infusing olive oil, although there is one thing that is confusing me! When you refridgerate olive oil it becomes solid.

How could I use it if it is solid?
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:26 AM   #8
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Hello Chico

I think, since your mother cooked the garlic, before putting it, in the oil it wont produce botulism.
Also, I have heard, that even uncooked things can be kept in oil, for up to a month, if they are stored in the fridge.

Mel
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #9
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Mel, that really is not true. That is a recipe for illness.

sunlizard, just take the oil out of the fridge and let it come to room temp. It will turn back into liquid.
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Mel, that really is not true. That is a recipe for illness.
I thought the botulism is caused by storing plants, which are uncooked, in oil.
Wouldnt browning the garlic before putting it in the oil prevent the botulism?
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