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  • Serves: 1 Informed

Infused Oils Potentially Hazardous 1/2

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Category: Vegetables

 Ingredients List

  • F D A
  • Garlic
  • Oil, Infused
  • Homemade


Experts don't agree on whether you need to refrigerate oil infused with
herbs or other foodstuffs. If you listed to the federal and state
governments you'd refrigerate everything you plan to eat, but some food
scientists disagree. George York, extension food microbiologist emeritus in
the University of California, Davis food science and technology department
says micro-organisms including those that cause botulism don't grow
in oil. He says that if you are using dried herbs "you have no problem" not
refrigerating an infused oil. If you use fresh herbs, the only bacteria
that might grow would be harmless lactic acid bacteria. Even garlic bulbs
won't cause a problem, he says. York says that if you're still worried,
drop the garlic bulb in vinegar or lemon juice overnight before putting it
in oil. Likewise, you can rehydrate dried ingredients in water spiked with
vinegar. You can not preserve food in oil he says, but oil that has, for
example, a few mushrooms, garlic, peppers or whatever added to it doesn't
require refrigeration. That said, other food safety experts insist that
chopped garlic in oil must be refrigerated to prevent dangerous organisms
from growing. And recently, producers of minced or crushed garlic in jars
were forced to add citric acid to their product as a preservative.

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