Caper
Lv 6
Caper asked in Food & DrinkOther - Food & Drink · 1 decade ago

Risk of Botulism with Garlic?

My husband and I enjoy cooking with garlic, but keeping fresh always on hand without reverting to the chopped bottled variety was difficult. We usually take a rainy afternoon and peel a BUNCH of garlic cloves and store them in a jar in the fridge filled with olive oil. We love the mild nutty taste the garlic develops this way. I recently read an article that said, "never store garlic in olive oil for this could lead to botulism? EEK! Anyone got any insight into this? P.S. That was ALL the article said about it.

7 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Hello,

    I too have read that exact thing in several articles, Here is some information I found for you..

    "BOTULISM WARNING

    Regardless of its flavor potency, garlic is a low-acid vegetable. The pH of a clove of garlic typically ranges from 5.3 to 6.3. As with all low-acid vegetables, garlic will support the growth and subsequent toxin production of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum when given the right conditions. These conditions include improper home canning and improper preparation and storage of fresh herb and garlic-in-oil mixtures. Moisture, room temperature, lack of oxygen, and low-acid conditions all favor the growth of Clostridium botulinum. When growing, this bacterium produces an extremely potent toxin that causes the illness botulism. If untreated, death can result within a few days of consuming the toxic food. "

    WHICH MEANS YOU ARE AT RISK OF GETTING SICK FROM STORING IT THE WAY YOU DO.

    STORING GARLIC

    "Commercially, garlic is stored near 32 degrees F. However, most home refrigerators are too warm for ideal long-term storage of garlic. Instead, store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place in well-ventilated containers such as mesh bags. Storage life is 3 to 5 months under cool (60 degree F) dry, dark conditions."

    WHICH MEANS YOU CAN SAFELY KEEP IT IN A COOL DRY PLACE AT HOME INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT IN OIL.

    FREEZING GARLIC

    Garlic can be frozen in a number of ways.

    1. Chop the garlic, wrap it tightly in a plastic freezer bag or in plastic wrap, and freeze. To use, grate or break off the amount needed.

    2. Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as needed.

    3. Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic. The puree will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape out parts to use in sautéing. Freeze this mixture immediately - do not store it at room temperature. The combination of the low-acid garlic, the exclusion of air (by mixing with oil), and room-temperature storage can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

    THESE ARE THE SAFER OPTIONS, BECAUSE STORING IT IN OIL TAKES AWAY ITS OXYGEN(DROWNS IT) AND THEN IT BECOMES DANGEROUS TO EAT.

    "STORING GARLIC IN OIL

    Extreme care must be taken when preparing flavored oils with garlic or when storing garlic in oil. Peeled garlic cloves may be submerged in oil and stored in the freezer for several months. Do not store garlic in oil at room temperature. Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin (low acidity, no free oxygen in the oil, and warm temperatures). The same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. At least three outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been reported in North America.

    By law, commercially prepared garlic in oil has been prepared using strict guidelines and must contain citric or phosphoric acid to increase the acidity. Unfortunately, there is no easy or reliable method to acidify garlic in the home. Acidifying garlic in vinegar is a lengthy and highly variable process; a whole clove of garlic covered with vinegar can take from 3 days to more than 1 week to sufficiently acidify. As an alternative, properly dried garlic cloves may be safely added to flavor oils."

    SO IT IS SAFE TO SUBMERGE THE GARLIC IN OIL AND THEN FREEZE BUT NOT REFRIGERATE OR LEAVE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

    Hope this info helped :)

  • berry
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Garlic Botulism

  • 1 decade ago

    Garlic-in-oil is a mixture of vegetable oil and garlic, either whole, chopped or minced. When you make it at home and use it right away, it's a safe product. It's also safe if you keep it refrigerated on a continuous basis, and use it within a week.

    The trouble starts if you store homemade garlic-in-oil at room temperature, or if you keep it in the fridge for too long. These actions could result in contamination of the product by the bacteria spores that cause botulism.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Risk of Botulism with Garlic?

    My husband and I enjoy cooking with garlic, but keeping fresh always on hand without reverting to the chopped bottled variety was difficult. We usually take a rainy afternoon and peel a BUNCH of garlic cloves and store them in a jar in the fridge filled with olive oil. We love the mild nutty...

    Source(s): risk botulism garlic: https://tr.im/3Pc1P
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    5 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, yes this is true.

    If you do small amounts and use it regularly it should be ok but don't leave it for long periods of time.

    http://www.garlic-central.com/dangers.html

    Just be careful, botulism as you probably know can kill you.

  • 1 decade ago

    This article was probably written by an IDIOT! I have been doing this for years with no problem. Did they mean stored unrefridgerated? What moron would do this. Of course you would risk getting sick - probably not as bad as botulism, but sick with something.

    Most folks like us, like garlic enough that it doesn't last long enough in the fridge to get 'bad'. As for the olive oil, I couldn't imagine the comparison to vegetable or canola oil contributing to this problem. A lot of 'food writers' who don't know what they are talking about hear one faraway story of one instance and decide that this is the norm.

    Source(s): Garlic freak for many years.
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