I remain reluctant to dispense saftey advise on our blog (I outlined my concerns around bloggers claiming to be safety experts in 2011).  My learning is a combination of significant research, learning from others, extensive reading and practice.  I try to keep sharp (and safe) by re-reading safety material and find resources like the updated version of Putting Food By and The National center for Home Food Preservation to be fanstastic resources to guide my actions.

There’s a fine line between not commenting on safety and sharing best practice.  There are certain things that are generally accepted as safe and others that are generally avoided.  Rather than avoiding the topic I figured that it would be a good idea to answer a few emails we’ve had about storing garlic in oil

Despite growing up with jars of garlic-infused olive oil, the idea of storing garlic in oil on your counter is now seen as something to avoid because of the risk of botulism.  We had no idea the risk we were taking and I still don’t know how significant the risk is but I now firmly avoid storing garlic in oil.

Don’t trust me on that though – I looked to the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s guidance on the topic and they advise against the practice.  Instead they suggest:

  • Garlic submerged in oil can be kep n your fridge (under 40 farenheight) for up to 7 days
  • Garlic in oil can be frozen for longer storage

Although I used to love garlic-olive oil it’s something I don’t bother to make these days.  I’m bad at keeping track of how long something’s been in the fridge andthe risks outweight the potential benefits for me.

Infusing olive oil and honey can be dangerous.  Both liquids are low-acid and very dense; the combination creates an oxygen depraved environment that is ideal for encouraging the growth of botulinum spores (a good primer on botulism can be found on the website for the University of Minnesota’s Extension office).

Like any advice you’d receive from a stranger I’d strongly reccomend doing your own research and deciding what is safe for you.

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