I have a friend who makes wonderful garlic and herb-infused olive oil as gifts every year. I've always enjoyed this gift and never gotten sick, but someone sent her a link to this article saying that there is a risk of botulism:
Does anyone have any thoughts about how serious this risk is?
I appreciate your reactions.
My husbands cousin is a microbiologist and he said it was a bad idea. but I eat raw honey and that caries a chance of botulism so I don't understand the difference. Interested in seeing what other folks say...
Well unfortunately we have the risk of getting sick from anything we eat. With factory farms and their run offs the "fresh" spinach or melons in the store could get you very sick also. I won't go into pesticides, herbicides and GMO's...I don't think I will have enough space or patience :P.
Botulism is a risk because the garlic is grown underground and the bacteria is present in most soils (root veggies have the same risk hence one of the many reasons why we wash our fruit and veggies before we eat them). Botulism can thrive in airless, warm environments like oil (and honey).
One way to prevent this is to remove all the moisture from the garlic bulb or when you make it put it in the fridge and use it within a week. I usually just crush garlic and sautee it in olive oil and then stain out the pieces and use it for whatever I was going to use it for. :)
Hi, Myrna. We reposted your question to HOMEGROWN's Facebook page, and here's the response so far:
Thanks, everyone - lots to ponder!