Joined Jul 31, 2000
This post is not to scare anyone off, I just thought after reading a post by a new member phatch in the recipe forum on dry spice oils that I started a couple days.

He brings up a very valuble point in regards to Botulism.

The last thing myself, or anyone in our industry would want to do is get anyone sick,

These are some of the reasons we take HAACP and Applied food service sanitation so seriously.

This excerpt, is from the Oxford Companion to Food by Alan davidson

And I quote.

Botulism, a rare but very dangerous food poisoning caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum This organism is widespread in the enviroment, for example in river mud. It is an anaerobic-that is, it functions only in the abcense of oxygen-and will not grow in an acid medium; but it can survice unfavorible conditions by forming spores. These withstand high tempreatures, and can persist in cooked meats (the name botulism is derived from the latin botulus, a sausage, because of incidents invovling these foods) and non acid canned vegetable, if these have not been prepared properly. To kill all spores food must be heated to 121 C (250 F) for three minutes, which is possible only in a pressure cooker or a commercial Autoclave. Even this may not be sufficent issf the organism had time to produce toxin, which has been described as the most poisonous substance known; 1 gram (0.035 oz) could kill between 100.00 and 10 million people, depending on how it is abministered. Albert (1987) stated.

Botulism is not a comman disease. Outbreaks mostly follow consumption of a consignment of canned seafood, such as Tuna, where evry can in a faulty batch is likely to be infected. The second commenmost sourse of infection seems to be from home preserved peas and beans, insufficiently heated.

So this is Botulism.
Thank you Phatch for your concern
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Just don't eat food that came from a can that had bulges.

It takes only one shotglass full of botulism toxin or spores to wipe out humanity.

Buzzards are immune to botulism.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
My interest in botulism in oils started with a reference to a Reader's Digest recipe for garlic oil. It had to be retracted because of the risk of botulism.

So I always kept a wary eye on flavored oil recipes looking for a good garlic oil method. Helen Witty mentions in passing that garlilc oil can be risky. Her method is small batches you use quickly and for ease of making, she uses a roasted garlic paste she usually has on hand in the freezer. That makes it fast and easy and safe, in small batches. Easy to whip up as needed really.

Flavored vinegars are safe partially because of the dissolved oxygen but mostly because of the acid content.


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