Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Food safety: Infused oil

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I was recently asked to write about the safety of flavour infused olive oils. Yes, they are delicious and yes, you can make them at home, but, you need to be really careful as there is a risk of botulism. First, make sure that you sterilize the jar(s) in which you plan to keep your oil. You can do this by boiling them as you would for canning. Next is the really important thing, make sure that they’re completely dry before adding your oil. There are different ways to infuse the oil itself. You can do so in the same jar in which you plan to store the oil by heating it or you can heat the oil and substance you’re using for infusing over a low heat. This post isn’t intended to be a lesson in infusing your olive oil though so I won’t get into details. Besides making sure that your jar is completely dry you must also make sure that the food/herb/spice you are using to infuse the oil is also completely dry. Botulism can’t grow on the oil itself but no matter how clean and careful you are, if there is any water in the oil, botulism can grow on that. Ideally, you should store the infused oil in the fridge. For more tips on infusing olive oil check out this website.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

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