Flavored or infused oils can be a great way to add flavor to marinades and dressings. But if you plan to make flavored oil at home, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Like many homemade preserved foods, there is a risk of botulism (Clostridium botulinum). C. bot can live in oxygen-free environments.The fresh herbs, fruit or vegetables that you use to flavor or infuse the oil can be contaminated with C. bot spores. Fresh produce also contains water, which allows the bacteria to live and grow. To prevent bacteria from growing, be sure to keep infused oils in the fridge and use them within a short amount of time. (See tip below)
If you want to try your hand at making flavored oil, here are some tips to keep you safe.
Consider using dried ingredients. Dried herbs and spices do not contain water and are safer.
Sanitize your containers by boiling them. Items must be boiled for 10 minutes in order to kill C. bot.
Refrigerate your infused oils and keep them only for a few days. (Note, most olive oils will solidify slightly in the refrigerator. Bring the infused oil to room temperature before drizzling onto cold foods. )
The North American Olive Oil Association is committed to supplying North American consumers with quality products in a fair and competitive environment; to fostering a clear understanding of the different grades of olive oil; and to expounding the benefits of olive oil in nutrition, health, and the culinary arts.