Greetings from Pennsylvania! My name is Michael Trenwith and I have a question about Clostridium botulinum.

About a month ago my girlfriend made an infusion of minced garlic in olive oil. The leftover infusion was stored in a Pyrex container (with a flexible plastic lid) in the pantry. This morning I found the infusion, dumped the oil down the drain, rinsed out what remained and placed the container in the dishwasher.

Though I know garlic-infused olive oil stored in a cool, dark place for an extended period of time is a near-perfect breeding ground for Clostridium botulinum, it seems you need another condition for the spores to open: a near or complete vacuum (thus why it is such a concern for canning). Since the oil was stored in a Pyrex container, a vacuum was never present. Though the month-old infusion was not consumed, I'm worried the bacteria could have become airborne (if it developed at all). Should I be concerned?


Unless there was a near absence of oxygen as in a vacuum, formation of spores is most unlikely. I do not think you need to be worried, especially as the liquid has been disposed of and the container cleaned.

To note however, this is not a medical advice site so if you are concerned then you should consult a doctor