When I wrote my last post earlier today and published it, I was completely unaware that botulism grows on fresh herbs and becomes dangerous when we infuse oil with them, as I had done just this morning with the bottle you see here.
Thanks to my friend and sister blogger, Margaret Schindel, who, by the way, is a wonderful cook and posts amazing recipes, I now understand that such a combination could make us very sick or even cause death.
According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in their article, Safe Homemade Flavored and Infused Oils, fresh herbs contain the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum (C. bot), which can cause botulism, a lethal poison.
Because oil provides an oxygen-free environment, the botulism can multiply and grow when fresh herbs are bottled with the oil. Eating such herb-infused oil could make us very sick, even kill us. As soon as I finish writing this post, I will discard this oil and the herb. Please read the linked article and do NOT try this at home!
According to the article linked above, commercial producers use a process that acidifies the oil environment so the botulism cannot grow. If you want to make an herb-infused oil, please read the article and follow their instructions carefully.
I apologize for not knowing that this practice is unsafe. Please pass the word along.