CAUTION Re: Garlic & home processing

Laurie Hodges lhodges1 at unl.edu
Fri Jul 26 18:48:26 EDT 2002


DO NOT HOME PROCESS GARLIC IN OIL & NEVER IF YOU INTEND TO SELL IT. The problem
isn't "air spaces" it is botulism, which is caused by a micro-organism,
Clostridium botulinum, you can't see or be sure you've washed it off, or
anything like that. The organism causing botulism grows without oxygen. Other
nasties grow with oxygen. When a person gets botulism, even if they don't die,
it is a very difficult illness involving the intensive care unit, breathing
machines, and can take a person months to recover. 

For processed products you have to comply with federal food safety regulations
and have an inspected facility. There are some differences among states as to
what precisely is allowed at farmers' markets or so-called "events" (bake
sales, fund raisers, etc.). Please, please check with your state or city foods
division for details and guidance. Often you can get access to a licensed
facility via church or school kitchens or a restaurant on days closed or off
hours. You need to have some basic food safety training, usually offered
through state foods divisions in order to sell any cut or processed fruit or
vegetable. Only whole, uncut fresh fruits and vegetables are exempt from
federal law. Several state universities offer classes, workshops, or
consultation regarding selling processed foods (yes, garlic powder is a
processed food product). There are also legalities on labelling these products.
legal weights and measures, etc. These workshops offer many suggestions on how
to make your product a successful one beyond the food safety aspects. 

Please don't try to wing it on your own. The human pathogens out there are not
the same ones many of us grew up with. The critters evolved and some strains
are now deadly that used to be relatively harmless or non-existant. Botulism is
only one cause of food poisoning and not the more common one. 

Help us keep farm fresh foods and local products a positive for consumers.
Thank you for listening. Laurie 


At 03:08 PM 7/26/02 -0700, you wrote:
>gutierrez-lagatta wrote:
>> I suspect that in some states garlic powder requires a food processors 
>license?
[snip]
>I have read that whole raw garlic cloves stored in oil need to be packed 
>very carefully to avoid the growth of botulism, though this is rare. I 
>think this has to do with the elimination of air pockets.


-----
Dr. Laurie Hodges, Vegetable Specialist, CPH
377 Plant Sciences - University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE  68583-0724
phone: 402-472-1639 FAX: 402-472-8650
e-mail: lhodges1 at unl.edu



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