Semi-food related but wasn't sure where else to post it.

I was just cooking up a quick late night meal and ended up throwing a little garlic powder onto my pasta (which already had a small amount of olive oil on it) after eating it I found out about botulism and it's causes and effects.

Question is do I run a risk of botulism because of this? Or will the fact I ate it right away help?


2 Answers 2


Botulinum bacteria require a moist environment to germinate, reproduce, and produce botulinum toxin. Therefore, there is no risk of botulism from eating fully dried ingredients (unless they already contained botulinum toxin, which would not occur in a normal processing pipeline).

It is absolutely possible to acquire a foodborne illness from uncooked dried ingredients. For instance, there have been various cases of E. coli poisoning from uncooked dry flour, and salmonella has been found in dried herbs and spices. So it's not safe in an absolute sense. But there's no reason to worry any more about sprinkling powdered garlic on your food, than about sprinkling on, say, ground pepper.


Doubtful. The botulism risk usually arises from long term storage of garlic cloves in olive oil under anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions. You with your garlic powder are nowhere near those conditions. Cooks cook garlic in olive oil all the time, with no ill effects.

Promoted to answer as requested. I was not sure where we draw the line on food safety concerns.

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