I am making a Korean BBQ meat marinade sauce that requires 0.5 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. I read that garlic combined with oil causes botulism. However, cannot find anything about garlic powder.

Would garlic powder be at a risk for creating a botulism environment?

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    Botulism bacteria are sensitive to acid. If your recipe also contains an acid like vinegar or lemon juice you should be fine. But as Blargant has pointed out, they do need time (and warm temperatures) to grow.
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 11:29
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    "garlic combined with oil" can't "cause botulism", because botulism is caused by bacteria.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 14:38
  • related:cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/9146/…
    – moscafj
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 22:16
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    If garlic and oil created botulism I'd be dead by now many times over :-). Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 18:11
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    Keep in mind that garlic powder and onion powder need to be added to water to activate the alliinase enzyme before adding to oil or heating. If you add them to oil and/or heat them first they will not activate and you won't get the same flavor.
    – myklbykl
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


The concern with garlic in oil leading to botulism is about long-term storage, usually in the context of garlic oil as a 'shelf-stable' condiment; the botulism needs time to grow in the anaerobic environment provided by the oil. If you're making a marinade and using it within a few hours or a day or two, as marinades tend to be, and especially if you're keeping it in the fridge, as marinades tend to be, you should be fine.

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    … and especially if you’re using garlic powder, which has already been nuked into submission;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 12:44
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    I never heard about this botulism risk.. .is there a list somewhere of "dangerous combinations that could happen when cooking" mixes like this to know about? Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 15:55
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  • @OlivierDulac Botulinus bacteria live in soil, so are likely to be on anything that has been in close conctact with the soil.
    – j4nd3r53n
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 17:09
  • 1
    @OlivierDulac When considering long term storage (not in a freezer) of homemade foods, you should consider every combination unsafe unless proven otherwise.
    – JBGreen
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 18:34

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