Can I add fresh minced garlic to a jar of Huy Fong chili paste without risking botulism?

Ingredients: Chili, salt, acetic acid, potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfite as preservatives, xanthan gum.

  • 1
    Are you asking if you can add it and leave it out without risk? Or keep it in the refrigerator?
    – GdD
    Apr 6, 2021 at 20:24
  • 1
    I'm asking if i can keep it in the fridge without risk
    – M.S.D.
    Apr 6, 2021 at 20:31
  • I would probably not do it myself, as the garlic could "go bad", i.e. other bacteria could grow, even if there is no risk of botulism.
    – xuq01
    May 12, 2021 at 17:58
  • But garlic chili paste is a staple of Cantonese cuisine, so there should be a safe way to make it. Personally I would add the garlic every time I cook something.
    – xuq01
    May 12, 2021 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


According to WHO "botulinum will not grow in acidic conditions (pH less than 4.6), and therefore the toxin will not be formed in acidic foods (however, a low pH will not degrade any pre-formed toxin)."

Paste is probably acidic enough on it's own to kill any introduced botulinum from the garlic -reasonable quantity added-

To be extra sure, I would sprinkle mince garlic with a pinch of vit C or equivalent acid (and a pinch of salt to draw out flavor) before mixing.

Heat also sterlizes: "Despite its extreme potency, botulinum toxin is easily destroyed. Heating to an internal temperature of 85°C for at least 5 minutes will decontaminate affected food or drink."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.