Q: Hi Dave,
Earlier you told me that if I store roasted red peppers in olive oil, “bacteria will grow and spoil everything.” But you can buy them like that at the store, can you not?
A: Hello Cheryl:
Good question, but I haven’t seen roasted red peppers in oil. I’ve seen peppers like that packed in water and vinegar, which is a preservative. I’ve seen various other peppers in oil, but the label states they are for decorative purposes only and not to be eaten. The University of Illinois Extension Service notes: Peppers in oil can be safely stored for up to two days. Long term storage of peppers in oil increases the risk of bacteria growth and food-borne illness. For long term storage of roasted peppers freeze in freezer bags. Add oil and the remaining ingredients upon thawing. Another source states: Do not use fresh peppers when making spicy oil. Use only dehydrated completely dry peppers, as this will reduce the chance of Botulism. Also, do not use any herbs or spices that contain moisture. Use only dry or dehydrated herbs. Also, take note that olive oil is perishable and will go rancid, so don’t make too much or it will be come strictly decorative. If you have found peppers in oil, they must be loaded with preservatives to kill any bacterial growth.–Dave