Research from earlier this month from a bio-scientist from Gent University shows that certain intestinal bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, can survive at 22 degrees on basil leaves and therefore can cause health risks.
According to John Van Laethem who is manager of Bell’aroma, a Belgian herb importer, this study is correct, but he quickly explains saying, “Consumers can rest easy because the lab conditions where this was tested were not using common practices.”
Van Laethem explained that after the plants were infected under lab conditions, tests were run using three different storing temperatures: 7°, 15° and 22°C. Only at 22°C did the Salmonella survive. Salmonella was completely killed off when stored at 7° and 15°. So as you can see these are conditions that you do not normally encounter.”
Come to sub-tropical Brisbane (that’s in Australia) and I can show you lots of basil at 22C.