The warning is on the jars of Patak's Curry Pastes is because our pastes are made with fresh spices. The way spices are grown, gathered and dried results in them containing yeast and mould spores as well as some bacterial spores.
Some companies heat treat or irradiate their spices to eliminate this problem, but we do not, as the treatment affects the overall flavour of the spices. Our curry pastes are formulated to ensure that these spores cannot germinate; however once you dilute the uncooked paste with other foods, for example if you used it as a spread in a sandwich or add it to mayonnaise, you provide conditions where the spores can germinate and the micro-organisms then start to multiply.
Normally it would take more than 4 hours at room temperature, or somewhat longer in the fridge, for the micro-organisms to multiply to a sufficiently high level to cause food poisoning. Therefore if you eat raw paste on its own, or very shortly after blending it with other ingredients, you should not suffer any ill effects.
However, you should not prepare a dish with uncooked paste on one day for consumption on subsequent days even if you store it in a fridge. The preferred option is to cook a curry paste with meat or vegetables and then blend it with other ingredients.
This is the method we recommend as it eliminates all risks. The easiest way to do this is to use the paste as a marinade and coat for the meat and then bake, barbecue or grill it.
The best before Date is coded on the lid of the jar or the top of the can. Example:
Here's how to read it:
08.06.09 - Best Before Date, June 8, 2009
7343 - production date; the first digit - 7 - means the year of production - 2007; three other digits - 343 - the day of production - 343rd day of 2007 which is Dec 8th 2007.
10:02 - time of production.
Jamie Oliver recently featured Patak's on his popular cooking show, "Jamie's 30-Minute Meals". Make Jamie Oliver's Indian-style steak with accompaniments and mango dessert in just 30 minutes! Click here for the recipe and video.
Note: This recipe calls for Patak's Jalfrezi paste. You can substitute any Patak's paste in its place, apart from Tikka and Tandoori.
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