A few months ago, I opened a can of anchovies, and to avoid wasting the leftovers, I pureed it into a paste and saved in a container in the fridge, in olive oil.
The anchovies are very salty and the pH is somewhere between 5 and 6, based on a litmus test strip. It's been kept in the fridge the whole time. They also smell fine, no hint of spoilage.
But: could this be a botulism risk? The original product was commercially canned, so it was probably safe (and eating it then was fine). My understanding is that these conditions ought to prevent botulism growth, if there was even any to begin with. But since the consequences are so serious, I'd like to be sure.
If you are going to use it as a flavoring in other foods, simply be sure the stuff is heated to boiling for twenty minutes or so in an open container. The botulism toxin, if there is any, will degrade and offgas. Numerous old canning resources advise this re-cooking for things like canned fish that were at all suspect.
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