I just bought a bottle of olive oil at Trader Joes and it has white spots floating in the bottle near the bottom. All of the other bottles were the same. Is it safe to use?
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Was it located near a refrigerated area in the store? Olive oil will congeal a little at low temperatures, and when supermarkets keep the bottles right next to, say, the milk and the cheese, it'll often start to look like that. Keep it at room temp for a while and see if the spots disappear. If they do, you're good to go. If not, I'm not sure what's going on.
Did you notice if the seal had been broken? What is the expiration date? If it's cold where you live, and you noticed this just after bringing the groceries in, it could simply be coagulated oil. Some olives will have white spots on them from yeast spores. You could always take it back to TJ if you haven't opened the bottle.
Great tips here. Set it near the stove and bring it to warm room temp and see if the floaties disappear. If you're willing to try it, see if it has an off taste. One lick probably won't kill you. Personally, I don't like floaty things in my olive oil. I'd return it if they don't go away and/or the taste is off. It sucks to buy bad olive oil. Been there done that.
I agree -- if white spots don't dissipate, I would not hesitate to take it back to TJs. Trader Joe's has awesome customer service. They will take products back no question, even if they have been opened.
Thank you everyone for your advice. I put the bottle of olive oil in the dishwasher I had recently unloaded that was still slightly warm, and almost all of the spots went away. The bottle had not been opened and the expiration is 6/12. I think I am good to go, which is a good thing as I need it to make a Food52 recipe!
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One other bit of advice; don't buy olive oil at Trader Joe's. Not a good source by any stretch. Might be less expensive but inferior quality. You get what you pay for.
the 6/12 expiration date means nothing. Always error on the side of safety. DON'T USE IT!