Boozy eggnog may knockdown Salmonella

Some bacteria just can’t hold their liquor.

Researchers at the Rockefeller University Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenosis and Immunology have found that their traditional homemade eggnog isn’t a friendly home to the illness-causing bacteria, Good Morning America reports.

For the past six decades, the lab has been making eggnog – a mix of raw egg, cream, sugar, spices and alcohol – and leaving it to age in the fridge for six weeks. Raw egg can contain Salmonella, which can lead to a less than stellar experience if ingested.

But a funny (but good) thing happened – no one got sick from the well-aged nog. So, several years back, lab personnel whipped up an extra batch of eggnog and got science-y with it. They added Salmonella to the mix and stuck it in the fridge.

For five days, the batch tested positive for Salmonella. And on the sixth day … nothing. The eggnog became sterile, according to the article.

The bugs wouldn’t even grow on a Petri plate, which contain all of Salmonella’s favorite nutrients.

So what put an end to it? Lots of liquor. Specifically, “enough alcohol…to kill a horse,” lab head Vincent Fischetti told Good Morning America.

In many places, drinks sold commercially that include raw egg must inform consumers given the risk of foodborne illness. Although Salmonella has a tough time in alcohol and in the fridge, it’s not a guarantee of safety, food safety expert Dave Arnold noted in the article.

Commercially available eggnog often is pasteurized, which means it’s been treated with high heat to kill off bacteria.

FoodSafety.gov also recommends against relying on alcohol to kill off Salmonella.

To check out eggnog safety tips from FoodSafety.gov, click here.

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