Why Doesn’t Eggnog Make Us Sick?
This popular holiday drink is traditionally made by combining raw eggs, rum and dairy and leaving it all in the fridge for up to six weeks. We basically drink our weight in the stuff every December — how on earth have we managed to avoid being sick all this time?
Like all happy endings, once again the answer involves booze and patience. Vincent Fischetti, head of the Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology lab at Rockefeller University put the recipe to the test with an extra ingredient — salmonella bacteria. Within five days of sitting, the drink had become completely sterile and safe to drink. Even when they attempted to grow bacteria in a culture of the aged eggnog, they were unable to re-infect the drink.
“There’s enough alcohol in there to kill a horse,” said Fischetti. “It’s a standard recipe. We’re not spiking it any more than it should be.”
And so we’ve learned two things: eggnog cures all, and that Fischetti character pours a hell of a stiff drink. We’re skipping Aunt Mille’s and going to his Christmas party next year.