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Foods containing alcohol can lead to DUIs, too

When you're planning to drink alcohol, you probably also make plans for getting home safely. One of the bigger issues is not knowing that alcohol is contained in something you're eating or drinking. For example, you might think you've picked up nonalcoholic egg nog and later find that you actually purchased the wrong one.

There are many foods and drinks that contain alcohol. Sometimes, it's a small amount. Other times, the alcohol can add up and leave you tipsy, so it's important not to drive if you've ingested them. Here are a few unexpected places that you'll find alcohol in everyday food and drinks.

Food that contains alcohol

There are many foods that contain alcohol (listed as alcohol by volume). For comparison, remember that a 330ml beer bottle at 5% contains .1g of alcohol. Some include:

  • Ripe pears, with .04g per 100g (.04% ABV)
  • Burger rolls (1.28% ABV).
  • White wine vinegar, with up to 2.64g per liter

You may also find that certain foods you eat are cooked with alcohol. For example, there are recipes to baste turkey or chicken in beer. This cooks off somewhat, but depending on how hot the alcohol gets and how much is added, the food you're interested in eating might still have enough alcohol to make for a potent surprise.

Doesn't alcohol burn off when it's cooked?

Sometimes, yes. Other times, it hasn't cooked long enough to bake off. Here's an example. If you add a cup of wine to a soup and simmer it for two hours, the likelihood is that most of that alcohol will cook off. However, if you cook the soup and add the alcohol prior to serving, nearly everything you pour in will still be in the meal.

If you plan to eat out and know that alcohol is a part of a gravy or sauce, it's perfectly acceptable to ask when the alcohol is added. If it's added prior to cooking, it will reduce much more than if it's added during the final stages of cooking. Some restaurants may know the amount of alcohol estimated to remain if you ask.

If you aren't sure if you're feeling tipsy from your food but you feel that you may be impaired in some way, it's always best to get a safe, sober ride home. It's better to err on the side of caution than to end up in an accident because of accidental alcohol ingestion.

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