Will Foods With Hidden Alcohol Make You Drunk? Booze-Infused Ice Cream Regulated In Massachusetts

Despite the old myth that the alcohol added to food is burned off in the cooking process, research from the United States Department of Agriculture has found that many prepared foods do still contain some booze. Officials in one state are taking food-related alcohol seriously by placing new restrictions on boozy ice cream, but what other foods contain hidden alcohol, and if we eat them, can they make us as drunk as the liquid variety? 

On Monday, an advisory from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in Massachusetts placed new restrictions on the sale and distribution of alcohol-infused ice cream flavors in the state. “These advisories were prompted by multiple inquiries from local licensing boards and licensees wondering if they could lawfully sell alcohol-infused ice cream,” Kris Foster, the ABCC’s general counsel, told the Boston Globe in an e-mail.

The alcohol content in these frozen desserts can vary from almost none to a high of more than 5 percent alcohol by volume, which is roughly the same as in a typical beer. According to The Globe, no matter how much alcohol is used, owners of ice cream parlors may now be required to submit their recipes and get approval from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

ice cream Massachusetts has placed restrictions on alcohol-infused ice cream. Photo courtesy of Pexels

So, what other prepared foods contain some alcohol? The USDA reports that meats prepared with alcohol added at the end of the cooking time retain 85 percent of the alcohol. Meanwhile, foods marinated in alcohol retain 70 percent of the alcohol content.

A no-bake dessert made with booze will also naturally retain all of the alcohol content, according to LiveStrong.com. Vanilla extract or other extract flavorings that contain alcohol can also retain booze in baked goods, although the content levels decrease with long baking time.

The USDA also warns that flambéed meats or desserts still retain 75 percent of the added alcohol.

Everyone’s wondering — can food made with alcohol get you drunk? In short: yes, just ask Business Insider’s New Scientist deputy editor Graham Lawton. He ate several booze-infused dishes and then checked his blood alcohol content with a hand-held breathalyzer after each dish. 

Read more:

The Dangers Of Alcohol: Review Suggests Drinking Even Small Amounts May Be Linked To Several Cancers

Drinking Alcohol For Your Health: 3 to 5 Drinks Weekly May Lower Risk Of Heart Attack And Heart Failure

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