Booze Beats Food Poisoning
NEW YORK— Recent studies have found that a little alcohol may help ward off heart disease and slow dementia. But an old wives’ tale suggests another reason to indulge in a drink or two with dinner: preventing food poisoning.
Research over the years appears to confirm this. In 2002, for example, health officials in Spain studied an outbreak of salmonella among people who had been exposed to contaminated potato salad and tuna at a large banquet.
Their findings, which were published in the journal Epidemiology, showed that the rate of sickness was lowest in those who had consumed large amounts of beer, wine or spirits.
Consumers of larger amounts of alcohol also had the lowest levels of sickness documented in earlier studies of large salmonella outbreaks in Spain.
But some studies suggest that a drink may have to be stiff for alcohol’s protective effect to kick in.
In a 1992 study, for example, health officials in the United States looked at an oyster-borne outbreak of hepatitis A and found that only drinks with an alcohol concentration of 10 percent or greater prevented or reduced the severity of the sickness.
The effect may have something to do with alcohol’s ability to strongly stimulate gastric acid secretions in the stomach, and wine may be particularly effective because grapes have antibacterial properties.
Germany’s Purity Law Kaput
BERLIN -— Germany’s nearly 500-year-old rules guarding the purity of beer have been dealt a blow by a court judgment allowing a small brewer to call its product “beer” even though it contains sugar.
Under Germany’s so-called Reinheitsgebot (“purity law”) of 1516, only beer made of grains, hops and water without any added ingredients has been allowed to be marketed as such.
But the country’s top administrative court ruled on Thursday in favour of Brandenburg-based Klosterbrauerei who had wanted to call a dark brew “beer” on the grounds it was only sweetened with sugar syrup after fermentation.
The judgment ended a 10-year legal battle by the company to call its product beer.
Man Fired for Drinking Wrong Beer Brand
RACINE, WI — A Miller distributor fired a Isac Aguero because he appeared in a newspaper photo holding a bottle of Bud Light.
“I was just having a good time,” Aguero said.
Aguero said when he went to work on the day his picture hit the paper, the place was abuzz.
“When I came in, they said, ‘You’re in trouble for drinking Bud Light,’” Aguero said.
Then, his boss gave him the ax.
“I asked him to tell me the reason why I’m fired, and he was like, ‘There’s no reason. We just don’t need you no more,’” Aguero said.
To Aguero, the reason was as clear as his picture in the Racine Journal Times.
“It’s my choice of beer. Who can tell you what to drink or not to drink? What you like?” Aguero asked.
Aguero is supporting two young sons so he’s on the job hunt, but he’s trying to keep his sense of humor.
“I was actually thinking I was going to go apply at Anheuser-Busch,” Aguero said.
To Aguero, the whole incident makes no sense.
“It’s like saying you work at Pepsi and you get caught drinking a Coke, are you fired for that?” Aguero asked.
“I don’t know? Are you?” WISN 12 News reporter Colleen Henry asked.
“I’m not sure. I mean, I guess so. I got fired for Bud Light,” Aguero said.
Two years ago, a truck driver for Coca-Cola lost his job after he was spotted drinking a Pepsi.
Queer Beer Launched for Gays
GENEVA — A trio of Swiss businessmen have launched a new brew marketed at gay people called Queer Beer.
Michael Hutmacher, 32, came up with the idea with two friends and has now founded a company, Lemonhead, to market it.
He said: “My business partner, who is gay, and I were talking about how to corner the homosexual market and came up with the idea for a drink aimed specifically at gay men and women.
“It really was just a crazy idea at first, but we’ve now come up with a product.”
Hutmacher added: “Our beer is a humorous attempt to identify with the gay scene and we hope it will help people to feel relaxed with their sexuality and not hide away.”
Despite its provocative name, he insists the lager wasn’t just aimed at homosexuals, but also straight people.
Moel Volken, from the gay rights group Pink Cross, said the beer was an excellent idea.
“I’m happy to see that homosexuals are being taken seriously as consumers,” he said. “I just hope that the beer tastes good.”
Passenger Charged with Drunk Driving
VIENNA — A passenger was charged with drunk driving after grabbing the wheel when the driver jumped into the backseat while the car was still moving.
“I had no choice but to take the wheel, if I hadn’t then we would have gone over the cliff,” the passenger said.
The original driver was also charged with drunk driving.
New Pill Extends Inebriation
LOS ANGELES — Russian scientists have developed a pill that can keep a person drunk for an extended period of time.
The tablet, called RU-21 Red, was developed in Spirit Sciences, a laboratory based in California but with research facilities in Russia. The same scientists had earlier worked on secret programs for the Kremlin and made the famous RU-21 product that allegedly suppresses hangovers.
“RU-21 Red prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication,” the company co-founder, Emil Chiabery, born in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia said.
The tablet contains grapevine extracts intended to slow down the oxidation of alcohol. “I’m not sure I’m going to market it in the U.S.,” Chiabery said. “I don’t want it to become a party drug.”
He didn’t hazard a guess as to what other purpose the tablet might possibly have.
Bobby Fischer Locked Up, Thirsty
USHIKU, JAPAN — Eccentric chess maestro Bobby Fischer has cited a lack of alcohol as one of the factors making him ill behind bars at the East Japan Immigration Bureau Detention Center in Ushiku.
“I can’t get any alcohol in here, which I think is bad for my health. I say that quite seriously. I think alcohol in moderation is very good for your body. Alcohol in moderation is very good for your health. It has a cleansing effect on your body, an antiseptic effect. It has many benefits. It’s good for your heart and so on,” Fischer told a radio interviewer.
“They don’t allow alcohol,” he continued, “but they allow cigarettes. And they give the people cigarettes, tax-free. So the people are smoking like chimneys in here.”
Fischer is in detention while he fights to avoid being deported to the U.S. where he faces trial for playing chess in countries under sanction.