Few things can ruin your day like a sudden case of food poisoning from mild to severe symptoms.
What is food poisoning? It is when toxins or bacteria are transferred due to improper processing, storing, or handling food. For example, when you take spoiled food and an after effect starts to kick in. Particularly an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and cramps. It may be food poisoning. It can begin anywhere from an hour to several weeks after you ingest tainted food. In some instances, poorly cooked or stored food results in transmitted toxins or bacteria.
Now let’s try to connect this with drinking beer.
What will happen if drinking beer can go as wrong as ruining your day by getting food poisoned? Is it even possible?
Beer Food Poisoning?
Can Beer Go Bad? Yes. Especially beer in cans. It has an expiration date. Set your eyes to the context that says “best before.” Expiration dates on your beer can guarantee the highest consistency and taste. It is unlikely to get you food poisoned. Drinking a wrong beer won’t make you sick, and it won’t kill you. Although, you can expect a bit of a stomach ache and a slight feeling of disappointment and disgust. Both of these things are normal, and they will pass instantly.
There are no known toxic microorganisms that can survive in beer—thus eliminating a hypothetical thought of food poison.
When brewing beer, it is impossible to produce poisonous methyl alcohol. Now, that’s not to say beer can’t get contaminated. It can happen. So “contaminated beer” is one more way to say bad beer. When you drink it, you do not get botulism. Not any other scary-sounding food-borne health issue. It won’t kill you, but it may make you sad. It is not that easy to create fantastic beer at home; if you don’t pay attention, you could make a contaminated beer. You could contaminate your beer at pretty much every stage of the brewing process. That is why a good and tasty brew is outstanding with cleanliness and sanitation.
What Causes Beer to Go Bad?
If you experience drinking stale tasting beer in a pub, then the pub probably hasn’t done proper maintenance. Beer, like any other food, can be spoiled by mold, bacteria, and yeast. In addition, such contamination also undermines the unique quality of each craft beer.
- Light. Ultraviolet light can cause the beer to become “lightstruck.” It is a term often and wrongly used for all sorts of off-flavors, but it is only responsible for one of them. Without getting technical, UV light reacts with alpha acids in hops. It helps it to break up and recombine with sulfur components. It creates a 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which is an underlying sense that is very like skunk spray. Even fluorescent lighting can cause this reaction.
- Oxygen. It causes the beer to oxidize. Oxygen is akin to growing old. Like with our bodies, you can’t stop it, but you can slow it down. Oxidation speeds up with increases in heat and motion. Many off-flavors are associated with oxidation. The one most common one is a cardboard/paper or lipstick aroma and flavor. The formation of trans-2-Nonenal causes this flavor and is most common in lighter beers.
- The Brewer’s Footprint. When beer travels any distance, it is inevitably affected by light, changing temperatures, movement, and time. It is important to remember that nothing good adds to a beer through travel.
- Storage is just as important as a selection. Assuming you’ve made your selection judiciously.
- Temperature. The temperature you store your beer at will depend on the style and how soon you plan to drink it.
- Dirty Taps. If you buy kegs from a brewer to hook up to your kegerator or other home serving system, you’ll realize that dirty tap lines and hardware can adversely affect the beer’s taste. Your favorite pub down the street should be cleaning their taps at least once a week.
Can Bad Beer Cause Death or Major Illnesses?
Surprisingly, you’ll be less likely to die from food poisoning caused by beer than suffer from liver cancer. As mentioned above, stale beer is an awful made beer.
As mentioned above, bacteria may linger in your drink. There are various kinds of bacteria that can infect beer. The common ones will turn a beer into vinegar or something resembling a lambic. Drinking a pint of vinegar might make you feel unpleasant. The bacteria will less likely harm your body or cause food poison.
Beer is not associated with the kinds of bacteria that cause food poisoning. -Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli, etc.
There is nothing in beer that will ever make anyone sick unless someone diluted the beer. Or you start gulping 100 glasses of beer. Too much? Then, 50! That, for instance, may still kill you – However, this isn’t food poison-related, just alcohol-related.
For minor effects, drinking stale beer may only give you a bad stomach. The bad aftertaste that will stay in your mouth unless you start brushing your tongue.
Signs Your Beer is Contaminated
Here are the few signs you should throw your beer down the drain instead of drinking it :
- If your beer tastes wretched like stomach bile. The stuff nightmares make this flavor. It is the result of bacteria living in the draft lines that housed the beer in your glass.
- If your beer smells like a skunk, it is due to the lighting, oxygen, and temperature that causes that awful smell.
- If your beer tastes like bland like a paperboard, that papery flavor in your ten-month-old bottle of pale ale is a compound called trans-2-Nonenal. The taste becomes clear over time as beer is stored. An old beer will taste stale.
- Diacetyl is known to have a buttery-flavored composite; that is why beer somehow tastes like popcorn. It is made in almost every beer fermentation. Exposure to too much diacetyl is hazardous for your lungs.
- It has a weird taste. Even though there are tons of bizarre beer flavors out there, it should be pretty clear if the feeling you’re tasting is not intentional.
Tips to Prevent The Beer From Contamination
For beer in cans:
- Pay attention to the drink’s details. See the “Best before” and “Manufacturing date.” Take note, The higher the alcohol content of the beer, the longer the beer takes to go stale.
- Store it correctly. Aged or cellared beers have higher ABV like lambics or stouts. Leaving them on the shelf for a few years makes them taste better.
- If you’re going to have a beer, don’t be a rookie. Finish it responsibly, of course.
- Choose a beer packed in dark bottles and store it in a cool, dark place away from sunlight or direct light.
- Make sure the condition of the bottle is great.
For Beers in a Pub
- Hygiene standards of good quality. Clean pit.
- Pubs should clean their beer lines every 2-3 weeks.
- Use the same glasses for beer only.
- Follow the beer storage instructions considering these three matters: Light, Temperature & Oxygen.
In summary, you can get food poisoning by drinking beer. However, it’s usually from a bad brewing process or, more commonly, from lack of hygiene in the way when serving the beer.