Author Topic: Where does the responsibility lie?  (Read 8418 times)

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Cuddlepie

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Where does the responsibility lie?
« on: December 27, 2012, 06:29:47 PM »
My son recently got his license and therefore must have a zero blood alcohol when driving a car.

Son was about to leave when a guest ‘jokingly’ said he hoped my son would not be given an alcohol breath test as there was alcohol in the some of the food his wife made and brought along to share.  Son said he wished he’d been advised of this and guest said that it really was only a small amount and in reality probably wouldn’t affect a reading if son happened to be pulled over, so don’t worry. 

My question is – Should guests and hosts mention when they include alcohol (even in minute amounts) in food or should the onus be on drivers ask if alcohol is an ingredient?

Wulfie

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 06:34:19 PM »
It is one of my pet peeves when someone puts alcohol in something and doesn't tell anyone about it until after they have eaten it.  There are many people who for one reason or another can't have/don't want alcohol. For me, it can be fatal due to a very serious allergy.

Son should ask from now on if there is alcohol just to be sure with these "friends"

NyaChan

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 06:36:20 PM »
I think it depends on the amount used and how - is it a cake soaked in rum or a splash of cooking sherry in a sauce?  If it is something a person would get carded for when ordering in public, I'd definitely give a heads up.  If I knew someone was trying to avoid alcohol for whatever reason, I would also give a heads up.  If I had no reason to think alcohol would be a problem, it would depend on the item I am serving - I usually do mention when I use alcohol in cooking if it features in the dish, especially if it isn't obvious from looking that it might be in there.  Ex:  guinness & orange liqueur truffles.  If I put some mirin in a marinade for stir fry though, I probably wouldn't bother (even my parents who don't drink for religious reasons will consume that).   

Hmmmmm

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 06:49:37 PM »
It wouldn't occur to me to mention that I added a tablespoon if sherry to my sautéed mushrooms, a splash of bourbon in my pecan pie, or that the stew had a 1/4 cup of wine as I've always understood the alcohol cooks away and does not impact blood levels.  If I knew a guest did not consume alcohol for religious or dietary reasons I wouldn't cook with it.

But I'd also a guest would intuitively know that the rum soaked cake had alcohol that had not been cooked away.

WillyNilly

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 06:53:14 PM »
For the most part I think its a shared responsibility. For most people a small amount of alcohol, especialy cooked alcohol, there is no issue whatsoever, so if someone absolutely cannot have any its on them to ask/let the person serving know of the restriction. If its enough to get a person tipsy/would get them carded in a restaurant/etc then the person serving should mention it.

Since your son can have zero alcohol I think he should have asked/mentioned in advance, especially this time year when people are apt to make more elaborate dishes.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 07:01:35 PM »
I think it's a shared responsibility. I make a lot cookies; most of them contain small amounts of vanilla extract or some other flavoring that is alcohol based, and it would never occur to me to "warn" anyone about that particular ingredient. But if I put a quarter cup of liqueur in some frosting, or made beef stew with a lot of red wine, I would tell people in advance (or use a different recipe if I knew one of the people who'd be consuming to food couldn't have alcohol.)

Wulfie

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 10:12:51 AM »
I've always understood the alcohol cooks away and does not impact blood levels.  If I knew a guest did not consume alcohol for religious or dietary reasons I wouldn't cook with it.

This is a very common misconception! All the alcohol does NOT cook away, in fact up to 75% of it can still be in the dish after it is cooked. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400900/Does-Alcohol-Really-Cook-Out-of-Food.html

SiotehCat

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2012, 10:31:22 AM »
I think its the responsibility of the person eating it.

I'm a vegetarian and ask about everything.

CakeBeret

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2012, 11:06:36 AM »
I think that if there is a significant amount of alcohol, or if the alcohol is uncooked, it is on the cook to say something.

If the eater cannot have any alcohol pass his/her lips, period, then it is that person's responsibility.

For example: I made a champagne turkey for Thanksgiving. I used one bottle of champagne over a 13lb turkey and then used the drippings to make gravy. I did tell my guests that there was champagne; chances are it cooked out, but there was a significant enough amount that it warranted a mention.

If I used a quarter-cup of white wine in four cups of sauce, I would probably not think to mention it.

If I made alcohol-filled truffles, I would mention it because the alcohol is most definitely there and is not cooked.
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cheyne

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2012, 11:59:51 AM »
I made a New Orleans bread pudding with whiskey sauce for the company Xmas party this year.  The sauce uses 2/3 cup bourbon (cooked) and 1/3 cup bourbon (uncooked-added after the sauce comes off the stove).  I told the [pregnant] hostess and all other guests about the whiskey in the sauce.  After that it was up to them to decide if they wanted to eat it or not. 

I think your son should have been told that there was alcohol in the food, especially as he is underage and was driving.  I would never serve guests alcohol without letting them know it was there, the same as I wouldn't serve a vegetarian a dish that had "hidden" meat without letting them know it was there.


Just Lori

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2012, 02:54:09 PM »
I think that if you know someone at your table cannot have a certain ingredient, and you use that ingredient, you should disclose it.  Granted, I might not think about young drivers when it comes to adding alcohol, but obviously his uncle did, because he brought it up.   I would probably mention alcohol anyhow, because I do know a number of people who do not to drink for a variety of reasons.

NyaChan

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2012, 02:56:48 PM »
OP, can you share what the alcohol was in and how much was used?

WillyNilly

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 03:00:53 PM »
I wonder though if the guy was just pulling the kid's chain and didn't really think there was any harm.  Having for dinner a pot roast cooked in Guinness, or having penne a la vodka, or putting wine in the red sauce really is not something the average person is even remotely concerned with when it comes to driving and intoxication, and is not really something most people would think to warn a diner about... but its an easy way to perhaps scare a teen.  Is the guest known as a 'kidder'?

ETA: Also did this guy know the OP's son could not have any alcohol whatsoever?  As someone who's well out their teens and who doesn't have teenage kids, I honestly didn't realize the blood alcohol level allowances were lower for some drivers then others.  I pretty much though anyone would be fine with .08 or less.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 03:03:25 PM by WillyNilly »

onyonryngs

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 03:03:02 PM »
I wonder though if the guy was just pulling the kid's chain and didn't really think there was any harm.  Having for dinner a pot roast cooked in Guinness, or having penne a la vodka, or putting wine in the red sauce really is not something the average person is even remotely concerned with when it comes to driving and intoxication, and is not really something most people would think to warn a diner about... but its an easy way to perhaps scare a teen.  Is the guest known as a 'kidder'?

Exactly!  Especially since the OP said the guy said it jokingly.  Unless it was soaked in rum, it would never cross my mind to mention it, but then "rum balls" gives one a pretty good idea of what they're about to eat.

jpcher

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Re: Where does the responsibility lie?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 03:54:02 PM »

My question is – Should guests and hosts mention when they include alcohol (even in minute amounts) in food or should the onus be on drivers ask if alcohol is an ingredient?

Yes. I think that guests bringing food should mention what was included in the dish, be it alcohol or nuts or whatever.



eta -- actually on second thought, I think it's up to the hostess to ask what ingredients are in a brought dish. Because the hostess should know the guest list food intolerance more so than a guest who brings a dish does.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 03:59:37 PM by jpcher »