Despite being just generally gross, the new study, conducted by Western Sydney University’s School of Medicine Gastroenterology Laboratory, finds that using your shoe as a vessel for grog could give you illnesses like pneumonia, diarrhoea and food poisoning, via staph.
Staph, or Staphylococcus aureus, can lead to pneumonia, diarrhoea, food poisoning, vomiting, nausea and septicaemia, which is a blood infection i.e. very not good.
However, the study find that a lot of this does actually depend on what type of grog you’re risking staph for. When they doused a shoe with vodka, they found that it exterminated most of the bacteria. On the flip side, not only did champagne/sparkling wine not eradicate the bacteria, it actually encouraged the growth of more, and that bacteria can survive into your body.
“Based upon the data we’ve been able to obtain, certainly you can get some bacteria that can survive into the stomach — alive — after being immersed for one minute in sparkling wine,” the study’s leader Dr. Vincent Ho said.
Beer, the beverage of choice for what we can assume are most shoey-doers, sits somewhere in the middle, slightly towards the vodka side of things. It has a low pH and low oxygen environment, making it hard for bacteria to thrive within it.
On top of all this, apparently the quicker you shoey, the more harmful it can be.
“Whether you drink it very quickly — within a minute — you’re likely to have some of these organisms surviving,” Dr Ho said.
“What we don’t know is whether or not if you immerse the alcohol for a longer period of time, maybe 15 to 30 minutes, whether that may have a stronger effect on the bacteria.”