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Happy New Year’s! Watch That Cork: Keeping an Eye on Safety

December 29, 2008


New Year’s Eve is notoriously one of the worst times of the year for eye injuries due to the fact that many people do not know how to correctly open a champagne bottle. When a bottle is opened improperly, the cork is expelled at a high velocity by the gas pressure in the bottle. If the cork accidentally strikes the eye, it can lead to serious injuries including internal hemorrhage, traumatic cataract, and torn or detached retinas.


To avoid turning a happy occasion into a tragedy, follow these common sense rules on how to prevent an injury to you or someone else’s eyes:

  • Chill the bottle- warm champagne generates more pressure behind the cork.

  • Do NOT shake the bottle.

  • With the bottle pointed away from everyone’s face, remove the foil seal and wire that keeps the cork in place. Keep one finger on the cork at all times while you remove the wire.

  • As soon as the wire is removed, cover the top of the bottle with a towel. Get a good grip on the cork until you feel or hear the release of some gas behind the cork.

  • Then remove the towel with the cork. 


Cheers! Make your toast, enjoy your drink and have a happy and healthy New Year from all of us here at OCLI!


Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. 

~Benjamin Franklin

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