Fireball Whisky Recalled For Excessive Propylene Glycol

If you haven’t tried it yet, just imagine what it feels like to stand face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon who just ate a whisky barrel full of spicy cinnamon. Live it, love it, shoot it – what happens next is up to you.
— http://fireballwhisky.com/

Yup.. but not if you are allergic to propylene glycol like me and a zillion other people!

This story has been blowing up ever since my hunny noticed it being reported by Fox News.

Fireball Whisky has been gaining a lot of popularity lately for the spicy punch it packs. Whisky isn't my thing and neither is putting a fireball in my mouth, so I hadn't even heard of it.

Here's the deal with the latest news about them: Fireball Whisky has a recipe for the United States and one for Europe. Some of the U.S. whiskey got sent over to Europe (Finland, Sweden and Norway) and once Europe noticed the high level of propylene glycol, they pulled it from their shelves. Fireball Whiskey's PR person called it "regarding a small recipe-related compliance issue".

I read a bunch of the reports online and found this great excerpt:

Propylene glycol can have toxic effects in some circumstances, including for people suffering with pre-existing skin or eye conditions, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. In recent years, the substance has been used as a less-toxic alternative to ethylene glycol in antifreeze, which was killing pets who lapped up the sweet-tasting engine fluid. But the Humane Society warns that propylene glycol is “still toxic.”
— Huffington Post

Crazy, right? But, it's nothing any of us with the allergy haven't heard before (unless you're new to the game like I was in 2009).

And then there's this little chunk of info straight from the press release issued on behalf of Fireball Whiskey in regard to this issue:

The ingredient in question was propylene glycol (PG). PG is a regularly used and perfectly safe flavoring ingredient. PG has been used in more than 4,000 food, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products for more than 50 years. Most people consume PG every day in soft drinks, sweeteners, some foods or alcoholic beverages.
— Amy Preske, Public Relations & Events Manager, Sazerac Company

Are you confused yet? A little scared, maybe?

Propylene has been known to be toxic... however some people say it's ok. I guess it all depends on what your definition of "ok" is. Does it mean...

  • cancer
  • allergies
  • reproductive
  • developmental
  • neurotoxicity
  • endocrine

No? Ah. Well... propylene glycol has been linked to those issues. I did a post about the toxicity of PG which you can read here. Definitely check that out. 

Fireball Whiskey has a pretty good PR/ media team because they've jumped on it already. When I went to visit their site, I was hit with this:

When you click on the link at the end, you're presented with their press release:

For Immediate Release

Fireball Dispels Internet Rumors

Quashes rumors about the North American market and product safety

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (Oct 28, 2014) – Fireball Cinnamon Whisky assures its consumers that the product is perfectly safe to drink. There is no recall in North America. Fireball fans can continue to enjoy their favorite product as they always have.

Late last week Sazerac, the makers of Fireball, was contacted by its European bottler regarding a small recipe-related compliance issue in Finland.

Regulations for product formulation are different in Europe, which explains why recipes for products like soft drinks, alcohol/spirits and even candies and confections are slightly different than their North American counterparts. Fireball, therefore, has a slightly different recipe for
Europe.

Unfortunately, Fireball shipped its North American formula to Europe and found that one ingredient is out of compliance with European regulations. Finland, Sweden and Norway have asked to recall those specific batches, which is what the brand is doing. Fireball anticipates
being back on the shelves for fans in these countries within three weeks.

The ingredient in question was propylene glycol (PG). PG is a regularly used and perfectly safe flavoring ingredient. PG has been used in more than 4,000 food, beverage, pharmaceutical and

cosmetic products for more than 50 years. Most people consume PG every day in soft drinks, sweeteners, some foods or alcoholic beverages.

The ingredient is “generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration up to 50 grams per KG. In Canada, its use is limited to “good manufacturing
practice” with no defined numerical limit. It is used in the Fireball flavor in very small quantities, less than 1/8th of the amount allowed by US FDA regulations.

All Fireball formulas are absolutely safe to drink and the use of PG in Fireball creates no health risk whatsoever. There is no recall in North America. Fireball fans can continue to enjoy their favorite product as they always have.

About The Sazerac Company
Sazerac is one of New Orleans’ oldest family owned, privately held companies and has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankfort, Bardstown, Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Carson, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Lewiston, Maine; Londonderry, New Hampshire; and Montreal, Canada. For more information, please visit www.sazerac.com.

Contact:
Amy Preske
Public Relations & Events Manager
Sazerac Company
apreske@sazerac.com
502-696-5957
— Amy Preske, Public Relations & Events Manager, Sazerac Company

 

So, what do you think? I know I wish we had tighter regulations over here! Europe does... WHY NOT US?