Norway, Finland, and Sweden have recalled the popular Fireball Cinnamon Whisky for containing a higher than acceptable level of propylene glycol, a biodegradable substance that is used as antifreeze, but that is classified by the Food and Drug Administration as “generally being recognized as safe” for consumption in small doses. (The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that toxic levels of the chemical are almost impossible to achieve through oral consumption.) The chemical is used as non-toxic antifreeze, as a preservative, and to create artificial smoke during fire safety training seminars and for e-cigarettes.
According to Alko, Finland’s state alcohol monopoly, the substance is not necessarily detrimental to one’s health, and can be found in other alcoholic beverages, too. However, Fireball is being recalled because its propylene glycol content exceeds European Union limits.
Amy Preske, public relations and events manager for the Sazerac Company, which manufactures Fireball, has issued a statement stressing that there is no recall in America; noting that the compound has long been used in more than 4,000 food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products; and blaming the Scandinavian recall on differing ingredient standards in America and the EU.
"Unfortunately," she said, "Fireball shipped its North American formula to Europe and found that one ingredient [i.e., propylene glycol] is out of compliance with European regulations…. Fireball anticipates being back on the shelves for fans in these countries within three weeks."
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi