Fireball Whisky pulled from European shelves for propylene glycol levels

Posted at 2:27 PM, Oct 28, 2014

Fireball Whisky is being pulled from shelves in Europe due to its levels of propylene glycol — but it’s not going anywhere in the United States.

According to YLE, Finland’s public broadcast television station, Alko, Finland’s state alcohol monopoly, has filed a complaint and recalled Fireball from store shelves due to excessive levels of propylene glycol.

The company announced Monday that Fireball doesn’t meet the European Union’s tighter regulations of propylene glycol levels, though they stated it does meet North American standards.

Propylene glycol is commonly found in the liquid used in e-cigarettes, in de-icing agents used in the aviation industry, in the preparation of processed snack foods and in alcoholic beverages as a flavor conduit.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has classified propylene glycol as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) because the oral toxicity of the compound is very low.

Alko’s move follows a decision by Systembolaget, their Swedish counterpart, to remove Fireball from shelves last week.

An announcement on the Systembolaget website confirms that sales of Fireball have been stopped in Sweden due to high levels of propylene glycol. Customers who bought Fireball are welcome to return it for a refund, even if the bottle is opened.

Fireball liqueur remains on shelves in the United States and in other countries.

Scripps National Desk contacted Buffalo Trace Distilleries, which owns Sazerac Company, who manufactures Fireball Whisky, for comment prior to publishing this article. Buffalo Trace Distillery is based in Frankfort, Kentucky. Sazerac Company is based in Metairie, Louisiana.

A statement on Fireball’s website reads, “The secret to Fireball is buried in the depths of our souls – and it’s so damn special that we just can’t share it. Although we’d love to talk Fireball with you, we have a strict policy that we let our whisky speak for itself.”