UPDATE: The original version of this story implied that propylene glycol was a toxic additive. Rather it is an additive found in many items, including ice cream, salad dressings, popcorn, lotions, mouthwash, and toothpastes. According to the FDA website, propylene glycol "can be ingested over long periods of time and in substantial quantities (up to 5 percent of the total food intake) without causing frank toxic effects."
Typically, the argument against consumption of alcohol is based on the responsibility of those that drink it. But while some people just shouldn't be allowed to drink, there are far more that can actually be responsible with their liquor. For most people, while alcohol isn't the healthiest thing to consume, it's not the worst thing in the world, either.
Unfortunately, two European countries don't see it that way.
While Fireball cinnamon whiskey is still popular in the United States, the spiced whiskey is being pulled from two European countries' shelves due to it containing propylene glycol. For Finland and Sweden, Fireball's levels of propylene glycol are simply too high to make the liquor available for sale, as seen on the Systembolaget website. Propylene glycol is cited as the main issue for the recall, and while the FDA has approved of the compound in American food, it seems that the two European countries aren't doing so.
In Europe, propylene glycol is used in food processing, but on a more limited scale than here in the United States. Propylene glycol is safe to consume, according to the FDA, but that isn't stopping Finland and Sweden from pulling Fireball.
So, while Fireball is still legal to sell in the U.S., it seems that neither Finland nor Sweden will sell the liquor. Both countries have regulations that prevent such levels of propylene glycol from being used in foods, and thanks to the recall, the only hope Fireball has of being sold in those countries again would be a reworked formula.
For Americans, the FDA doesn't seem to consider the high levels of propylene glycol in Fireball whiskey to be a problem. Here is the company's response to the issue. As they say, the company ensures the product's safety and is reassuring fans of the drink that they can continue to enjoy it as they always have.
Photo: m01299/Flickr (Cropped)