Whiskey sippers and partiers alike, listen up. The word on the street is that Fireball Whiskey has been pulled from the shelves in Finland, Norway and Sweden because of excessive levels of propylene glycol. Sounds scary right? Read on.
Propylene glycol can be used as a more environmentally safe substitute for ethylene glycol, commonly known as antifreeze. Am I the only one who had no idea we were drinking antifreeze on Thursday nights?
Apparently, this antifreeze in particular is a clear, viscous liquid with a mildly sweet taste, and is used commonly as a sweetener in alcohol. Specifically, it is used to lower the freezing point of water, and for that reason is also used as an aircraft de-icing fluid, to winterize plumbing systems and as an automotive antifreeze.
So in short, we’re drinking the same industrial chemical used in cars, on airplanes and in pipes. No wonder whiskey makes people a little frisky.
Surprisingly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed propylene glycol generally safe for consumption. It is used in a wide variety of pharmaceuticals and more recently in e-cigs. You can also find it in a number of foods, including soda, ice cream, icing (uh-oh Betty Crocker, what have you done?), Cool Whip, certain brands of coffee (Dunkin Donuts), Pop-Tarts and margarine. Gross.
In a statement issued Monday, a Finland alcohol monopoly stated that Fireball whiskey was prepared according to North American standards, and therefore did not match the European regulations for proper levels of propylene glycol.
The FDA might have deemed this chemical safe for consumption, but apparently Europe knows something we don’t. Way to ruin the party, Europe.