NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s one of the fastest growing liquor brands in America, but Fireball whiskey is now being recalled in parts of the Europe because it contains an ingredient found in anti-freeze.
Last year, Fireball sold more than Jameson and Patron. But right now it is a no-go in certain countries.
“It’s a cinnamon explosion in your mouth,” Sarah Brunson told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.
Tom Feaster, with Beacon Wines & Spirits, said the product is flying off the shelves, and is especially popular with the 30 and under crowd.
“Every Thursday we order for the weekend and if we run out of Fireball our customers get upset with us,” he said.
This week, Finland, Sweden, and Norway pulled it off of store shelves after finding out that it contained too much propylene glycol, a chemical found in some types of anti-freeze.
In a statement the manufacturer, Sazerac, said it had shipped its North American formula to Europe.
“Unfortunately, Fireball shipped its North American formula to Europe and found that one ingredient is out of compliance with European regulations.”
While strictly monitored in Europe, both the FDA and CDC have approved the use of propylene glycol in the U.S. in limited quantities.
The U.S. version of the drink has about 1/8 the amount of propylene glycol allowed by the FDA, and the ingredient can be found in all sorts of everyday products from toothpaste to food.
“It helps to add a little consistency and prevent coagulation in certain products, in a lot of icings, a lot of cake products,” New York Times editor Clay Risen said, “People are not getting poisoned by ice creams or soft drinks. It won’t happen with Fireball either.”
Some places, like Hudson Eatery in Manhattan, are holding off on re-stocking Fireball until owners learn more about the ingredient.
Some Fireball fans said they might take a break.
“I don’t think I’d purchase it,” Katie Gaines said.
Others didn’t see a problem.
“I can’t imagine we would poison anybody in the United States of America with our alcohol,” Neil Weinstock, Beacon Wines & Spirits, said.
Weinstock plans to keep a lot of Fireball on his store shelves.
The company that owns Fireball said the drink should be back on shelves in Sweden, Finland, and Norway within 3 weeks.
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