Vodka Recalled For Containing Too Much Alcohol

By Britni de la Cretaz 03/09/17

The recalled vodka was part of a faulty batch that had not been properly diluted. 

Person pouring vodka into shot glasses.

One vodka company in Canada is recalling bottles of its product after a batch of the booze was accidentally manufactured with double the alcohol content, as a result of being bottled before being fully diluted.

Instead of being 40% alcohol content by volume, these 654 bottles of Georgian Bay vodka had double that: 81% alcohol content by volume. Yikes.

That makes the vodka 162 proof, just under grain alcohol like Everclear, which can be as high as 190 proof. Bacardi 151 is one of the other few liquors with an incredibly high alcohol content on the market. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency warns that alcohol above 80% alcohol content by volume (160 proof) can cause “serious illness.”

While there is alcohol sold at this proof, those bottles are labeled accordingly. Georgian Bay customers in possession of one of these bottles are drinking vodka twice as strong as they’re expecting, with no warning. By Canadian law, alcohol content must be properly and accurately labeled.

The Liquor Control Board Of Ontario (LCBO) has issued a warning that the vodka, which is manufactured in Ontario, "is not safe for consumption,” though no illnesses have been reported as a result of drinking the incredibly strong vodka.

Part of the concern is that because people do not know the strength of the alcohol being consumed, they could drink too much too quickly and suffer consequences as a result.

In 2014, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey was recalled in three European countries after they received an American batch of the product, which uses higher levels of propylene glycol—a chemical that’s used in some forms of antifreeze.

The company defended its product, releasing a statement that said, “Fireball is perfectly safe to drink, just as it always has been.” It claimed that the recall was due to the European Union’s stricter guidelines and was not a reflection on the safety of the product. Smirnoff Ice issued a voluntary recall for its beverages in 2015 due to potential glass contamination in the bottles.

Customers with a bottle of the Georgian Bay vodka are being encouraged to throw it out or return it to a store, where they are entitled to a full refund.

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.