Information Update - Health Canada Reminds Canadians about Safe Levels of Alcohol Consumption
March 7, 2018
Following a recent tragedy in Quebec, where media have reported that the death of a 14-year-old girl may have been associated with consumption of a sugary alcoholic beverage, Health Canada is reminding Canadians, especially youth and young adults, of the risks associated with drinking large-volume, single-serve beverages that are high in alcohol.
Many single-serve alcohol products are intensely flavoured and are high in sugar, which could cause consumers not to realize how much alcohol they are actually consuming. Some of these products contain more than 3 standard alcohol drinks in one serving. Health Canada advises adults to be cautious if consuming such beverages and recommends that parents talk to their teens about the risks of drinking alcohol. For further information, please refer to Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
Energy Drinks and Alcohol Don't Mix
The product linked to the recent tragedy was not considered to be a caffeinated energy drink (which are not permitted to contain any alcohol). Health Canada discourages Canadians from mixing energy drinks with alcohol, something that has become increasingly popular in recent years. People may not feel all of the symptoms of intoxication when consuming caffeinated energy drinks mixed with alcohol, in particular, the drowsiness associated with alcohol consumption.
Health Canada requires that all caffeinated energy drinks carry warning statements on the label stating that these products are not to be mixed with alcohol. The Department does not allow the sale of any caffeinated energy drinks that are prepackaged and premixed with alcohol.
Health Canada is in contact with Quebec provincial authorities and is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to learn more about the product that may have been a factor in the death of the 14-year-old Quebec girl, as well as similar products that may be on the market. The Department is also reviewing large-volume, single-serve alcoholic beverages to assess their safety, and will take any necessary action to help protect the health and safety of Canadians.