Health Canada Restricts Alcohol Percentage in Single-Serve Flavoured Purified Alcohol Beverages


OTTAWA — Health Canada has introduced new restrictions on the amount of alcohol found in single-serve flavoured purified alcoholic beverages, effective immediately. Following consultations with Health Canada between Dec. 22, 2018 and Feb. 5, 2019, the restrictions were implemented to combat the increased public-health risks posed by the beverages.

The beverages — a new and trending class of highly sweetened cocktail — contain the same amount of alcohol as four standard alcoholic drinks in a single-serve container (up to 11.9 per cent). This amount of alcohol would push an adult weighing 180 lbs over the legal limit for impaired driving after one beverage.

Under the new regulations announced by the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, the beverages will now be limited to 25.6 ml of alcohol per single-serve container of 1000 ml or less (4.5 per cent), which represents 1.5 standard drinks.

“In Canada, single-serve flavoured purified alcoholic beverages have been implicated in numerous hospitalizations and at least two deaths in the past year and a half,” says Taylor. “This is a tragedy. Health Canada has taken action to help protect Canadians — particularly youth — from unintentional overconsumption of alcohol, because excessive drinking can lead to alcohol-related harms, including acute alcohol poisoning and death.”

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