Bombay Sapphire gin recalled across Canada for containing too much alcohol

Liquor authorities across Canada are recalling a brand of gin that may contain almost twice as much alcohol as claimed on the bottle.

Gin's alcohol content may be as much as 77%, not 40% as claimed

The CFIA says some bottles of Bombay Sapphire dry gin may contain almost twice as much alcohol as claimed on the bottle. (Twitter)

Liquor authorities across Canada are recalling a brand of gin that may contain almost twice as much alcohol as claimed on the bottle.

The Liquor Control Board Of Ontario was the first to issue a recall after its internal quality assurance team discovered that some bottles of Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin had not been properly diluted, resulting in an alcohol content of 77 per cent, not 40 per cent as listed on the bottle.

Bermuda-based alcohol conglomerate Bacardi owns Bombay Sapphire (and other brands including Grey Goose vodka and Dewar's whisky) and the company told CBC News in a statement that, at most, 1,000 cases worth of 1.14-litre Bombay Sapphire bottles were impacted. 

The mistake happened when some bottles "inadvertently entered the bottling line during a short period of time (max 45 minutes) when they were switching from one bottling tank to another bottling tank," Bacardi said.

All the bottles were bound for the Canadian market, and they were only sold in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

It's the second time in recent weeks such an error has been discovered. The province's liquor board recalled Georgian Bay brand vodka in March because several hundred bottles had not been properly diluted.

Only 1.14-litre bottles of the product are affected, and they all have a product code of L16304 on the bottle. All affected bottles have been pulled off store shelves, but some may have already been purchased.

All affected bottles have a product code of L16304W printed on the bottom. (CFIA)

Anyone who has done so is urged to return it to the place of purchase for a refund. "We do not recommend consumption of this product," Bacardi said.

Four other provincial alcohol regulators followed the LCBO's lead and recalled the Bombay Sapphire gin, with the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation pulling the product from shelves, as has Saskatchewan's Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Quebec's Société des alcools du Québec as well as the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation have also recalled the product.

On Wednesday evening, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced the recall had been expanded countrywide.

"There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product," the CFIA said.