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Health Canada cautioning against sugary alcoholic drinks after Quebec teen’s death

OTTAWA – The death of a Quebec teenager has prompted Health Canada to issue a reminder to Canadians about safe levels of alcohol consumption.

According to a news release from the department today, March 7, media in the province are reporting the death of a 14-year-old may have been connected with consumption of a sugary alcoholic beverage.

Health Canada says many single-serve alcohol products are intensely flavoured and are high in sugar.

That may lead people to not to realize how much alcohol they are actually consuming. Some of the products contain more than three standard alcohol drinks in one serving, the department says.

Health Canada says the product linked to the recent tragedy was not considered to be a caffeinated energy drink, which it warns can also be problematic when combined when alcohol as people may not feel all the symptoms of intoxication.

Health Canada does not permit the sale of any caffeinated energy drinks that are prepackaged and premixed with alcohol, the news release noted.

Caffeinated energy drinks are also required to carry warning statements on the label stating they are not to be mixed with alcohol.

Health Canada says it has been in contact with provincial authorities in Quebec and is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to find out more about the product that may have factored in the girl’s death, as well as any other similar products that may be available.

The department is also reassessing the safety of large-volume, single-serve alcoholic beverages.

Health Canada is advising adults to be cautious if they plan to drink such beverages and is suggesting parents talk to their children about the risks of drinking alcohol.

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