The Scary Reason This Champagne Was Just Recalled In Europe

What should have been a festive gathering one weekend in February of this year turned into a nightmare and has now resulted in the issue of a warning about purchases of a popular champagne brand. According to the Daily Mail, a group of people having dinner at La Vita, an Italian restaurant in Weiden, Germany ordered a bottle of champagne, raised their glasses, and shared a toast together. Shortly after drinking, all of the diners became extremely sick, with several being overcome by seizures and even losing consciousness. The victims were rushed to a local hospital where one member of the party later died. 

In the same time period, four people in the Netherlands also became seriously ill after consuming the same brand of champagne. As police in both counties investigated the incidents, they discovered that the bottles had been poisoned, laced with the same drug and in a quantity large enough to make the champagne lethal. 

Here's what was found in the champagne bottles

Daily Mail shares that in the Germany and Netherlands incidents, the drink in question was Moët and Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne. According to Insider, bottles of this Moët champagne were laced with a drug called MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, and police investigators found the amount of ecstasy in the bottles was 1,000 times greater than what would be considered a normal-sized dose. Daily Mail shares a warning from the Dutch food and product authority NVWA that even touching champagne contaminated with this much ecstasy can cause a fatal reaction.

According to Food Safety News, the producer, Moët Hennessey hasn't yet determined how the bottles were tampered with or if more are still out there. They've issued a warning for consumers to carefully check bottles of Moët and Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne for the lot number of potentially tainted bottles. 

The amount of ecstasy in the champagne changed its color to a purplish hue, according to the Daily Beast. Since bottles of Moët and Chandon Ice Impérial have a white wrapper, color changes would only be seen after pouring. The drug also has a licorice-like scent that would not typically be found in champagne. Authorities don't believe the poisoning victims added the ecstasy themselves, and Insider notes that there have been instances of the drug being smuggled internationally inside bottles of champagne.