Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
Champagne drinkers have had their bubble burst after they were warned that the luxury bubbly could be laced with the lethal clubbing drug Ecstasy.
Officials in Germany believe some of Moet & Chandon’s elite three-litre Ice Imperial bottles have been contaminated with the MDMA drug.
The warning comes three months after one partygoer died guzzling the GBP 450 a bottle champers.
Consumer information and protection officials in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein asked drinkers to abstain and shun the special bottles.
Officials explained that the champagne would not look any different before uncorking it.
They announced: “Attention, life danger! When poured into glasses, a significant difference becomes evident.
“It has a reddish-brown colour. The police are already investigating the matter.”
The authority added that a comprehensive callback of a certain batch of the product was underway since consuming it could lead to serious health issues.
In the meantime, public health institutions in Belgium and the Netherlands have also blacklisted the affected batches.
Only last March, one person died while seven were seriously harmed after drinking the same product during a night out in Weiden in der Oberpfalz in Bavaria, southern Germany.
Harald Georg Z., 52, collapsed after taking a big sip from the magnum Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial as he celebrated the end of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions with some friends at the local La Vita eatery.
The businessman and his pals had started with aperols before sending GBP 450 on the mega bottle of champagne to welcome the lifting of the 10pm curfew which had been set up to fight the pandemic.
Harald Georg Z. posted a video on social media showing them toasting with champagne, with a flat-screen television in the background.
The 52-year-old commented on the clip saying “Weiter geht’s!” (Here we go!).
The group were reportedly also cheerful on that night as leading German private broadcaster RTL screened one of their mate’s appearance on the popular dating show Take Me Out.
The group suddenly showed cramps and had foam on their lips, according to Bild.
The newspaper reported that Harald Georg Z. desperately tried to run to the toilet before he passed out.
The bottle contained 1,000 times the dose of an ecstasy pill, according to local media reports.
State prosecutors are examining the incidents.
Schleswig-Holstein authorities said that the affected batches had the registration numbers ‘LAJ7QAB6780004’ and ‘LAK5SAA6490005’.
Their urgent appeal to be careful, however, sparked lots of joking comments on the internet.
A news post on the subject on Instagram was flooded with comments like “Where available, please?”
Moet & Chandon is one of the world’s leading makers of champagne. The enterprise – which is co-owner of the luxury goods company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE – produces an estimated 28 million bottles of champagne each year.
As of Friday morning, Moet & Chandon’s official homepage was unavailable.
A statement on www.moet.com said: “Maintenance. Due to maintenance on our servers, this page is temporarily unavailable. Thank you for your patience.”
MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug.
The desired effects include altered sensations, increased energy and pleasure. Extended use can lead to memory problems, sleeping difficulties and paranoia.
Around 21 million people aged between 15 and 64 used ecstasy in 2016, according to the United Nations’ World Health Report.
Short-term adverse effects include blurred vision, sweating and a rapid heartbeat.