Beware of contaminated vodka warns Merton Council, after some bottles of Imperial Valkonov Vodka and Original Vodka Russia Export Quality were found to contain dangerous levels of methanol.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) first alerted the Council to the issue when 24 bottle of Imperial Valkonov Vodka were found on sale in the Loughborough area. The bottles have been sent for testing but were very similar to vodka previously found on sale in Manchester that also contained high levels of methanol. The suspect bottles are marked:
Distributed for ‘K.M.G. 57, Bodana Khmelnitskogo Str 236039 Kalinginrad Russia for EEC
Shortly after this discovery East Lothian Council alerted the FSA when two women were admitted to hospital after drinking Original Vodka Russia Export Quality, made in Belgium. Samples of the vodka have been sent for testing. The reverse of the bottles are marked:
LO 958, bar code 5414145035066
Large amounts of methanol should not be present in vodka. If consumed it could cause serious harm to health. Effects of methanol poisoning include abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness, blurred vision leading to blindness and breathing difficulties.
Symptoms of methanol poisoning can be delayed for several hours and anyone who thinks they may have drunk this product should seek immediate medical advice.
The origin of the two brands of vodka is not yet known or where they might be on sale. Anyone who has a bottle or sees it on sale should contact the Council’s environmental health department.
Ian Murrell, Merton Council’s Commercial and Trading Standards Manager, said: “I urge residents to be extremely cautious when drinking or purchasing vodka and to steer clear of these brands. Methanol poisoning can be fatal.
“If you have one of the suspected bottles or you see a store in Merton selling either brand then please contact us on 020 8545 3024 so we can investigate.”