Vodka warning

Beware of contaminated vodka warns Merton Council, after some bottles of St Petersburg and S. Petersbourg vodka were found to contain dangerous levels of methanol.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a Food Hazard Warning after an incident of methanol contamination in the two brands. 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 products can be identified as follows:
· S. Petersbourg Vodka
There is a white label on the front of the bottle with S.Petersbourg in black lettering and Vodka in red lettering. A gold crown with crossed swords and two red lions is at the top of the label and a gold image of buildings is at the bottom.
The back label is white with S.Petersbourg in black lettering and Vodka in red lettering.

· St Petersburg Vodka
The contaminated bottles that have been found so far have been 1-litre bottles.
The labelling is identical to the S Petersbourg brand, aside from the name and volume.

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. Traders should withdraw this product for sale and notify us immediately on the same number.”