Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA Press Release (2003/0335), 28 February 2003

PRODUCT RECALL - Food Standards Agency warns against drinking contaminated vodka

The Food Standards Agency is issuing an urgent warning to anyone who may have bought a brand of vodka called Imperial Valkonov Vodka. This product could contain dangerous levels of methanol.

The Agency is advising anyone who may have a bottle of this vodka not to drink it. The origin of the vodka is not yet known, nor is it known where the vodka might be on sale. Anyone who has a bottle or who sees it on sale should contact their local authority.
This amount of methanol should not be present in vodka and, if consumed, 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 Agency was alerted to the issue today after 24 bottles of the vodka were found on sale in the Loughborough area. The bottles have been sent for testing. However, they are very similar to vodka previously found on sale in Manchester that also contained high levels of methanol.

The bottles are also marked 'Distributed for 'K.M.G. 57, Bodana Khmelnitskogo Str 236039 Kalinginrad Russia for EEC'.

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