Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

FAKE KIROV VODKA CONTAMINATED WITH METHANOL

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and local Environmental Health Departments are issuing a warning to the public after the discovery of another fake spirit drink with a high level of methanol contamination.

This alert follows a number of similar warnings earlier this year involving fake vodka and whisky products contaminated with methanol, a poisonous form of alcohol. The latest incident occurred in Sidcup, Kent, however officers will be carrying out precautionary checks in West Yorkshire retail outlets. Details of the counterfeit product found in Kent are as follows:

Name: Kirov Vodka
Quantity: 35cl and 70cl
Other markings: PRODUCE OF UNITED KINGDOM, HALEWOOD VINTNERS LTD ROBERTTOWN WF15 7LL, 37.5%vol.
Bar code: 5 011166 004714 (35cl) 5 011166 004707 (70cl).

Pictures of counterfeit and genuine product can be viewed on the Food Standards Agency website www.foodstandards.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/kirovcounterfeit. Two features distinguish the fake Kirov:

· Both bottle sizes are sealed with a plain red metal screw cap with crimping along the top circumference (genuine product has a printed cap with a double headed eagle in gold and black on the top and the word Kirov printed three times at an angle on the side).
· Neither bottle size is marked with a lot number (genuine product has an ink jet lot code applied in black ink to the glass).

Analysis of the contents of the 70cl bottle has found it to be so heavily contaminated with methanol that it represents a serious health risk, the 35cl contains a lesser amount. Symptoms of methanol poisoning include: severe abdominal pain, drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision leading to blindness, coma with breathing difficulties. The symptoms of methanol poisoning can be delayed for several hours so anyone who may have drunk any of these spirits may not immediately be aware of the dangers.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer, West Yorkshire Joint Services, commented: ‘The emerging trade in dangerous fake goods is of great concern to this Service. Methanol is a dangerous poison and its consumption could have appalling consequences. I urge the public and retailers to purchase from reputable outlets. Any retailer or member of the

public who suspects they have purchased this product or seen it on sale should contact the Consumer Helpline (0113 3848 848) or their local Environmental Health Department without delay.’

For further information contact:

Carol Hallet General Media Contact 0113 383 6407
Andrew Bibby Principal Officer 0113 289 8237
Steven Kaye Principal Officer 0113 289 8229