Issued By
County Council

Methanol contamination of Kirov Vodka

THE Food Standards Agency has issued a warning that bottles of counterfeit Kirov Vodka are contaminated with Methanol.

Tests on counterfeit bottles seized by Customs and Excise showed that they contained unacceptable high levels of methanol. Vodka should not contain methanol at such levels. If consumed it could cause serious harm to health.

Symptoms of methanol poisoning include severe abdominal pain, drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision leading to blindness and breathing difficulties leading to coma.

Mick King, County Trading Standards Officer, Northumberland County Council said: “The symptoms can be delayed for several hours so anyone who may have drunk this vodka may not be immediately aware of its dangers. Any person who may have drunk it should contact their doctor immediately. Our first priority is to get this product off the market and to protect public health. If anyone has stocks of this product they can contact us for advice. Our department is prepared to collect and destroy suspect bottles”
The counterfeit bottles come in 70cl and 35cl sizes. Like the genuine ones, the bottles are clear, have a red screw top and have a white label bearing the name Kirov Vodka in red.
Genuine bottles have a red screw top with a double-headed eagle printed in gold and black on the top and 'Kirov' printed on the side in three places. The lids of the counterfeits seized are just plain red. The genuine bottles have a lot code marked in black ink on the neck of the bottles. The counterfeits seized did not have any lot code marking.

More information can be found on the Food Standards Agency website at:

For further information please contact:
Trading Standards Department
NE61 2AP
Telephone: 01670 534585
Fax: 01670 534590

Further information is available from:
Nicola Sleightholme, Public Relations Assistant, Northumberland County Council
Tel: 01670 533252
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