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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 18:08 GMT
Contaminated vodka alert
Imperial Valkonov Vodka
The vodka contains high methanol levels
The Food Standards Agency has issued a warning about a brand of vodka that may pose a serious risk to health.

The agency is concerned that supplies of Imperial Valkanov Vodka are contaminated with dangerous levels of methanol.

It 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.

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

Immediate advice

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 on Friday 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'.

Methanol (wood alcohol) is a substance formed naturally during the production of many alcoholic drinks and, at the low levels normally present, is not harmful to health.

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