Counterfeit Vodka Warning

PUBLISHED: 18:02 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:33 10 June 2010

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26: DEVON S TRADING Standards Service is warning consumers and businesses that a contaminated batch of counterfeit SPAR Imperial Vodka has been discovered in Northumberland and London.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26: DEVON'S TRADING Standards Service is warning consumers and businesses that a contaminated batch of counterfeit 'SPAR Imperial Vodka' has been discovered in Northumberland and London.

The warning issued advises to avoid the bottles which may be found at car boot sales or other outlets, however tempting the price tag may be.

The bottles, which are labelled 'SPAR Imperial Vodka', contain dangerous levels of methanol which can cause permanent blindness.

The symptoms of methanol poisoning include abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness, and Trading Standards are warning the levels found could have serious health effects.

Effects 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 easiest way to identify the bottles is that genuine Imperial Vodka is only available from SPAR (UK) Ltd stores.

The counterfeit bottles have a hint of acetone smell, which is similar to the smell of nail varnish, and are identified by the code 'QI:1445c' and a smudged inkjet code reading that says '102234 04/08/02'.

If anyone sees these spirits for sale, or has already purchased a bottle, they are asked to contact the Trading Standards Service immediately on 01392 381381.

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