Food Standards Agency
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

FSA warning issued on drinking Czech spirits

The Food Standards Agency is advising people travelling to, or recently returned from, the Czech Republic to steer clear of locally-produced hard spirits. This follows a recent spate of alcohol-related cases of methanol poisoning in the country, including 19 deaths.

The poisonings are associated with bootleg spirits that have been tainted with industrial methanol and which are on sale in markets, restaurants and pubs in the Czech Republic.

A further 36 people have been admitted to hospital after drinking the spirits. The spirits include vodka and rum, marketed as ‘hard liquor’, containing over 20% alcohol. On-the-spot tests by officials in the Czech Republic confirmed high levels of methanol in the alcohol. The Czech Ministry of Health has taken immediate steps to ban the sale of alcohol over 20% for the foreseeable future.

Colin Houston, the FSA’s Head of Incidents, said: ‘We’re advising people to be extra cautious when buying and drinking alcohol in the Czech Republic. In particular, we’re also warning people who may be bringing the locally-produced alcohol back as souvenirs to be vigilant, as these so-called hard liquors can contain potentially lethal levels of methanol.’

The FSA is advising people that the following products may have been associated with the contamination and should not be purchased or consumed:

  • Hanacka Vodka
  • Vodka Drak
  • Merunka
  • Borovicka
  • Svestkova vodka
  • Vodka Lunar
  • Tuzmak

Labels of all the potentially contaminated products are available at the link below.

Consumers needing further information or advice should contact the FSA’s Incident Team on 020 7276 8448.

Related Items

PDNS: Mandatory Active Cyber Defence for Public Sector Networks. Latest Guide