Czech government restricts alcohol sales further after methanol-related deaths

Following a rash of deaths from methanol-laced rum and vodka, the Czech government has placed further restrictions on alcohol sales.

Starting last Friday, the Czech government placed a blanket ban on all sales of hard liquor. Beer and wine still may be purchased at shops, restaurants and bars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As of Sunday, 20 people had died after drinking rum or vodka laced with methanol, an industrial solvent often used in black market alcohol. A further 36 people had been hospitalized.

Methanol is a low cost industrial solvent that often is used in counterfeit alcohol. Effects of ingesting methanol include nausea and vomiting, confusion and vision difficulties. In the most severe cases, it can lead to coma and death.

Methanol also is found in antifreeze, fuel additives and varnish, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Poland, which borders the Czech Republic, also banned the imports of spirits from the country for at least 30 days, according to the WSJ.

To read the full WSJ article, click here.

To read a previous Neogen blog post on the outbreak, click here.

For Neogen’s methanol testing solutions, click here.

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