Dangerous fake vodka could be on sale in Devon

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Trading standards officers are warning businesses and consumers across Devon be on the look out for bottles of fake Smirnoff vodka which could be laced with industrial screenwash.

Counterfeit vodka

Counterfeit vodka - Credit: Archant

The counterfeit spirits have been sold in the Weston-Super-Mare area and officers in Devon and Somerset are concerned they could be offered for sale more widely in the South West.

They say that consuming the fake vodka could cause abdominal pain, sickness or dizziness, and in large amounts could cause blindness and even death.

Concerns were raised after officials received a report that a batch of the vodka sold to a nightclub had a hint of an acetone or nail varnish smell.

Initial examinations by officials in Weston found problems with the labelling and, following a sample analysis, the contaminated bottles were found to contain industrial solvents - possibly screenwash.


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Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council trading standards boss, said: “Pubs, clubs, off-licences and consumers should be aware that if they are offered vodka which is too cheap, it is unlikely to be genuine.

“Counterfeit vodka can cause serious health problems and we would urge local traders to check their stock and ensure that they can trace the products they sell to a reliable source.”

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Anyone with any concerns about counterfeit vodka should look out for:

• poorly printed labels

• a lack of lot numbers (which can be found either laser etched on the glass bottle or ink-jet printed on the label)

• sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Anyone with information about counterfeit vodka being purchased or sold should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or visit http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

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