Devon Trading Standards warns counterfeit vodka could cause blindness

PUBLISHED: 11:14 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:33 10 June 2010

Tuesday, August 26 - DEVON'S Trading Standards Service has issued a warning to consumers and businesses concerning a contaminated batch of counterfeit SPAR Imperial Vodka , discovered in Northumberland and London.

DEVON'S Trading Standards Service has issued a warning to consumers and businesses concerning a contaminated batch of counterfeit 'SPAR Imperial Vodka', discovered in Northumberland and London.

The advice is to avoid the bottles, which are easily identifiable, however tempting the cost of the product appears to be.

The contaminated bottles of 'SPAR Imperial Vodka' contain dangerous levels of methanol, which can cause permanent blindness. Testing has shown that it is only 31% alcohol rather than the 37.5% declared the bottles are the standard 70cl size.

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

The counterfeit SPAR Imperial Vodka has a hint of acetone smell (similar to nail varnish).

Bottles of the counterfeit samples are identified by the code QI:1445c and a smudged inkjet code reading that looks like 102234 04/08/02.

There is no lot code present on the neck of the counterfeit bottle.

Bottles may turn up at car boot sales or other outlets.

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.

Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 provides free consumer advice. This service is provided by Consumer Direct in partnership with Devon County Council.

Advice can also be found at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk

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