Warning after seizure of counterfeit booze
People in Stone are being warned about the dangers of counterfeit alcohol after fake brands were seized at off-licences across the county.
Staffordshire County Council’s public protection team has made the seizures over the past two months but they are urging businesses and members of the public to remain alert to its availability.
Tests carried out by the county council’s own scientific services laboratories revealed that the confiscated items contained toxins with potentially lethal consequences.
Amongst the seizures was a product called Arctic Ice Vodka. This is not a genuine brand of vodka and tests revealed that it contains a high proportion of methanol which can cause serious health risks, including blindness, if consumed. Traces of chloroform and isopropanol, both commonly used in cleaning products, were also found in this product.
The public protection team also seized counterfeit bottles of Glen’s vodka. When tested by the scientific services team, the samples were found to have dangerously high levels of alcohol and methanol. Counterfeit bottles of Blossom Hill wine have also been appropriated.
The team are aware that Arctic Ice Vodka and counterfeited brands such as Glen’s and Smirnoff are still in circulation so they are warning traders against selling this vodka and advising them to let them know if they are approached by anyone offering to supply it.
The team also want to warn the public that Arctic Ice Vodka in particular should not be consumed and are asking people to inform them if they see this or any other suspect alcohol on sale.
In the meantime, public protection officers will continue to monitor premises and carry out investigations where counterfeits are found.
Pat Corfield, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for communities, culture and customers, said: “One of the county council’s main priorities is protecting the health and wellbeing of its residents so we are very concerned by the production and distribution of counterfeit alcohol.
“Consuming such products can be extremely dangerous so people need to be extra vigilant when making a purchase.”
The county council’s public protection team can be contacted on 0300 1118000.