Trading Standards warning on counterfeit vodka in Mansfield

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RESIDENTS are being warned about counterfeit vodka that was on sale on the run-up to Christmas from a Mansfield shop following the seizure of 18 bottles of counterfeit Smirnoff Vodka by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team.

The seizure followed a complaint from a resident who purchased the vodka from the shop in December believing it was the genuine product.

Three full boxes of the fake vodka were found in the shop’s storeroom and the council believes that at least five other counterfeit bottles were sold prior to the seizure.

It has been confirmed by Diageo, which produces Smirnoff Vodka, that the seized vodka is counterfeit.

Trading Standards officers are carrying out further investigations and have organised for tests to be carried to verify whether any dangerous chemicals are contained in the vodka.

Tell-tale signs of fake vodka include the drink smelling like nail varnish, poorly printed labels, spelling errors and bottles on the shelf not being filled to the same level.

Margaret Statham, Trading Standards Officer at the county council, said: “We would emphasise that we are not aware of any counterfeit Smirnoff containing chemicals in quantities which are harmful to health.

“However, we have not received the results of the analysis from this product so we are asking people who have purchased Smirnoff Vodka in the Mansfield area in December to double check their bottles to ensure it is not from the same batch of counterfeit vodka we have seized.

“This particular batch of vodka smells of paint stripper when opened but if you have any doubts or you believe your vodka is counterfeit please contact us in Trading Standards.”

Counterfeit alcohol is rare and alcoholic drinks available in reputable shops and bars are very likely to be genuine.

Fake alcoholic drinks can contain chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and automobile screen wash, as well as methanol and isopropanol which are used in antifreeze and some fuels.

Drinking alcohol containing these chemicals can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness, and can lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma.

People with any concerns or information about counterfeit vodka on sale in Nottinghamshire should contact the Council’s Trading Standards team on 01623 452076.