Warning About Fake Bottles of Vodka Containing Anti-Freeze

TRADING Standards officers have warned that bottles of fake vodka laced with anti-freeze could be on sale in Cambridgeshire. Several bottles of fake Spar-brand Imperial vodka, with excessive levels of methanol, have recently been discovered in Northumb

TRADING Standards' officers have warned that bottles of fake vodka laced with anti-freeze could be on sale in Cambridgeshire.

Several bottles of fake Spar-brand Imperial vodka, with excessive levels of methanol, have recently been discovered in Northumberland and north London.

Trading Standards officers are working with their colleagues in Environmental Health Services across Cambridgeshire to warn the public not to buy or drink this product. They are also calling for traders to check their shelves to ensure they are not selling the vodka.

The counterfeit bottles are 70cl Imperial Vodka and are labelled as 'specially selected by Spar'. Bottles of the counterfeit samples are identified by the code QI:1445c and a smudged inkjet code reading which looks like 102234 04/08/02. There is no lot code present on the neck of the counterfeit bottles, whereas lot codes are present on all legitimate stock.


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The label on this counterfeit vodka is a copy of an old, pre-2007 version of SPAR 70cl Vodka. The main distinctive marks are that the body of the text is blurred in places, particularly around back label text, and images have some blurring.

David Broughton, Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards officer, said: "We want to warn residents and traders to check for counterfeit vodka. It is very worrying that these fake spirits contain such high levels of methanol. Officers are also concerned that residents may unwittingly buy these counterfeit bottles from unscrupulous traders selling cheap alcohol without a licence over the bank holiday period.

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"We want to ask anyone who has a bottle of Spar-brand Imperial vodka to check to ensure that it is not counterfeit and if it is please ring us on 0845 045 5206. We also want to remind consumers that Imperial vodka sold in Spar (UK) Ltd stores is genuine and not affected by this issue."

Spar-brand Imperial vodka sold in Spar (UK) Ltd stores is not affected and legitimate bottles used in the genuine process are Rockware glass bottles notated by the following: 700ml66mm followed by two symbols and then the numbers 8809.

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