16 December 2011

Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service is warning the public not to buy illicit vodka this Christmas.

Some shops in the county have been found selling bottles of spirit branded ‘Arctic Vodka’ and ‘Drop Vodka’. These products have been previously found to contact harmful chemicals including ispopropyl alcohol (found in cleaning fluid and hand sanitizer), methanol (used in antifreeze) and also chloroform. These chemicals are highly toxic and the public are urged to report where they see these products on sale.

Trading standards are working closely with the police and environmental health officers to identify sellers and stop the supply of these dangerous drinks. In the run-up to Christmas, they are increasing the number of premises they visit and any illegal goods will be seized and court action could follow and premises could even lose their licenses.

A trading standards spokesperson said: “The public are encouraged to be vigilant and report any suspicious products to trading standards via Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

“Shops might think they are getting a bargain by buying from a ‘man-in-a-van’. Not only could they cause great harm to their customers but they could land themselves in court and also have their alcohol licence revoked.”

Retailers can protect themselves by only buying from reputable suppliers and always getting an invoice which clearly identifies the wholesaler and the products they have bought. The retailer must be able to show where they have obtained their stock.