Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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Steer clear of fake booze!

by Steve Beasant on 23 December, 2014

With Christmas and New Year festivities in full swing, the council’s Trading Standards officers are visiting local businesses checking for cheap, illegal alcohol and warning people to only buy from reputable retailers.

This warning comes as hundreds of bottles of counterfeit alcohol have been seized in other parts of the Yorkshire and Humber region and tests show that many are not safe to drink because of the chemicals in them and because people can’t trust the stated alcohol strength.

During tests some have been found to contain levels of methanol which has been shown to cause nausea, dizziness, blindness and in the most severe cases can kill. Even chloroform was found, an surgical anaesthetic, not what you expect when drinking spirits.

Information leaflets are being distributed locally advising people of seven things to look out for. These include:

  • The label on a bottle may be at an odd angle
  • The label may feel bumpy and there may be glue around the edges
  • It might be an unfamiliar brand name
  • Spelling mistakes on the label
  • No manufacturer or importer name and address
  • Incorrect duty stamp. it might be missing or the wrong size or be for the wrong product eg: whisky stamp on a vodka bottle
  • Sediment in the bottle

Neil Clark, community protection manager responsible for Trading Standards, said: “At this time of year, illegal alcohol sellers know that many people will be buying alcohol to celebrate with their friends and relatives, so it is a good time for them to sell their illicit goods.

“If the price of the bottle seems too good to be true then you need to be very wary about what you are buying. It can look very convincing and you might think that you are on to a bargain, but you could pay a much bigger price in the long run.”

Anyone who thinks they might have been sold or offered illegal alcohol is urged to telephone Trading Standards via Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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