The public is being told to remain vigilant in choosing cheaper alternatives to more popular brands of alcohol after it has emerged that counterfeit bottles are being sold right across the UK, as councils across the country seize illegally manufactured products.
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is alerting consumers to the quality of cheap alcohol, warning of high quantities of chemicals that can be found in some illicit bottles.
Harmful cleaning products and liquids such as chloroform and acetone can seriously damage the drinker’s health and, in some circumstances, cause liver failure of permanent blindness.
With concern in recent weeks regarding the dangerously low price of some alcohol and its effect on the UK’s drinking culture, this comes as another reason to look into a minimum price on alcoholic drinks on sale.
Some bottles of vodka can cost as little as £6, and are much more attractive to those on a budget than the same quantity for a higher price. Students should be particularly aware of the risks when opting for a cheaper substitute.
The content of harmful chemicals in alcohol is not limited to vodka alone. Fake wine, whiskey and other spirits can also be found. Although the likelihood of purchasing counterfeit alcohol is low, there is still a risk to be considered.
Glen’s Vodka, a brand often found in off licences, is just one company which has been imitated with illegal alcohol being sold in unofficial bottles. Drop Vodka has been highlighted by the TSI as a false brand.
The symptoms of alcohol poisoning can often be similar to those that occur after consuming a spiked drink. Vomiting, passing out and blue-tinged skin are just some of the signs to look out for.
Drinkers should be aware of an unusual and non-alcoholic smell when opening the bottle, a difference in the effect of the alcohol on the drinker, and an unpleasant or strange taste. Bottles can appear odd, with irregular labelling and different liquid levels.