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Local residents are being warned not to get a festive hangover after discoveries by Trading Standards of fake wine and spirits being sold in Bournemouth.
The warning comes after the council’s officers seized numbers of counterfeit wine in recent months, and uncovered industrial alcohols (e.g. Methanol and Isopropanol) being sold as vodka.
“Spending on these products is just pouring money down the drain,” said Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Member forCommunities.
“At best, these drinks are third-grade and dressed up as well-known quality brands: at worst, they could damage your health.
“Wehave to wait for the verdict in court before naming and shaming the traders concerned, but we can still alert local consumers to the counterfeit alcohol that some shops try to sell them.”
AndySherriff, Trading Standards Manager, added:
“We have found some of these products in local stores and while some of the counterfeit bottles are good copies, some shopkeepers clearly have questions to answer about how these items came be part of their stock.”
The quality of counterfeit packaging will vary, but here are a few tips for residents to look out for when spotting counterfeit alcohol products:
-Misspellings, such as “AUSTRLIA” in place of “Australia”
-Labels glued in place at odd angles
-Flat printed labels where products are usually embossed or have holograms
-Unusual places of origin – vodka from Italy, for instance
-Vague or incomplete importer details – reputable manufacturers will be proud of their products, and will usually have a website as well.
Consumers finding any alcohol product which alerts their suspicions can contact Consumer Direct (the Government reporting line) on 08454 040506 or 01209 720333.