WIGAN’S festive revellers have been put on high alert over a rogue batch of spirits that can seriously damage your health.
Council officers are warning people to be on the lookout for an illegal and potentially harmful brand of vodka, after bottles of the contaminated spirit were discovered on sale in various parts of the UK, including nearby Salford.
The Food Standards Agency has issued a nationwide alert after confiscated bottles of Drop Vodka were found to contain Propan-2-ol, a substance which can cause eye irritation, respiratory problems and skin rashes.
The drink also contains just 28.6% alcohol by volume (ABV), when the legal level for a product to be called vodka is 37.5% ABV.
While no bottles have yet been found in Wigan borough, the council’s Trading Standards officers are urging consumers and businesses to be vigilant.
Julie Searing, service manager business compliance, said: “Illegally produced alcohol is often sold at a much cheaper price than legitimate brands, but while it can seem like a bargain, it’s just not worth the risk.
“Propan-2-ol can have serious health effects, and I would urge people not to buy Drop Vodka if they see it for sale.
“Shopkeepers found to be selling illegal alcohol face serious penalties including the loss of their licence.”
Drop Vodka also falls foul of labelling issues – particularly a lack of its manufacturer’s details for traceability purposes.
Coun Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet member for communities, added: “Shopkeepers and consumers still need to be vigilant.
“People should consider the potential consequences they face, not simply to their business but also to their health.”
To date, the illicit bottles of vodka have been found on sale in England and Wales.
Local authorities have typically found products on sale in small independent retailers, corner shops and petrol stations.
Consumers or businesses wanting to report sightings of Drop Vodka should contact Wigan Council on 01942 489330.