Counterfeit Red Star Vodka Warning

red star vodkaWarning issued after new ‘brand’ of counterfeit alcohol seized in Staffordshire, people and businesses are being urged to contact the county council if they see a potentially hazardous type of counterfeit vodka on sale.

The latest seizure is a new type of vodka, which contains t-Butanol – a chemical used in industrial solvents.  If drunk, it can cause stomach problems, headaches, seizures and heart and respiration problems.  The bottles have black labels with a Red Star and little other writing.  Anyone who sees the bottles on sale anywhere in Staffordshire are being urged to call the county council’s Fight the Fakes hotline on 01785 330356.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Mike Lawrence said, “Our continued efforts to combat the sale of counterfeit alcohol have been a huge success and have had a positive effect on communities across Staffordshire.

“We have seen a big decrease in counterfeit alcohol and offending businesses are now complying with the law.  It means we are removing the risk of Staffordshire people being harmed.  However, we know there will always be a potential problem and we are asking people to be vigilant, spot the signs of counterfeit alcohol products and inform us if they spot any on sale.  Similarly, we are asking all off licence owners or managers only to buy products from a reliable source.

“We would like to reiterate the message that counterfeit alcohol is hazardous to health and can cause real damage.  By focusing our efforts on stopping the sale of these products, we are helping to make this county a safer place where legitimate businesses can prosper.”

Mike added that telltale signs of counterfeit alcohol include:

  • Unfamiliar or unheard of brands
  • Suspect labelling which may not be aligned straight or have spelling mistakes
  • Have different fill levels in bottles of the same brand
  • Have sediment in the liquid which should not be present
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