Booze warning to vodka drinkers

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RESIDENTS in Barnsley are now being warned to look out for potentially harmful counterfeit vodka, after officials seized bottles from off-licences in the borough.

The warning comes after Trading Standards officers in Sheffield said record amounts of illicit vodka were flooding in.

Eight different brands of bogus or bootlegged vodka – in scores of bottles – have been seized in 10 Sheffield off-licences so far this year. Some was fake, and some was genuine but smuggled in to the country to avoid tax.

Three off-licence owners are currently facing prosecution.

People who have bought a bottle of vodka in Barnsley in the last few weeks are urged to check whether they have a dodgy product.

Bottles of illicit and counterfeit vodka have recently been seized by food standards officers from retailers in Darfield, Wombwell and Hoyland.

Some was found to have high levels of alcohol which is likely to have been diluted down from industrial alcohol.

Officials are particularly concerned about bottles of Arctic Ice Vodka 70cl and counterfeit Smirnoff Red Label Vodka 70cl.

A spokesman said: “This illegal product can be identified by its acetone smell, similar to nail polish remover, and a printed black lot number visible through the glass on the back of the front label.” Call Regulatory Services on 01226 772539.