SHOPPERS stocking up on booze for their New Year parties are being warned about the dangers of fake vodka on the shelves in some Doncaster shops.
Dozens of bottles of counterfeit spirits and wine were found in off-licence when retailers were checked just before Christmas.
Some of the alcohol bought form the back of a van may contain potentially dangerous chemicals, say experts.
A joint day of action by Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Doncaster police saw more 40 shops inspected.
Specialist advice and assistance was also provided by a representative from the International Federation of Spirit Producers.
More than 60 bottles of counterfeit spirit and wine were seized, including well-known names such as Jacob’s Creek and Glens Vodka.
Some of the other vodka seized, called Drop Vodka, is not registered in the UK and the manufacturing source cannot be verified.
Consumers are advised not to drink the vodka because it is not registered by any company in the UK and could be harmful.
Usually, food and drink goes through rigorous testing before it is placed on the market but because these products are not registered, they have not been through this process.
Tests carried out by local authorities have identified the presence of Propan-2-ol and methanol in some of the vodka, and other substances that could harm people’s health causing nausea, vomiting, dizziness – and even induce a coma.
Coun Cynthia Ransome, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “I would strongly advise consumers not to drink these unregistered products. If you have bought this type of product, or someone has offered to sell it to you, please contact Trading Standards.
“Residents should only purchase items such as alcohol from stores they know and trust. Businesses should ensure they purchase goods from traceable and reputable wholesalers and are not tempted to buy from a ‘man in a van’ who may call at their premises offering cheap alcohol.”
Consumers and businesses can report concerns to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. Information will be collated and trading standards officers will visit premises to ensure illegal vodka is removed from sale.