Officials have issued a warning to consumers after potentially harmful fake bottles of vodka were discovered in a Handsworth off licence.
The fake 70 cl bottles of SELEKT vodka were seized by trading standards officials and have been found to contain a high level of methanol.
The bottles are copies of the genuine ‘SELEKT’ brand vodka – a legitimate brand currently only available from ASDA supermarkets across the UK.
Any product on sale anywhere other than the official retailer should be considered as suspect. The consumer should either return the product to the shop where it was bought and/or contact the council directly.
Officials advise consumers check the label carefully. Genuine bottles of SELEKT vodka have a varnished glossy label to the touch, whereas the fake bottles have labels that are of a matt finish. Another tell-tail-sign is the smell of the product, the counterfeit vodka smells like methylated spirits.
Genuine bottles also have a lot code etched on the lower edge of the bottle and have the marking ‘AGC’ on the bottle base. Neither of these markings are featured on the counterfeit bottles.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “We are very concerned about the sale of this product in Birmingham, not just from a fraud point of view, but also because of the potential harm this product can cause if consumed.
“It is vital that anyone who has this counterfeit product get in touch with the council so we can identify where the product is being sold and take appropriate action.”