Council issues fake vodka warning

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is warning members of the public to be on the lookout for sales of counterfeit bottles of vodka which have been found to contain industrial alcohol.

The issue come to light following a recent complaint to the council’s food, health and safety team. Their analysis showed that the bottle contained industrial alcohol which can include dangerous chemicals similar to those found anti-freeze, screen wash or nail polish remover.

Councillor Ron Smith, SBC’s executive member for planning and environment, said: “We would always urge the public to be extremely cautious about purchasing any fake goods, but this advice is particularly important when there is a public health risk. Drinking industrial alcohol can cause serious health problems and must be avoided.

“In this case the counterfeit vodka was sold as a recognised brand but fake spirits can also be sold as brands people may not have heard of. Counterfeit and fake alcohol is usually sold at knockdown prices and if you are offered any, either as a retailer or consumer, you should be aware that it could well be fake.

“Signs to look out for include poor quality labelling, including spelling mistakes, and bottle caps where the seal appears to have been tampered with. Our advice is to always buy from a reputable off licence premises or supplier.”

Anyone who believes they may have a suspect product should call the council’s food, health and safety team on 01835 824000 or email