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Shop is fined for stocking deadly drink
9:10am Friday 1st February 2013 in News
AN Oxford newsagent has been fined for stocking bootleg vodka containing a potentially deadly chemical.
Drinking one shot of the fake Arctic Ice Vodka would be the equivalent of five shots, according to Trading Standards officers.
Experts said it contained dangerously high levels of chemical propan-2-ol which is usually found in car windscreen wash and nail varnish remover.
Exessive consumption could cause brain damage or serious heart problems.
Trading Standards officers uncovered the lethal brew on the shelves of Iffley News in Iffley Road in December 2011 and hit the firm with £5,000 in fines at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The company was fined £4,000 for stocking the unsafe vodka, and £1,000 for failing to identify the supplier.
Richard Webb, the acting head of Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team, said: “This was a case of a ‘white van man’ turning up at the store and selling his alcohol at a very low price. We hope this sends out a message to other businesses that selling unsafe goods not only puts their customers at risk but can also lead to hefty punishments for them.
“This particular incident involved unsafe vodka – drinking about the third of the bottle could have lethal consequences.
“We urge any business that is approached by unlicensed people looking to sell goods to contact us as well as any member of the public who may spot counterfeit goods.”
Earlier this month trading standardswarned residents people to watch out for fake bottles of Arctic Ice which had been found on sale in Oxfordshire.
Officers were alarmed by the dangerously high levels of potentially deadly chemicals.
Anyone who had bought the drink was advised to destroy it, and if they had drank any to seek medical advice immediately.
In December the Oxford Mail revealed that the trading standards team seized 227 bottles of fake wine and eight bottles of vodka since June last year.
About £2,000 of counterfeit alcohol was seized from Ansh Food and Wine in Chinnor in April.
The haul included 147 bottles of fake Blossom Hill wine, 28 bottles of counterfeit Jacob’s Creek wine, and one bottle of fake vodka.
Judith Heathcoat, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “This case is particularly alarming as the high levels of the chemical effects of this vodka could lead to brain damage and heart problems.”
No one from the shop was available to comment.