Food Standards Agency
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People warned not to drink Drop Vodka

The Food Standards Agency is warning consumers not to drink an illegal brand of vodka called Drop Vodka, which has been found on sale in some shops.

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 'Drop Vodka' is not registered, it has not been through this process, so the Agency cannot be sure what is in the product. 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.

Colin Houston, Head of Incidents and Food Fraud at the Food Standards Agency, said: 'We urge consumers not to buy "Drop Vodka". It may be cheap, but people have got to ask if it is a price worth paying if their health could be at stake. We are working closely with local authorities to catch these criminals who are trying to profit by putting people’s health at risk.'

Other tests have found that the product does not contain enough alcohol to be called vodka. Legally, vodka should contain no less than 37.5% alcohol but ‘Drop Vodka’ has levels of 28.6% alcohol. There are also some labelling issues with ‘Drop Vodka’, particularly the lack of producer’s details, which are needed to ensure that the vodka is fully traceable.

If consumers discover any 'Drop Vodka' on sale, they should contact their local authority or call the Food Standards Agency food fraud hotline on 020 7276 8527.

To date, the illicit bottles of vodka have been found on sale in England and Wales, specifically in the towns of Scunthorpe, Norwich, Wakefield, Leeds, Salford, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Potters Bar, Aldershot, Colchester and Cardiff, though it could be on sale throughout the UK. 'Drop Vodka' has been found on sale in small independent retailers, corner shops, petrol stations and so on, but there is also concern that pubs and clubs may have been targeted.

The FSA has alerted local authorities about this issue and asked them to investigate and ensure that 'Drop Vodka' is removed from sale in their areas.

About product withdrawals and recalls

If there is a problem with a food product that means it should not be sold, then it might be 'withdrawn' (taken off the shelves) or 'recalled' (when customers are asked to return the product). The Food Standards Agency issues Product Withdrawal Information Notices and Product Recall Information Notices to let consumers and local authorities know about problems associated with food. In some cases, a ‘Food Alert for Action’ is issued. This provides local authorities with details of specific action to be taken on behalf of consumers.

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