Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Look out for fake spirits this New Year

Published

on

Glen's Vodka: Fake on the right, original product on the left.

Glen’s Vodka: Fake on the right, original product on the left.

REVELLERS celebrating the New Year have been warned to watch out for deadly fake vodka being sold in the local area.

Party-goers are being asked to be vigilant after thousands of bottles of counterfeit vodka containing chemicals that could prove lethal have been discovered in several locations across the UK, including in South Wales. The Pembrokeshire Herald understands that high street retailers are now being alerted to the proliferation of fake drink on sale at bargain prices over the Christmas and New Year period.

The new warning comes after Trading Standards watchdogs seized 166 bottles of counterfeit vodka from three Luton shops.

And a raid on an illegal factory in The Midlands recently uncovered 20,000 empty bottles, filling equipment and empty cans of anti-freeze, according to police.

In Weston-super-Mare, fake bottles of Smirnoff found to contain a chemical used in anti-freeze were confiscated by the authorities.

In the Luton case, officers removed vodka branded Glen’s from shop shelves after noticing the label on the bottle said “Botteled” rather than “Bottled”.

Other vodka was found to have fake duty-paid labels. Three samples were found to contain dangerously-high levels of isopropanol, commonly used as an industrial solvent, and butanol which is used in paint remover.

A public health officer said: “Drinking these chemicals could cause serious illness or even death in extreme cases.

“Many unsuspecting consumers may think they are buying cheap duty-free alcohol, when they are actually buying fake and dangerous products.”

THE DANGERS

Properly produced and certified alcoholic drinks are made with ethanol – alcohol that’s safe to drink in moderation. But fake alcoholic drinks can be produced using other cheaper types of alcohol which can have serious adverse effects on your health.

Drinkaware’s Chief Medical Advisor Professor Paul Wallace explains: “Commonly used substitutes for ethanol include chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and automobile screen wash, as well as methanol and isopropanol which are used in antifreeze and some fuels. These other types of alcohol can produce similar effects to ethanol in terms of making you feel tipsy. But they are also potentially very dangerous.”

Drinking alcohol containing these chemicals can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. Drinking it can lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma. Methanol, the substance which has been found in fake vodka can cause permanent blindness.

HOW TO SPOT FAKE ALCOHOL

Illegal: Vodka bottling plant in the Midlands

Illegal: Vodka bottling plant in the Midlands

Jeremy Beadles, former Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, believes most consumers won’t come across fake alcohol and says that it’s important to keep the problem in perspective. “The vast majority of alcohol in the UK is produced and sold legitimately,” he says. “Most pubs, corner shops, off licenses and other retailers are completely legitimate businesses and wouldn’t get involved with it.”

However, it’s important to know how to spot—and avoid—fake alcohol if you do come across it.

According to the Trading Standards Institute, people need to remember ‘the 4 Ps’: Place, Price, Packaging and Product.

1. Place: Make sure you buy from a reputable supermarket, off licence or shop. 2. Price: If a deal looks too good to be true, it most probably is. 3. Packaging: Look out for:

  • Poor quality labelling, including things like spelling mistakes.
  • UK duty stamp—spirits in bottles 35cl or larger and 30% ABV or higher have to have a duty stamp, which indicates that tax has either been paid or is due to be paid on the contents of the bottle. They’re usually incorporated into the label or stuck on the glass. If it’s not there, it’s illegal
  • Properly sealed caps. If the seal is broken, don’t drink it. Even if it’s not illegal, it could have been tampered with.
  • Fake bar codes. If you have an app on your mobile that scans bar codes, scan it and see if it’s listed as the correct product.

Product: Look out for fake versions of well-known brands and be wary of unusual brand names you haven’t seen before. Vodka, the most commonly counterfeited spirit, shouldn’t have any white particles or sediment in the bottle. If you see this, the vodka could have been diluted with tap water. If any alcohol tastes or smells bad, don’t drink it. Particularly look out for the smell of nail varnish.

If you come across what you think is fake alcohol contact the Pembrokeshire County Council trading standards team on 01437 764551.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

Published

on

MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions.

To allow for social distancing on site, both Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village have been operating a pre-booking system since last summer.

Those wishing to visit should book their tickets online before arriving at the site. This applies to Annual Pass holders and others who qualify for free entry, such as wheelchair users and accompanying carers.

Carew Castle is open to pre-booked visitors between 10am and 4pm (Tidal Mill 11.30am – 5pm), while those wishing to visit Castell Henllys will be asked to book either a morning slot (10am-1pm) or an afternoon slot (2pm-5pm) before visiting the site.

Daisy Hughes, Visitor Services Manager at Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have made some changes to the site and how we operate to ensure that we keep you, our staff and our local community safe.

“All areas of the Castle and Tidal Mill are open, including the Walled Garden and play area. Nest Tearoom, which has plenty of outdoor undercover seating, will be serving light lunches and homemade cakes along with hot and cold drinks throughout the day, and the Castle and Mill Shops remain open – although face coverings must be worn and only card/contactless payments are currently being accepted.

“With the exception of Nest Tearoom, pre-booking is essential, though, and we’re asking all visitors to make sure they book their entry tickets in advance, in order to avoid any delays or disappointment when they arrive on site.”

Entry tickets for both Carew Castle and Castell Henllys can be purchased by visiting www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events

A dynamic programme of events suitable for all the family will be running at both sites throughout the summer months. Visit the above website for more information and to book tickets.

Continue Reading

Community

Salvage Hunters: New series is filming in Pembrokeshire, and they need help

Published

on

SALVAGE HUNTERS, the well-loved and most watched Quest TV and Discovery Network show, is on the hunt for locations to film at in the Pembrokeshire and the wider South West Wales area to feature in the upcoming series.

We follow decorative antiques expert Drew Pritchard as he travels around various locations in the UK and abroad on his quest to find and buy unusual objects with an interesting history.

Drew really visits everywhere – beautiful estates, old family businesses, barns and attic’s stuffed full of unwanted things, museums, factories, collectors and iconic religious sites buying all sorts along the way – from gorgeous country house furniture and railwayana to 6ft 1980s disco balls and anything in-between.

Now in its sixteenth series and airing to over half a million people in the UK and millions more worldwide, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business or home to a broad audience, sell a few items that perhaps you no longer need, make some money and celebrate the history and heritage of the UK.

If you think you fit the bill or know somebody that might then please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with a member of our team.

Call us on 0203 179 0092 or alternatively send us an email to – salvagehunters@curvemedia.com

Continue Reading

News

Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

Published

on

TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets.

In the highly respected report Cardigan High Street has been listed as the 4th worst in Britain, whilst Haverfordwest has come 8th.

The Harper Dennis Hobbs rankings, which come out every two years, in sadly listed six Welsh High Streets in the worst 10 category.

Some retail centres have performed well since 2019 but most Welsh towns have fallen down the list.

Overall the performance in Wales was poor with a major drop in the average position of Welsh high streets on the UK list.

More shops in Haverfordwest’s town centre have closed since the coronavirus hit (Pic: File image)

The average rank was 797 – the worst of any nation and region in the UK, showing the huge challenge Welsh Government has to revive town centres. Six of the bottom ten UK high streets were in Wales.

Normally Harper Dennis Hobbs releases the full ranking but when the firm published its 2021 report in February, it only made the top 50 best-performing locations publicly available. Now, a copy of the full list shared with i lays bare the shopping centres and high streets that have fared worst over the past year.

Top of the worst list is Girvan in South Ayrshire.

Girvan is home to around 6,500 people and has suffered the same difficulties as many cities and towns across the UK when it comes to its high street’s declining appeal – but it is the area’s “very weak retail offer” and the large number of empty shops that helped seal its place at the bottom of the league table.

Haverfordwest in 2014. can you spot any differences to now?

“Girvan along with Haverfordwest and Cardigan all scored poorly due to a very weak retail offer [and] the towns have a relatively high vacancy rate,” said Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at HDH, explained: “Our analysis is unique as we use variables that both consumers and retailers consider when assessing shopping locations to rank the top 1,000 retail centres in Great Britain. This Vitality Ranking looks very different from previous years as the ‘retail health’ of high streets across the country has seen contrasting fortunes since the start of the pandemic.

“The most vital retail centres currently provide services that are essential to people’s lives, such as grocers and pharmacies. These essential retailers have been able to trade throughout the strictest lockdowns, and consumers have not been willing or able to travel far to visit these stores. Shopping patterns have therefore changed significantly since the start of the pandemic, and consumers’ local high streets are benefitting at the expense of major destinations.”

Turning empty retail spaces in the town into homes or offices could help rejuvenate the area and bring “demand to the doors” of shops that survive, Mr Metherell said.

Cardigan High Street before Covid-19 (Pic Stay In Wales)

Top 10 best high streets 2021

  1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
  2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
  3. Tenterden, Kent
  4. Wimbledon Village, south-west London
  5. Marlborough, Wiltshire
  6. Sevenoaks, Kent
  7. Kingston upon Thames, Greater London
  8. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
  9. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
  10. Ilkley, Bradford

Top 10 worst high streets 2021

  1. Girvan, South Ayrshire
  2. Bristol – Baldwin Street
  3. Chepstow, Monmouthshire
  4. Cardigan, Ceredigion
  5. Southsea, Portsmouth
  6. Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  7. Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
  8. Haverfordwest, Permbrokeshire
  9. Canning Town, east London
  10. Newtown, Powys

(Source: Harper Dennis Hobbs)

Cardigan High Street pictured in the early 2000’s before Currys left town (Pic Geograph)
Continue Reading
News10 hours ago

Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions....

News12 hours ago

Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets. In the...

News3 days ago

Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been...

News4 days ago

Organisers urged to read guidance on holding Covid-aware events

ORGANISERS planning to hold events in Pembrokeshire are being urged to read guidance published by the Welsh Government. The Welsh...

News4 days ago

Four men arrested as armed police swoop on Hubberston address

ARMED police and specialist dog handlers swooped on an address in Hubberston, Milford Haven on Wednesday night (Jun 16). The...

News5 days ago

Heatherton expansion approved

• Committee overturns officers’ objections • Economic benefits outweigh other impacts • Conditions must not delay development THE COUNCIL’s Planning...

News5 days ago

Milford Haven: Christmas cosmetics thief caged

A MIDLANDS shop lifter caught stealing £2200 worth of cosmetics and skin care products from Boots in Milford Haven just...

News6 days ago

Major blaze destroys well known Tenby chip shop

EMERGENCY services have sealed off part of Tenby following a major fire at a chip shop. Fire fighters rushed to...

News6 days ago

Tributes from family for ‘beautiful’ Ella Smith following fatal road accident

POLICE investigating Sunday’s fatal road traffic accident have confirmed that the person who sadly died has been formally identified as...

News7 days ago

Public urged to have say on second homes and empty properties policies

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has begun a consultation exercise on the authority’s policies relating to second homes and long term empty...

Popular This Week