Food Law News - UK - 2008

FSA News Item, 12 September 2008

ADMINISTRATION - Fraud database leads to vodka raid

Intelligence gathered through the Food Standards Agency's national food fraud database has led police, customs and trading standards and environmental health officers to raid four premises in the London Borough of Haringey and seize hundreds of bottles of potentially dangerous counterfeit vodka.

The intelligence was received by the Agency after it published an alert to local authorities across the UK about counterfeit SPAR Imperial Vodka which contains potentially harmful levels of methanol. The levels recorded could have serious health effects, including blindness, if consumed in large quantities.

The Agency's national food fraud database was set up to help local authorities investigate and prevent food fraud. Intelligence received by the Agency identified a warehouse in Haringey as a possible source of supply of the counterfeit 'Imperial Vodka'. Documents seized at the premises led officers to three further locations where more counterfeit vodka was seized.

Sarah Appleby, Head of Enforcement at the Food Standards Agency, said: 'The Agency plays an important role in gathering intelligence on food fraud from across the country and sharing it with local authorities to allow them to carry out their vital enforcement role effectively. Haringey Council's investigation is still on-going and we are continuing to warn the public and other local authorities to be on the look out for this potentially dangerous counterfeit vodka.'

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