Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council warns of illicit ‘Drop Vodka’ health risk


Council warns of illicit ‘Drop Vodka’ health risk Following a food alert issued by the Food Standards Agency, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is warning the public to be on the alert for bottles of illicit ‘Drop Vodka’ that could be potentially damaging to health.

Bottles of ‘Drop Vodka’ 70cl have been discovered on sale in the UK. There is a food safety concern in that products sampled by local authorities have identified the presence of Propan-2-ol and other substances that can be potentially damaging to health. Under food safety legislation, this makes the product unsafe for consumption.

A number of other contraventions have been identified. The product does not contain enough alcohol to be called vodka. The Spirit & Drinks Regulations 2008 state that vodka should be no less than 37.5% ABV. Samples of ‘Drop Vodka’ taken by local authorities have detected levels of 28.6% ABV, which is well below the advertised ABV stated on the bottle.

There are also a number of labelling issues, particularly the lack of manufacturer’s details for traceability purposes.

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.

No food business operator has been identified as the owner of the ‘Drop Vodka’ brand, therefore distribution information is not available. Local authorities have typically found products on sale in small independent retailers, corner shops and petrol stations.

How to identify the product:
To date, photographs of two different ‘Drop Vodka’ 70cl labels have been received. One proclaims to be bottled in Italy, the other in France.
Main distinctive marks:
● The duty stamp does not fluoresce under UV light
● The duty reference on the illicit bottles A000000000618 belongs
to Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd. ‘Drop Vodka’ is not a Glen Catrine product
● The barcode 0123456789 is not a valid bar code
● No spirit manufacturer’s lot number on bottle
● No manufacturer’s name and address on the label
● Front and rear labels are self-adhesive
● Punt mark on bottles show bottle made by ‘Ol glassware’
● The general print quality of the labels is poor

Jane Heeley, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Chief Environmental Health Officer, says: “We take all food alerts issued by the Food Standards Agency very seriously and, although no bottles have yet been discovered on sale in Tonbridge and Malling, officers will ensure that any illicit bottles that are found are withdrawn from sale and destroyed.”

Anyone who discovers ‘Drop Vodka’ on sale is asked to contact Kent Trading Standards via Consumer Direct on 0808 156 2256.

Leave a Reply