Counterfeit Glen's Vodka
Friday 22 February 2008
The Food Standards Agency has received reports from local authorities of the seizure of 70cl bottles of counterfeit Glen's Vodka which contains higher levels of methanol than normally found in authentic Glen's Vodka. The levels of methanol are unlikely to be a health hazard but, as a precautionary measure, the Agency is advising people not to drink the counterfeit vodka.
Genuine Glen's Vodka (70cl) can be easily identified. It will only be bottled in a bottle supplied by Allied Glass Containers. This bottle has a small 'AGC' logo on the base of the bottle. The following information is also embossed in the glass, around 5mm from the base:
- 70cl 58mm C12173
Any bottle of Glen's Vodka without this marking is counterfeit.
Bottles found, so far, that have been used for the counterfeit vodka have the following codes embossed in the glass:
- SE607 700ml 66mm
- 8509 700ml 66mm
- 7828 700ml 66mm
Glen Catrine, the bottling plant for Glen’s Vodka, does not use any of these bottles for Glen's Vodka.
The front and back labels on the counterfeit bottles bottle also appear to be self-adhesive as there is no visible glue pattern. Genuine Glen's Vodka (70cl) labels are applied by a labeling machine using a wet adhesive that produces a distinctive glue pattern on the back of the label resulting in horizontal lines, approximately 2mm apart.
Presently, the counterfeit vodka has been reported by local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, including:
- South Ayrshire
- South Lanarkshire
Members of the public are advised to report any counterfeit Glen's Vodka to their trading standards service at their local authority. To find the contact details of your nearest local authority you could use our online search facility.
Reports can also be emailed to our dedicated food fraud mailbox, email@example.com. All information received will be included on our national food fraud database, to help local authorities investigate and prevent known or suspected food fraud.
Further information about the food fraud database can be found at the link below.
The science behind the story
Methanol is normally found in vodka at very low levels, but high levels should not be present because if drunk it could cause serious harm to health. The levels found in the counterfeit Glen’s Vodka (70cl) are unlikely to be a risk to health, although they are at a higher level than normally found in authentic Glen's Vodka. An excessive intake of methanol can cause methanol poisoning and the effects include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness, blurred vision leading to blindness, and breathing difficulties. Symptoms of methanol poisoning can take several hours to develop, so anyone who may have drunk this counterfeit product should seek immediate medical advice.