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Caithness.org News Bulletins - November 2002
WARNING ABOUT "CHRISTMAS
Only last week, the Food Standards
Agency issued a warning about counterfeit Johnnie Walker Black Label
Whisky, which had been found in England. It contained methanol at 2,000
times the normal level, which can cause serious harm to the body including
severe abdominal pain, drowsiness, blurred vision,
Alan Yates, Principal Food Safety Officer with The Highland Councils TEC Services, said: "Although none of that product identified in England has been found in Scotland, people should avoid buying any alcohol from any dubious sources. People should always ask themselves why they are being offered a product so cheaply. What may seem a bargain may cause serious health problems.
Anyone with concerns should contact their local Environmental Health Office." Environmental Health officers will also be carrying out alcohol sampling from licensed premises in the run up to Christmas to ensure consumers are getting the spirits they request. The regular sampling programme is carried out to ensure 'substitution' is not occurring. The practice of substituting cheap, sometimes bootlegged, spirits into branded spirit bottles for resale in pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars is known as 'tipping' in the trade.
Although estimated UK-wide rates have dropped from 1 in 12 outlets in 1999, to an estimated current figure of 1 in 20 outlets, the practice still costs consumers an estimated £20 million per year".