95% proof danger drink on sale: warning

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Trading standards officers in Lancashire are warning people not to drink a Polish high-strength alcohol which has an ABV of 95%.

Spirytus 95% or Spirytus Rektyfikowany is a base alcohol which is generally used in Eastern Europe for making home-made liqueurs.

Rachel Wilcock from Lancashire’s Trading Standards Service said: “We are aware that these products are on sale in some Polish shops in Lancashire and we want to make unsuspecting customers aware at the earliest opportunity about this issue. An ABV of 95% is simply too strong an alcohol to be drunk neat, as a shot drink.

“We suspect the product may not have adequate labelling, i.e. not having instructions for use in English, and therefore poses a hazard to people who consume it neat.

“Most spirit drinks are around the 40% ABV mark, so this is more than double the strength of regular spirits. We don’t want people to misuse the product thereby posing a risk to their health and possibly their lives.

“There has been an instance in Australia where a young girl drank the product and subsequently died, and we don’t want this to happen to anyone else.

“Scientific evidence suggests that two shots of this drink could kill you, so we are very keen to liaise with the shops where it’s on sale to make sure it is sold safely and legally.

“If anyone sees the product on sale in Lancashire, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.”