Producing fake beverages is seen as a way of making money and it can be bought cheaply. However it’s a big problem because of the risks it poses to people’s health, it can cause anything from nausea to blindness and even death.
What are fake beverages?
Fake or illegally produced beverages are drinks that are produced in unlicensed distilleries or people's homes and intended for sale. Much of the fake or illegally produced beverage contains potentially dangerous chemicals.
Health risks from fake beverages
Properly produced and certified drinks are made with legally accepted substances which make them safe for consumption by the general public. MOST illegal beverage manufacturers use harmful chemicals and substances which can hamper one’s health beyond control. Fake beverages can at times also contain antifreeze, nail polish remover or even paint stripper. Drinking beverages containing these harmful substances can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. It can also lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma. Methanol, a substance which can be used in fake alcohol, may cause permanent blindness.
How to recognize fake beverages
It's important to know how to spot—and avoid—a fake beverage if you do come across it.
1. Place: Make sure you buy from a reputable supermarket, off license or shop.
2. Price: If a deal looks too good to be true, it most probably is.
3. Packaging: Look out for:
- Poor quality labelling, including things like spelling mistakes.
- Properly sealed caps. If the seal is broken, don’t drink it. Even if it’s not illegal, it could have been tampered with.
- Fake bar codes. If you have an app on your mobile that scans bar codes, scan it and see if it’s listed as the correct product.
4. Product: Look out for fake versions of well-known brands and be wary of unusual brand names you haven’t seen before.
What to do if you spot a fake beverage
If you think you've spotted or drunk a fake beverage, report it to us by clicking here
Your identity will be kept strictly confidential, and you will receive a financial reward from us if the information you provide is proven accurate.