CHINESE RETAILER FINED RMB30K FOR VODKA KILLS CORONAVIRUS CLAIM
By Tony Zhu
Source: Qingdao Government
A Chinese supermarket claiming that a 75% abv Vodka can double up as a disinfectant to kill coronavirus was fined RMB30,000 (USD4826) for violating food safety laws.
Market regulation inspectors of Qingdao city in Northeastern China spotted the problematic Vodka product on a supermarket shelf in an inspection early this month.
They found 27 bottles of 75% abv Vodka which carried labels claiming that the product can be doubled up as a disinfectant to fight the coronavirus.
The labels read: “Together We Will Fight The Epidemic”. It went on to quote experts as recommending to use 75% abv alcohol to kill bacteria and virus. It also claimed that the Vodka product can be used on person, at home, in the office, and is good for protecting elderly and children from gems.
The inspectors ruled that the retailer has violated a clause in China’s food safety laws which said labels for food products and food additives cannot make claims about disease prevention and illness cure.
The retailer was handed an administrative fine of RMB30,000 and the 27 bottles of Vodka with the problematic labels were confiscated.
Vodka is a distilled spirit known for its purity and high strength. The source ingredient can be anything with sugar or starch, but most commonly used ingredients are potatoes and grains.
It has to be distilled to very high strength of 95 or 96% abv, most are then diluted to about 40% before bottling to make the spirit palatable to consumers. The Vodka in question which is diluted to 75% abv, if true, is not a common practice.
Sanitising products like disinfectants and rubbing alcohol are in short supply in China because of the coronavirus epidemic, this maybe why some retailers are trying to market drink spirits as a possible disinfectant substitute.
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