top of page




Trading Standards share some of their strangest seizures of 2023

Banned imported American candy, dangerous pushchairs and oversized vapes are amongst the strangest items seized by Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers this year.


The seizures of illegal, unsafe or illicit goods represents a major stride in the team’s ongoing fight against criminal activities and efforts to keep residents safe.  


All the items present their own specific threat to public safety and consumer well-being, such as American candy made with unapproved additives, bogus perfumes and dangerous knock-off vapes.  And, thanks to the authority’s specialist animal health team, there was also an incident where over 240 calves and cattle were taken into care after an allegation of serious neglect by a farmer, and another where a dog held in kennels was rescued from abuse.


Officers have revealed some of their top hauls of the year, which include many of the usual suspects, along with some more unusual items.


  • Banned imported American candy and fizzy drinks: these often contain unauthorised ingredients banned in this country.

  • Dangerous pushchairs: these were removed from the market as they didn’t meet safety and fire regulations.

  • Fake perfume: these can contain harmful chemicals.

  • Illegal and oversized vapes: these products don’t meet safety standards and can contain harmful chemicals.

  • Illicit cigarettes and tobacco: the availability of such products disrupts effective tobacco controls and undermines public health messaging.

  • Counterfeit clothing: these are often poor quality and help support organised crime gangs.

  • Fake Apple iPhones: digital technology can have batteries which don’t meet safety standards and can be a fire risk.

  • Raw pet food: often contains low quality food and can be harmful to pets.

  • Over 240 calves and cattle:  these were at risk of neglect and rescued from a number of farms.

  • A dog at risk of neglect from kennels.


Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council, said: “It’s been yet another mammoth year for our Trading Standards team.


“It’s down to the brilliant work of our officers, who have been instrumental in safeguarding our community and ensuring the good welfare of animals and livestock.


I continue to be astounded at the variety of goods they seize each year and the lengths that criminals will go to, to flood the market with such dangerous products.  Making these seizures is vital work and not only prevents potentially harmful products from reaching consumers, but also disrupts criminal networks.


“The successes send a strong message to criminals that their illegal activities will not be tolerated, and consumers can trust that their safety is the team’s top priority."


People can report the sale of counterfeit or illegal goods to Trading Standards on the confidential helpline on 01785 330356.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
bottom of page