Trading Standards to check foul play in pubs during World Cup season

Landlords have been warned this week that West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Officers will be visiting pubs showing live World Cup matches to check the only ‘foul play’ occurring is on the football field.

Officers will be making sure that consumers are not being duped by watered down beer, that menu descriptions are accurate, spirits on sale are not substituted for cheaper or inferior products and that there is no illicit or counterfeit merchandise available to buy.

Officers will also be checking that spirits are not stored for long periods with ‘open pourers’ which can allow the alcohol to evaporate resulting in significantly understrength drinks.

A number of these visits will be conducted jointly with district council licensing officers.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for residents’ Services, said: “It’s important that football fans get what they pay for and that businesses that play fairly are not put at a disadvantage by those who may decide to cheat to increase their profits.”

Trading Standards has previously found 14 per cent of food premises inspected to have inaccurate claims on their menus and several instances of understrength spirits being supplied by pubs and hotels owing to the use of open pourers.

Anyone suspecting a pub of not playing by the rules can report the matter to Trading Standards – anonymously if they like – by ringing 03454 040506 or using the online reporting form at