Six million unsafe Covid-19 PPE items seized at Felixstowe port

Six million unsafe items of PPE shipped into Suffolk have been seized by trading standards officers

Data reveals more than half of the items checked failed to comply with UK safety laws.

In total, 11 million goods were examined at Felixstowe in Suffolk between 1 April and 30 September.

The PPE checked was across 102 different consignments, with 5.9m products (more than half of the products checked) failing to comply with UK safety standards.

According to Trading Standards, 90% of the hand sanitiser consignments checked failed the standard, 80% of gloves shipments checked were not up to scratch and 63% of face mask batches assessed failed to make the grade.

A Trading Standards spokesman said: "19% of the hand sanitisers failed on efficacy.

"For those that passed efficacy testing, but were non-compliant on labelling, the team worked hard to ensure that where possible these were brought into compliance and relabelled under the supervision of local Trading Standards authorities, or other agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive.

"Over 2.6 million face masks were repurposed as general face coverings, so they were not wasted."

Since September, Trading Standards said fewer PPE shipments were coming though the port, but other unsafe items were being checked.

Other unsafe items that came into the port included inflatable swim seats, giant teddy bears, baby wrist bells that were a choking hazard, maternity pillows, booster seats, baby strollers and hair straighteners and chargers.

The report added: "The work of the team is critically important in ensuring the safety of all consumers, not only in Suffolk but across the entire UK.

"Their activities also help maintain a fair trading environment, preventing illegal operators from gaining an unfair advantage over reputable businesses that expend cost and effort to assure compliance with UK safety law."