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How to tell counterfeit Smirnoff vodka from real deal

FSAI spot counterfeit one-litre bottles of vodka with fake Smirnoff Red Label branding.

The genuine article is at the top; the faded fake version is at the bottom.
The genuine article is at the top; the faded fake version is at the bottom.

THE FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY of Ireland has warned that it has identified a number of bottles of vodka with counterfeit labels.

The one-litre bottles are marked with Smirnoff Red Label branding but were not produced by that company. Lab analysis of the vodka found that it was 32 per cent alcohol content, rather than the 37.5 per cent alcohol content in the real deal.

The Authority has warned consumers to stay vigilant and not to purchase if they have any doubts that the vodka is genuine.

These are the ways in which you will be able to tell if it is a fake label or not – the fake label is fairly sophisticated but those with the Irish addresses are fake – the ones with the UK markings are correct.

The genuine Smirnoff label:

imageThe fake Smirnoff label:




Images via FSAI.

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The CEO of the Food Safety Authority, Prof Alan Reilly, said that while there hasn’t been any specific food hazards identified in the bottles found, they are concerned that there may be unknown contaminants in other batches which they haven’t yet seized.

He said:

Given we have no information as to when or where this alcohol originates, it would be unwise for anyone to drink it.

The counterfeit vodka was found on sale in the retail and pub sectors. Food businesses should only source stock from registered distributors and wholesalers, as it is their legal responsibility to ensure the food and drink they are selling complies with all food safety and traceability requirements.

Diageo Ireland, which distributes Smirnoff here, says that it has been giving all assistance to the FSAI to identify the counterfeiters. They asked that anyone with information or who spots counterfeit products to contact them the Diageo Consumer helpline on 1850 25 00 00 or the FSAI on 1890 33 66 77 or at

Over 1,500 seizures of counterfeit goods made in first quarter of year>
‘Unscrupulous pub owners’ selling dangerous counterfeit alcohol>

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