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FDA warns of using hand sanitizer packaged in food and drink containers

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Posted at 3:37 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 18:37:06-04

The FDA warned the public on Thursday to not use hand sanitizers packaged in containers that may appear as food or drinks and may put consumers at risk of serious injury or death if ingested.

The FDA said that some products are being packaged in items such as water bottles and food pouches, and may contain flavors such as chocolate or raspberry. The FDA said that ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause significant cardiac injury, including death.

The FDA said that one consumer bought a plastic bottle of hand sanitizer thinking it was water.

“Drinking only a small amount of hand sanitizer is potentially lethal to a young child, who may be attracted by a pleasant smell or brightly colored bottle of hand sanitizer,” the FDA said.

“I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizer being packaged to appear to be consumable products, such as baby food or beverages. These products could confuse consumers into accidentally ingesting a potentially deadly product. It’s dangerous to add scents with food flavors to hand sanitizers which children could think smells like food, eat and get alcohol poisoning,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Manufacturers should be vigilant about packaging and marketing their hand sanitizers in food or drink packages in an effort to mitigate any potential inadvertent use by consumers.

“The FDA continues to monitor these products and we’ll take appropriate actions as needed to protect the health of Americans.”