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Publication Type: Safety Bulletin
Single or Multiple Incident: Multiple
Date: 5/1/2020 12:00:00 AM
Country: Canada

This Safety Bulletin addresses the risk of accidental poisoning by ingestion of hand sanitizers that are packaged in containers usually used for drinks such as soda, water and alcoholic beverages. Written during the COVID-19 pandemic, this Bulletin identifies that during drug shortages, many companies have begun to manufacture hand sanitizers but may be limited in their ability to create or find appropriate packaging. One incident is described where a customer picked up a bottle in a grocery store thinking it was a drink but then realized it was a hand sanitizer. In addition to presenting hand sanitizing solutions in an inappropriate container, the Bulletin identifies a problem with taste. Most hand sanitizers contain alcohol which has been deliberately denatured making the product taste bad . While the use of denaturants has been required by Health Canada, that requirement has been relaxed in order to ramp up production during the pandemic. Recommendations are provided for consumers, manufacturers and retailers regarding liquid (not gel) hand sanitizers bottled in containers that are normally used for drinks.

Additional Details

Medication/Gas/Fluid:
denatured alcohol


ALERT: Hand Sanitizers That Look Like Drinks