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You should definitely avoid this recalled hand sanitizer

Published Mar 26th, 2021 1:43PM EDT
hand sanitizer recall
Image: Brandon/Adobe

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Hand sanitizer has been a big part of daily life for millions of people over the last year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Ensuring your hands are free of nastiness is a great way to prevent the spread of diseases, and a quick squeeze of sanitizing gel is usually all it takes to give yourself that advantage and some peace of mind along with it. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a number of brands of hand sanitizer come up well short, and yet another brand is now subject to a recall.

In a bulletin posted by the FDA, Sanit Technologies LLC announces the recall of its Durisan brand antimicrobial hand sanitizer. The recall was issued because the hand sanitizer doesn’t actually sanitize your hands, and can actually deposit bacteria that may make you severely ill. The bacteria — Burkholderia cepacia and Ralstonia pickettii — were discovered in higher-than-acceptable amounts in the product, and a full 26 lots of the sanitizer sold in six different types of packaging have been recalled. Yeah, it’s a massive recall.

Normally this is the part where I try to impress upon you that the recall I’m writing about should be taken seriously, and that you should check your home and workplace for this product to avoid getting sick. In this case, however, the recall bulletin does a really good job of hammering the point home, so I’ll just let you read this paragraph:

Use of a hand sanitizer contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia complex and Ralstonia pickettii, can range from no reaction to serious infections in a person with a hand wound or scrapes because the bacteria could enter the bloodstream, especially in patients with compromised immune systems. Health care professionals who use this contaminated hand sanitizer and tend to an at-risk patient, such as one with cystic fibrosis, could lead to adverse events ranging from a localized infection to lung or bloodstream infections, which could require patient hospitalization.

Yeah, that’s pretty much all the reason you need, right? Unfortunately, the recalled hand sanitizer has been in use for a long time. It was first rolled out in February of 2020 and was sold until June of that year. It was sold nationwide in the United States, though the recall bulletin doesn’t mention any specific stores.

The company “has provided written notification to its distributors and retailers and is alerting customers,” according to the recall page. With the product first reaching the market over a year ago, there’s a good chance that a lot of it has been used up already, but it’s also likely that consumers still have it in their homes or offices.

If you think you might have some of this product, check and then double-check. It’s better to be safe than sorry in instances such as this, and you don’t need dirty hand sanitizer in your home anyway.