The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about hand sanitizer safety. The agency is warning consumers to be wary about alcohol-based hand sanitizer that’s packaged in food and drink containers.
According to the warning, hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles. They have also discovered hand sanitizers that contain food flavors like chocolate or raspberry.
“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,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn.
The FDA received a report that a person bought a bottle that they thought was full of water, only to discover that it was hand sanitizer. They also received a report from a retailer that said they saw a hand sanitizer product marketed with cartoons for children that was in a pouch that looked like a snack.
The FDA said that it has seen an “increasing number of adverse events with hand sanitizer ingestion, including cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, hospitalizations, and death.” If an adult ingests hand sanitizer, they may suffer from side effects like an upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. If someone ingests large amounts, they could die.
Hand sanitizer consumption is especially concerning with children. If just a tiny amount is consumed, a child may experience burning in the mouth and throat. But anything other than that could be serious.