Durisan hand sanitizer recalled over risk of serious infections

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A hand-sanitizer maker is recalling a contaminated batch of its product that could cause an infection serious enough to land someone in the hospital.

The bottles of Durisan sanitizer contain two different types of bacteria that could infect someone who uses it by getting into the bloodstream through scrapes or wounds, a Food and Drug Administration notice says.

While no complaints have been reported so far, there’s a risk the infections could grow severe enough to require hospitalization, particularly for people with compromised immune systems, according to the notice published last week.

“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,” the notice reads.

Florida-based Durisan manufactured the sanitizer from February through June of last year and distributed it to retailers across the country. The company says consumers who have any on hand should “destroy it immediately.”

The affected product comes in a wide range of packages, from 18-milliliter credit-card-sized containers to one-liter refills for wall-mounted dispensers, the notice says.

Durisan says it discovered the contamination during a routine audit focused on its scale-up in sanitizer production at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bacteria it found are Burkholderia cepacia complex and Ralstonia pickettii, according to the notice.

Durisan isn’t the only hand-sanitizer firm to grapple with contamination issues. A recent analysis by the online pharmacy and product testing company Valisure found high levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene in samples from more than a dozen sanitizer brands.

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