FDA Warns Against Packaging Hand Sanitizer in Food and Drink Containers

Hand sanitizers are one of the most popularly purchased products due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, many brands are trying to make their sanitizers unique by adding flavors or scents or colors. Unfortunately, what they often don't consider is that these additives make it more attractive for children to want to try and eat. This could lead to alcohol poisoning, and the FDA is warning consumers to be wary. 

A lot of alcohol-based sanitizers also come in packages that look like food or drinks, another way that children might get confused. Some popular packaging includes beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles, and vodka bottles. “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.” In one instance, the FDA received a report that a customer purchased a bottle of what they thought was drinking water and was actually a bottle of hand sanitizer. Many other packaging includes pictures of food or cartoons, and ingesting even a small amount could be deadly to a young child.

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