FDA: Make sure you aren’t drinking hand sanitizer even if it’s in a beer can

Drinking hand sanitizer can be toxic

Hand sanitizer stock image (Pexels)

With a global pandemic underway, companies have gotten creative to meet the demand for hand sanitizer but the Food and Drug Administration warns some of that creativity may be dangerous to consumers.

The FDA issued a warning this week about alcohol-based hand sanitizers being packaged in containers that may look like food or drink items. According to the agency, “some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles.”

The agency also found some sanitizers contain food flavors, causing even more consumer confusion.

Recently, the FDA learned of a person who purchased a bottle they thought contained drinking water but it was hand sanitizer.

Ingesting hand sanitizer can be toxic and the FDA is reporting an increasing number of cases where people suffer serious symptoms or even death from drinking the germ killer.

“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,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said. “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.”

Hand sanitizer can be toxic when ingested. The FDA continues to see an increasing number of adverse events with hand sanitizer ingestion, including cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, hospitalizations and death, primarily reported to poison control centers and state departments of health