Another hand sanitizer warning has surfaced from the FDA, this one involving hand sanitizers that are being packaged in containers that may appear as food or drinks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has discovered that some alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles. Additionally, the FDA has found hand sanitizers that contain food flavors, such as chocolate or raspberry.

This is a great risk to consumers as ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers can lead to serious injury or death.

“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.”


An example provided in the press release involves a report the FDA received of a consumer who purchased a product that appeared to be drinking water, but it was instead filled with hand sanitizer.  Another report came from a retailer about hand sanitizer that was marketed with cartoons for children and came in a pouch that resembled a snack.  This report is cause for great concern as even drinking a small amount of hand sanitizer is potentially lethal to a small child.

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Sadly, the FDA is seeing "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."

Health care professionals, consumers and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program. They are also asked to provide the agency with as much information to identify the product as possible.

You can click on the button below to file a report.

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