FDA warns of hand sanitizers in food-like packaging

A warning about alcohol-based hand sanitizers in packaging that looks like food or drink has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The agency has discovered that some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles, and vodka bottles,” according to an FDA news release. “Additionally, the FDA has found hand sanitizers that contain food flavors, such as chocolate or raspberry.”

Reports received by the FDA include a person who bought what they believed was drinking water but was actually hand sanitizer, and a hand sanitizer using children’s cartoons in marketing and sold in a pouch that resembled a snack.

“I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizer being packaged to appear to be consumable products, such as baby food or beverages,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., said in the release. “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.”