FDA Advises Consumers to Not Use Eskbiochem Hand Sanitizer

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-advises-consumers-not-use-hand-sanitizer-products-manufactured-eskbiochem

[6/19/2020] FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

On June 17, 2020, FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning. To date, the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market. Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.

To date, FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products. FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reportingprogram:

Thank You for Going Above and Beyond!

By Casey Saenz, EHS3

I had just arrived at the office to do some paperwork, get my coffee, and made my rounds of saying ‘hello’ to my fellow coworkers.  A coworker and I were discussing the news and challenging times.  As I went back to my desk, my first thought was, “hmmm… I have noticed nothing but extra kindness, diligence and caring from some of my operators while in the field conducting inspections.  Here are two examples that I came across during my morning:  

First, I met with a pool company for the opening inspection of a neighborhood pool.  I was asking the pool operator about what kind of precautions they were taking to comply with the Governor’s current  Executive Order,  and I was amazed on how careful and detailed this company is being to protect the public health of swimmers and their employees.  This pool company is using a reservation system for their clients so that small groups are allotted 90 minutes at the pool.  The company has also bought sprayers that apply EPA registered disinfectant to all of the furniture, restrooms, and frequently touched surfaces after each group leaves. (Every 90 minutes, they are cleaning all of these surfaces).  They have also dedicated some of their staff to monitor the small groups and their adherence to the 90-minute time frame.  Even though this has been difficult for their staff, this pool operator said that “it doesn’t matter because we do not need people to get sick”.  

My other example is from an Italian restaurant that I went to during a morning field visit.  I was asking this person in charge how their restaurant is doing with all of the extra precautions being taken for the sake of public health.  He said that their main concern is to do whatever it takes to prevent his clients and staff from getting sick; and looking into his kitchen, and observing the employees, I believe his statement is true.  Although he could easily open his large dining room, he is not planning to do so until it is absolutely safe.  He said this has cut back on their revenue, but he also said that people are more important.  I have heard similar statements from many of my facilities.

So to my food service, swimming pool, and tourist accommodation operators that are going above and beyond for the sake of the health of the public, I and my fellow Environmental Health staff say Thank You!  We appreciate it!

Public Notification of Cobb Food Worker with Hepatitis A

Cobb & Douglas Public Health has issued public notice that a case of hepatitis A (HAV) has been diagnosed in a food handler at Vittles restaurant located in Smyrna, Georgia. An investigation found that this employee worked while infectious Wednesday, October 2, 2019. It is rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, but anyone who consumed food or drink at Vittles on the above date should contact their healthcare provider to determine if a hepatitis A immunization is needed to prevent the disease.

Most healthcare facilities and pharmacies carry the hepatitis A vaccine, but call ahead to ensure availability.  Hepatitis A vaccination is also available at Cobb & Douglas Public Health clinics Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of insurance status. (Please bring insurance card if available.)

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant on the date that employee worked is also asked to:

  1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  3. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis A is acquired when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.

Food service owners and operators are reminded that a person may be infected with the hepatitis A virus several days before showing any signs and symptoms.  In addition to ensuring that good hygienic practices are adhered to and that all workers are aware of employee health reporting requirements, operators are highly encouraged to have their workers vaccinated against hepatitis A.

If you have questions regarding the hepatitis A infection, please call our Epidemiology & Health Assessment team at 770-514-2432.  For answers to questions regarding hepatitis A immunizations, please call 770-514-2349.   

An updated hepatitis A fact sheet prepared by the Georgia Department of Public Health provides a good summary that may be utilized in food service establishments to assist with the education of staff members and to assist in monitoring. A Spanish hepatitis A fact sheet is also available.

For more information on hepatitis A, go to www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.

Can I Eat It?: Edible vs. Non-Edible Cake Decorations

Cake decorations with their attractive colors–and often shiny appearances– help make celebrations even more fun; especially during the holidays.  However, not all decorations are safe to eat.   The Food and Drug Administration has prepared a publication entitled To Eat or Not to Eat: Decorative Products on Foods Can Be Unsafe which provides guidance to consumers to help determine if cake decorations are edible or not.  In addition, this publication provides important reminders to commercial bakers that need to be adhered to in order to help keep consumers safe. 

A good rule of thumb to remember is that if you can’t determine for sure if a decoration is safe to eat, then, please don’t.

Best wishes for safe and happy holidays for you and yours!

Be Prepared for Severe Storms and Hurricanes!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Recent reports of hurricanes along the East Coast prompts a reminder to check your preparedness status regarding food safety during emergencies.  Whether you’re a consumer or a food service operator, please check out the following:

A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms & Hurricanes provided by the US Department of Agriculture

Home Emergency Preparedness from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences of the University of Georgia

Be Prepared Georgia! brochure from the University of Georgia Extension

Inspector Impersonation Alert !

Recently, our office was made aware of a couple of facilities in our district that had been contacted/visited by someone claiming to be a health inspector—yet neither actually was.   This time of year is especially susceptible to such activity.  Thus, this is a reminder to operators of the need to review– with staff– acceptable inspection protocol and areas of food defense and personal safety that should be in place.

To assist you with training and preparation in this area, please view our Food Safety Partnership Panel #3 video on Food Defense located on our website and prepare a plan for your facility using the FDA’s A.L.E.R.T. guidance document at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodDefense/ToolsEducationalMaterials/ucm353774.htm

Wishing you a holiday season that is safe in every way!

~ Karen Gulley, Food Program Manager

Along with the Cobb & Douglas Food Service Inspection Team

 

 

Want To Be A Part Of Our Next Food Safety Partnership Panel?

We will be recording our next Food Safety Partnership Panel during the month of June, and we’re looking for volunteers to take part in this upcoming episode.  Each Partnership Panel is comprised of consumer, food service industry, and regulatory authority representatives who take part in discussing current topics related to food safety, so the only prerequisite for participation is a shared interest in the topic being discussed.

If you are interested in being a part of our next panel, please contact our Food Program Manager, Karen Gulley, at 678-385-5066.

To view one of our previous episodes, visit the Food Service page at the Cobb & Douglas Public Health website:

http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/environmental-health/food-services/

 

2016 Training Schedule Released!

Our training dates for 2016 can be viewed at the following link:

2016 Training Dates for Food Service and Swimming Pool Classes

Be sure to mark your calendar if you would like to be updated on our new Food Service Regulations or need to attend a ServeSafe Managers Training or Certified Pool Operator class!

Note:  ServSafe and Certified Pool Operator classes require advance registration.

Mark Your Calendars: New Food Service Rules Update To Be Held On January 27, 2016!

An overview of the major changes found in our new Food Service regulations will be presented by Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s Center for Environmental Health oCobbSafetyVillage_1n January 27, 2016 from 2:30-4:00 PM.  The meeting will be held at the Cobb County Safety Village, located at 1220 Al Bishop Drive in Marietta.  This presentation is being prepared especially for food service facility owners and operators, as well as anyone from the community who may be interested in these changes and areas of increased emphasis.

To reserve a seat, please complete the following registration form by January 20, 2016 and return it to the address listed on the form:

New Food Service Rules Update Registration Form

For more information, contact Karen Gulley, our Food Service Program Manager, at 678-385-5066 or Karen.Gulley@dph.ga.gov.