TORONTO — Health Canada has announced a recall after discovering a company selling a counterfeit version of one of the hand sanitizers on its approved list.
The recall, issued Sunday, says the agency became aware that a counterfeit version of the authorized Daily Shield hand sanitizer was found for sale at a Dollarama store in Thunder Bay, Ont. and may have been sold at stores across Canada.
Health Canada says it worked with Bio Life Sciences Corp., the company behind the authorized product, to make sure the counterfeit version was not one of theirs.
Daily Shield hand sanitizer is authorized for sale in Canada, but officials say the counterfeit version is not.
Health Canada says the counterfeit version of Daily Shield hand sanitizer is made with an unknown formulation that may not be effective at killing bacteria and viruses. The counterfeit product is suspected to contain methanol, which is not authorized for use in hand sanitizers in Canada and could pose serious risks to health including adverse reactions or death when ingested.
“Counterfeit products may contain ingredients not listed on the label, dangerous additives or other contaminants. In addition, they may not contain the active ingredients that Canadians would expect them to contain,” the recall said.
Health Canada says they have reached out to the distributor of the counterfeit product and instructed them to recall the product.
Dollarama has also agreed to stop the sale of Daily Shield hand sanitizer in its stores across Canada as Health Canada continues to investigate the issue.
So, if you have purchased some Daily Shield hand sanitizer recently, how can you tell if you’ve got the real version?
Health Canada says both versions of the product carry the same NPN, or Natural Product Number, 80098979, but have different lot numbers.
The real product has bright blue and red colouring on its label, and comes in 236 millilitre or 1 litre bottles, while the counterfeit version uses deep blue and dark red on its label and comes in a 250 millilitre format.
The counterfeit products is also labelled with Lot 6942; Expiry May 2023.
Health Canada says anyone who possesses the counterfeit version should stop using it immediately and contact their health-care practitioner if they have used it and are feeling concerned about their health.
Health Canada has released a full list of sanitizers approved for sale in Canada and another list of acceptable products which may not meet full regulatory requirements but are safe for use and will help meet national demand amid the pandemic.
Health officials continue to advise that Canadians regularly wash their hands with soap and water to limit the spread of COVID-19. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used if soap and water is not available.