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New FDA Warning Says Watch Out For These Food and Drink Impostors

Whatever you do, don't eat or drink this substance by accident.
bottled water

We all can appreciate a hand sanitizer that's sold in a beautiful package, however, some companies making the germ-killing substance are being called out for using packaging that is highly deceptive. The marketing is so misleading that consumers are confused about the product's intended purpose, and the consequences are proving to be fatal.

The FDA recently issues a warning about alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is currently being packaged in anything from plastic water bottles to the packaging that's used to make squeezable apple sauces. (Related: 13 Quick & Healthy Snacks Ideas for Kids)

"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. in a statement.

Some brands are putting hand sanitizer in vodka bottles, juice bottles, and children's food pouches for novelty reasons, however, in some cases it has come at the expense of confusing the consumer. The FDA recently received a report that a shopper purchased what appeared to be a normal bottle of water at the store when it was really hand sanitizer disguised as water. Another point of concern is that, in addition to being packaged in kid-friendly pouches, some hand sanitizers are touted with cartoons and could easily trick a child into thinking it's food.

Ingesting even a small amount of hand sanitizer could be lethal to a young child who may be drawn to the bright colors and designs on the packaging. The FDA does advise against purchasing hand sanitizer products that contain specific ingredients—such as methanol or 1-propanol—that could be especially deadly if consumed. In general, the agency has seen an increase in adverse events associated with accidental consumption of hand sanitizer, including cardiac and central nervous system effects as well as hospitalizations and deaths reported to poison control centers and state departments of health.

Now that you know this kind of packaging for hand sanitizer exists, make sure to read the label in full before cracking open that bottle of mineral water. For more, check out These 14 Hand Sanitizers Could Be Toxic, Warns the FDA.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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