Handi-Craft of St. Louis, Missouri, is recalling about 23,000 Dr. Brown’s natural bottle and dish soaps. Dr. Brown’s is urging customers to stop using the soap immediately, as the product could contain bacteria that “poses a risk of respiratory and other infections.” Harmful bacteria can pose a potentially serious threat to people with compromised immune systems. The affected product was sold between September 2016 and June 2017. No incidents or injuries have been reported to date.
The soap was sold in two sizes, including a clear plastic 16-ounce bottle with a pump and a 4-ounce squeeze bottle. Both are sold separately and as part of the bottle cleaning kit that includes a Dr. Brown’s bottle brush. The label on the front of the bottle reads: “Dr. Brown’s natural bottle & dish soap” and “100% plant-based ingredients.” It sold for between $3 and $7.
Dr. Brown’s Soap was sold at 4 Our Little Ones, Babies ‘R’ Us, Bebeang, Buy Buy Baby, Drugland Pharmacy, Family First Pharmacy, Global Nutrition Trading, Macro and Turquoise stores nationwide and on Amazon.com, according to Good Housekeeping.
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Items Washed with Contaminated Soap Should be Sanitized
The director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, Carolyn Forte, said that if you used this product to wash bottles or dishes, you should sanitize items before using them again. “Any items washed with the contaminated soap should be sanitized in the dishwasher, just make sure your dishwasher has a specific sanitizing cycle, which means the cycle is long enough and hot enough to kill bacteria,” she says.
A regular cycle is not hot enough to kill the bacteria. “If your dishwasher doesn’t have a sanitizing cycle, I would recommend using a sterilizer, boiling the items or using microwaveable sterilizer bags, following the package directions,” Forte says.
The Handi-Craft company said in a statement to GoodHousekeeping.com: “We apologize to our customers. We take this voluntary recall very seriously and worked quickly to remove any affected product from the market. We urge consumers with any questions to contact us via Customer Service and allow us to replace the product with reformulated Dish Soap.”
Bacteria occurs naturally, but bad bacteria, is not the kind of “natural” people want in their baby products. The recall covers lot codes B4062216; B3063016; B3071916; B3072016; B6081016; B2020317; and B1020417. Greenblenz of Auburn Hills, Michigan, made the soap, which claims it is made from plant-based ingredients, the Miami Herald reports.
How Clean is a Bar of Soap?
According to a Health and Fitness website, “Just because it’s soap doesn’t mean it’s clean. ”Several studies over the past three decades have shown that bar soap used in both public and private settings often harbor several types of bacteria. Among the bacteria researchers found on bar soap are E.coli, which can cause diarrhea, along with other problems, and Staph.aureus, the leading cause of skin infections including MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This is a specific “staph” bacteria (type of germ) that is often resistant to, and not killed by, several types of antibiotic treatments.
Studies with Bar Soap
In a 2006 study on bar soap used in dental clinics, authors wrote that a contaminated bar of soap may “serve as a continuous source of infection and re-infection for the users” and that bar soap has been involved in the “outbreak of infections in the hospital.”
Just because bacteria is on the soap, does not necessarily mean you will get infected. A study published in 1988 found that “washing with contaminated bar soap is unlikely to transfer bacteria.” In that study, researchers inoculated soap with 70 times more bacteria than is typically found on used soap bars. Sixteen people then washed their hands with the soap, and did not subsequently have detectible levels of the bacteria on their hands. Though that study has been held up as proof that bar soap will not spread germs, it is important to note that the makers of Dial soap backed the research.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend using liquid soap over bar soap to prevent a MRSA infection, noting that antimicrobial soap is unnecessary. If bar soap is used, do not share it, and if MRSA or other bacterial infections from a family member or teammate is a concern, use liquid soap instead.
Legal Information for Consumers
If you or someone you know has gotten an infection due to a contaminated product, you may have valuable legal rights. The attorneys at Parker Waichman offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, contact our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).