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Circle K says the Virapro hand sanitiser was available in its stores but has now been recalled and replaced

The Department of Agriculture said the product – which has been recalled from schools – was a “possible public health concern”.

Image: Shutterstock/Vytautas Kielaitis

THE FUEL STATION chain Circle K has said that it has sourced an alternate hand sanitiser product and made it available to staff and customers, after it emerged the product it had been using was recalled “due to possible public health concerns”. 

Last night, a notice was issued to schools across the country that the Virapro hand sanitiser – which was supplied by one of 11 suppliers of PPE to schools – had been recalled on foot of a review by the Department of Agriculture.

A spokesperson for Circle K confirmed to TheJournal.ie that “Virapro was available for both customer and colleague use in our company owned, company operated (COCO) sites”.

The spokesperson said: “Following the product recall issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the Virapro hand sanitiser product, Circle K immediately initiated a full recall of this product across our COCO network.

All hand sanitiser stations have now been replaced with an alternative hand sanitiser product. We are taking this matter very seriously and have contacted the supplier seeking urgent clarity on the claims being made regarding the product.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture had said last night: “Tests by the Department show that some of the sanitiser on sale does not comply with regulations governing the content and efficacy of such products.

“Some of the product contains methanol rather than ethanol. Prolonged use of such sanitiser may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches. This product may not remain on the market or be made available for use.

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“The company involved has been instructed by the Department to initiate an immediate recall of all product. Members of the public are advised to stop using this sanitiser with immediate effect.  A department investigation into this matter is ongoing.”

On the department’s biocidal product register, it lists PFG Brand Attraction EU Ltd as the “approval holder” of the Virapro hand sanitiser (PCS 100409). It says that the product status is “revoked” with a phase out date - for the remaining product to be used or withdrawn from use -  of Tuesday 20 October. 

TheJournal.ie has contacted PFG Brand Attraction for comment. 

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Sean Murray

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