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Over one million Virapro sanitisers recalled from health service locations

The Department of Education is reviewing products supplied to schools after the recall of ViraPro sanitisers.

Image: Shutterstock/P_galasso2289

OVER ONE MILLION units of a sanitiser that has been recalled had been issued to health service locations around the country, according to the Health Service Executive.

The HSE had received 3,128,876 units of Virapro sanisters, which have since been recalled by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.

Of the three million Virapro sanitisers obtained by the HSE, two million have been placed in quarantine.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the HSE said that 1,036,074 units of the sanitiser had already been issued to health service locations.

“This represents less than 10% of HSE stock and there is ample stock available in HSE storage to replace it,” the HSE said.

“The HSE has mobilised a Product Recall Team who have immediately quarantined all stocks currently held in the National PPE Distribution Centres and a recall notice has been issued for all unused stocks of Virapro from health service locations which will assist in understanding and establish how much product needs to be uplifted and replaced.”

On Thursday, the Department of Agriculture notified HSE Procurement that the Biocides licence of the Irish distributor Virapro had been revoked.

Virapro’s products were removed from the Biocides Product Register with immediate effect, which meant that it was no longer legal for use or sale in Ireland and needed to be removed from circulation.

The HSE said that it “moved immediately to deal with this matter”.

Stocks held centrally had already been placed in quarantine. A Product Recall Notice was issued on 23 October 2020 to the entire healthcare system through established protocols via the management line. This Product Recall Notice is cascaded from each of the national functions to local services.”

“A dedicated recall team has been established to co-ordinate the collection of product currently in the healthcare system,” it said.

 ”Last evening, 23 October, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine further advised HSE of the need to withdraw all products bearing the Virapro name and return to the supplier.”

“Even though the HSE has established that no further products bearing the Virapro” name had been supplied as part of the National PPE supply chain, a second Product Recall Notice was issued to the entire healthcare system this morning 24 October.”


Several schools were forced to close yesterday after the Department of Education issued a notice that the specific brand of hand sanitiser was being recalled.

The department is now conducting a review of other products obtained for use in schools as a “precautionary measure”.

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Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said that “all products from the supplier concerned were removed from the Department’s multi-supplier agreement on Thursday”.

“The Department of Education is proactively reviewing all other relevant products on its education sector procurement agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as a precautionary measure and this work is ongoing,” the spokesperson said.

Announcing the recall of the Virapro sanitiser, the department had said that “schools that are impacted by this can make local arrangements to purchase stocks of hand sanitisers and can maximise the use of hand washing to support necessary hand hygiene”.

“If a school that is impacted judges it necessary to do so, they can choose to close for the day or close early on Friday, 23 October,” the department said.

Virapro sanitisers have also been recalled from stores, including Circle K, where it has been removed and replaced with an alternative for staff and customers.

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