Coronavirus warning as 'sham' hand sanitiser found on sale in Shropshire
People are being warned of a "sham" hand sanitiser found on sale in the county, as Shropshire Council said it will not protect them from coronavirus.
Shropshire Council's trading standards officers have warned consumers and shopkeepers to avoid the product as it does not contain the advised amount of alcohol to make them safe.
Since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, Public Health England had advised that to be effective, hand sanitisers need to contain at least 60 per cent alcohol. A product recently being sold in Shropshire was found to contain as little as 12.7 per cent, despite being labelled to show a 70 per cent concentration.
The product, found so far in blue and clear liquid forms, has been sold in 250ml bottles under the name of Miss Life Ltd – neither that company nor the marked postcode on the bottle exist.
The blue liquid was found to contain 37 per cent alcohol and the clear just 11.7 per cent. They were selling for between £7 and £10.
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Frances Darling, trading standards & licensing operations manager with Shropshire Council, said: "It is absolutely scandalous that this product is out there. At a time when people are dying due to Covid-19 and we are all desperately trying to protect ourselves and the ones we love, I am appalled that someone has considered it acceptable to risk the lives of others in order to make a quick profit.
"We would urge people to stop using it immediately."
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said: "I would urge all retailers to be extremely cautious when sourcing products to sell. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals who are looking to make a quick profit from selling products that are in high demand and short supply.
"If you can’t prove where the products you have on your shelves are from, then unfortunately, you may be responsible for any harm that comes from selling them."
Members of the public are being warned to stop using the product immediately and report where and when they bought it from to trading standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. To contact them, call 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh Speakers.
Shopkeepers are also warned to stop selling it immediately and to urgently report to trading standards who they acquired it from.