If You Have This Soap at Home, Stop Using It Immediately, FDA Says

The popular products may be contaminated with dangerous bacteria and should be thrown away.

Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly has been an instrumental public health measure amid the COVID pandemic. However, if you're using one particular brand of soap, you may actually be adding dangerous bacteria to your hands every time you hit the sink. Four popular soaps sold at retailers like Walmart have been recalled and pulled from shelves due to potential contamination with Burkholderia cepacia bacteria, which can lead to fatal infections in some individuals. Read on to discover if the soap affected by the recall is one you're using at home. And for more ways to protect yourself, If You're Making Your Dinner in This, Stop Right Now, Experts Say.

The soaps are all from the Scent Theory brand.

scent theory hand soap
Scent Theory

Scent Theory has voluntarily recalled 636,416 bottles of its popular soaps due to potential contamination with Burkholderia cepacia bacteria. The products affected by the Scent Theory recall, which was issued on Feb. 11, are 11-oz. bottles of its foaming hand soap in Lemon Citrus, Vanilla Coconut, Eucalyptus Mint, and Fresh Lavender.

If you're worried you may have the potentially contaminated soap at home, they're marked with the following UPC codes: Lemon Citrus is printed with UPC 8-40038-20963-7, Vanilla Coconut is printed with UPC 8-40038-20964-4, Eucalyptus is printed with UPC 8-40038-20965-1, and Fresh Lavender is printed with UPC 8-40038-20966-8. According to Scent Theory, none of the affected soaps have been on the shelves since Jan. 7.

In a statement, Scent Theory said: "In compliance with FDA procedures, we alerted them about our concerns and intended action. We have followed all guidance and criteria issued by FDA regarding voluntarily removing a product from the market." If you have one of the recalled soaps at home, Scent Theory says you may return it for a refund by contacting them via email at [email protected]. And for the latest recall news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Continued use of the affected soaps could cause serious health problems.

Woman coughing

The good news is, Scent Theory says "no adverse reactions to these products have been reported by any customers to date."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while Burkholderia cepacia doesn't present much risk to otherwise healthy people, those who are immunocompromised could develop serious respiratory infections from exposure. The risk is greatest among those with cystic fibrosis, who may develop a deadly infection due to Burkholderia cepacia exposure.

And for more recalls that could affect you, beware that If You Have This Piercing, Take It Out Right Now, Officials Warn.

The bacteria can be spread from person to person.

Nurse explaining good news to female patient

It's not just direct exposure to the affected soap that could be putting your health at risk, however. The CDC notes that Burkholderia cepacia infection can be transmitted from person to person. In fact, a Burkholderia cepacia outbreak at a Mississippi hospital in 1988 infected 245 patients and killed nine, which researchers attributed to person-to-person spread.

This isn't the first time the brand has had a recall amid COVID.

A woman wearing a sweater and a face mask uses a pump bottle with hand sanitizer.

This isn't the first recall of Scent Theory products since the pandemic hit. In July 2020, the FDA announced the recall of two of Scent Theory's hand sanitizers. The company pulled its 16.9-oz. bottles of Keep Clean Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer and Keep It Clean Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer from the market after it was discovered that the products could contain methanol, exposure to which can cause "nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death," according to the recall notice. And before you put yourself in harm's way, If You're Taking This Supplement, Stop Now, FDA Says.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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