The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall on 87 brands of hand sanitizer this month, with hand sanitizer made by the Leiper’s Fork Distillery being added to the list on Friday due to what the FDA alleged to be a “methanol contamination.”
That same brand of hand sanitizer had also been given out for free to the Spring Hill fire and police departments, however, no injuries have been reported by either department.
Despite the claim from the FDA, the distillery’s owner, Lee Kennedy, argues that his product contains zero methanol, and that it “is absolutely safe.”
Also known as wood alcohol, methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, and can be life-threatening when ingested. The FDA writes in its release that symptoms of methanol poisoning can include “nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.”
Kennedy refutes the FDA’s claim
Kennedy told the Home Page that the hand sanitizer his distillery produces contains zero methanol, and that the FDA had falsely claimed as such due to what was essentially a misunderstanding or miscommunication.
“Back when we were getting this together, there wasn't a lot of direction coming from our regulatory agencies, so literally what's in that disinfectant is simply beverage-grade alcohol with natural lavender oil that was introduced into it to keep people from consuming it,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy explained that they had included methanol on the label as a “potential ingredient” as a means to deter people from consuming the product, but that it actually contains no methanol.
“We actually had a gas chromatograph - a chemical composition analysis - of the product done by Ferm Solutions Inc., and the results of that test showed no detectable traces of methanol whatsoever,” Kennedy said. “So if anything, it should have been recalled as mislabeled, but the product is absolutely safe.”
A copy of that composition analysis was also posted to the Leiper's Fork Distillery's Facebook page, which reads that traces of methanol were "not detectable."