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Alcohol Swabs and Pads Recalled in Time for Flu Shots


A manufacturer of alcohol swabs and pads used to disinfect the skin before people get an injection, like flu shots, has issued a voluntary recall. Triad Group is recalling its alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs, and alcohol swabsticks because of potential contamination with Bacillus cereus.

Alcohol swab recall involves sterile and nonsterile products

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Triad Group is recalling all lots of these products, which are private labeled for various accounts for consumers. The alcohol swabs, pads, and swabsticks were distributed to retail pharmacies in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and can be identified by “Triad Group” or the following names: Boca/Ultilet, Cardinal Health, Conzellin, CVS, Moore Medical, PSS Select, VersaPro, and Walgreens.

So far, only one non-life-threatening skin infection has been associated with the use of these products. The organism involved in the potential contamination is Bacillus cereus, which is generally associated with food poisoning.

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However, B. cereus can also cause skin infections in immunocompromised patients, including those who have sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, and wound infections. Others at risk for B. cereus infection include cancer patients, neonates, intravenous drug users, and patients who have a history of surgery, trauma, or catheterization.

Outbreaks of B. cereus skin infections are rare, especially outside of a healthcare setting. An outbreak of B. cereus skin infection was reported in 2004 in Georgia, however, when 90 cadets from a military university contracted the infection during freshman military orientation week.

Triad Group has contacted customers that distribute and sell these products at the wholesale, hospital, and retail pharmacy level. Consumers who may have any of these products in their possession should not use them and can return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. As an alternative, consumers may also contact Triad Group Customer Service, Monday through Friday , 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Central Time at 262-538-2900.

The recall of alcohol swabs and pads is no excuse, however, for people to avoid getting their flu shots. The American Lung Association has a Flu Vaccine Finder to help consumers find flu vaccination locations.

American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration