10/15/2012 03:24 EDT | Updated 12/15/2012 05:12 EST

Health Canada announces recall of foaming soap due to bacterial contamination

TORONTO - A Quebec company is voluntarily recalling one lot of its antimicrobial foaming hand soap because the product has been found to be contaminated with bacteria.

A spokesperson for Avmor Ltd., which makes professional cleaning products, says most of the unused soap in the affected lot is already back in the company's hands.

Paul Goldin, the company's director of marketing and technical services, says there were 1,020 one-litre containers in the recalled lot.

Health Canada says testing shows the soap contains the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can pose a serious health risk, particularly to people with weakened immune systems.

The recall notice says the product, called Antimicrobial Foaming Hand Soap, is used in places like offices and hospitals.

Goldin said if it is used in hospitals, it would not be used in surgical suites.

To date there haven't been any reports of illness associated with use of the product.

Goldin says the product was originally distributed widely in Canada, with some of the product going to Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

It is sold in a one-litre clear plastic cartridge with a foaming pump. The product's drug identification number (DIN) is 02319144 and the affected lot is numbered F121392032.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa can trigger pneumonia, bone infections, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, meningitis and blood infections in people whose immune system has been weakened by conditions such as cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, severe lung disease, burns, cancer or diabetes.

In healthy people, Pseudomonas bacteria can cause local infections, abscesses and blood infections if they enter the body through cuts, lesions and open burn wounds. These bacteria are also associated with infections of the eye and outer ear.

Pseudomonas bacteria are often found in water. Goldin said Avmor has been working to try to find the source of the contamination and to improve its production line to protect against future contamination.


On the web: The Health Canada recall notice